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Thread: Information Books to Make You a Better Pilot

  1. #1

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    Information Books to Make You a Better Pilot

    I saw other book lists on the site- but many seemed to be books about peoples adventures flying- those are fun but not what I'm looking for.

    I'm looking for an educational list.

    I've read "The Compleat Taildragger" by HS Ploud a few times. Good book.

    I've heard about "Stick and Rudder" by Wolfgang Langewiesche. Worth a read?

    Any other suggestions?
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  2. #2
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Aside from books, find one or two or three mentors. Somebody you can call if you are not sure about the weather, a mechanical issue, or any other safety related question.
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  3. #3

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    #1 Stick and Rudder is a great book for understanding how and why planes fly. Always ends up on the top of the pile when you are trying to figure how and why things work the way they do. #2 I highly recommend is Sparky Imeson mountian flying bible especially if you are going to be flying in the mountains or at altitude. https://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Flyi.../dp/1880568179 F.E. Potts Guide to bush flying is always mentioned it is good for a lot of flying stories, not that educational, but way overpriced. Lots of other new books showing up the past few years but usually don't go into the detail and proper explanation of what is happening. Go get the first 2 and you will have a great base of knowledge to build off.
    DENNY

  4. #4

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    Look up accident reports - the best education you can get is around your own ADM.

    EDITED
    If you are talking purely stick and rudder, fly with some different instructors or buddies that are good sticks periodically. If you are talking about "why airplanes crash" my initial advice stands.
    Last edited by TxAgfisher; 09-08-2022 at 12:01 PM.

  5. #5
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Read some reports and public dockets here: https://www.ntsb.gov/Pages/monthly.aspx

    Use the "Query" function to focus on specific topics and aircraft.

    Gary

  6. #6
    stewartb's Avatar
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    Stick and Rudder is useful but not entertaining. It’s been described as being important because it’s a pilot’s perspective, not a scientist’s perspective of flight. On the flip side there’s Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators, but if you’re into the science of why airplanes fly? You might like it. I’ve found a few other books that have interesting content. Engine Out Survival Tactics by Nate Jaros, Contact Flying by Jim Dulin, and Fly the Engine by Kas Thomas are good. For entertainment nothing beats Wager With the Wind.
    Last edited by stewartb; 09-08-2022 at 12:48 PM.
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  7. #7

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    Amy Hoover and Dick William’s recent book on mountain flying is excellent and a good follow-up to Sparky’s
    https://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Cany.../dp/1619547414

    Quote Originally Posted by DENNY View Post
    #1 Stick and Rudder is a great book for understanding how and why planes fly. Always ends up on the top of the pile when you are trying to figure how and why things work the way they do. #2 I highly recommend is Sparky Imeson mountian flying bible especially if you are going to be flying in the mountains or at altitude. https://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Flyi.../dp/1880568179 F.E. Potts Guide to bush flying is always mentioned it is good for a lot of flying stories, not that educational, but way overpriced. Lots of other new books showing up the past few years but usually don't go into the detail and proper explanation of what is happening. Go get the first 2 and you will have a great base of knowledge to build off.
    DENNY
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  8. #8
    mvivion's Avatar
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    “Mountain, Canyon and Backcountry Flying” by Amy Hoover and Dick Williams. This is a very good up to date book that every pilot should read.

    MTV
    Last edited by mvivion; 09-14-2022 at 07:58 AM.
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  9. #9
    Formandfunction's Avatar
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    Books are good for decision making when planning flights and can improve your knowledge of areas and techniques. With that said when the **** hits the fan the only thing that will save you is muscle memory and talent. It amazes me how many pilots don't practice stalls,steep turns,slow flight and landings. Can't teach any of that with words. You gotta get out there and feel it till it's burnt into the deepest recess of your brain.
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  10. #10
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Formandfunction View Post
    Books are good for decision making when planning flights and can improve your knowledge of areas and techniques. With that said when the **** hits the fan the only thing that will save you is muscle memory and talent. It amazes me how many pilots don't practice stalls,steep turns,slow flight and landings. Can't teach any of that with words. You gotta get out there and feel it till it's burnt into the deepest recess of your brain.
    True that, for certain, but the combination of basic knowledge, continual learning AND frequent and practice of skills is essential to flying safety and success.

    MTV
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  11. #11
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    I'm always reading to find things to incorporate into my flying, and into the training I do.

    I've just started C.C. Pocock's book on Bush Flying not because I expected a huge epiphany (yet to be seen), but because I hope to get a few morsels to add to my toolkit.

    Flying is about a lot more than flying....

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  12. #12

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    So I'd start here. Consider it a guide for what not to do.

    https://www.ntsbreporter.us/

  13. #13
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    Now that I've read it I'm surprised "Contact Flying" isn't the #1 book recommended by low and slow small airplane guys. I wish I'd read it long ago, but it wouldn't have changed much. I fly pretty much like this guy says. It makes me think of lots of conversations I've had in the past, and several threads here. Especially the downwind turn thread. The author makes a reference to the dangers of the downwind turn and in the context of what he teaches, it makes perfect sense. It occurred to me that in general terms the pilot population can be divided into two parts. Those who fly like he discusses, whether taught to or figured out how to, and those who don't. I find myself watching takeoffs and landings with new interest.
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  14. #14
    musket's Avatar
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    Sir, I expect you'll find something educational in each of these books -- I've certainly found them so:

    1) FLYING WISDOM, Editors of Flying magazine;
    2) THE PERFECT FLIGHT, Richard L. Collins;
    3) AS THE PRO FLIES, John R. Hoyt;
    4) FAIR WEATHER FLYING, Richard L. Taylor;
    5) HAPPY FLYING, SAFELY, Duane Cole;
    6) THE PILOT'S NIGHT FLYING HANDBOOK, Len Buckwalter;
    7) THE PROFICIENT PILOT, Vol's I & II, Barry Schiff

    If you can find these books on EBAY or some antique book sellers' site, WW II American pilots learned from them:

    PILOT'S AIRPLANE MANUAL, September 1940, Civil Aeronautics Bulletin No. 27 (N. O. Anderson);
    9) FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR'S MANUAL, September 1941, Civil Aeronautics Bulletin No. 5;
    10) CIVIL PILOT TRAINING MANUAL, September 1941, Civil Aeronautics Bulletin No. 23;

    #s 8, 9 & 10 were published by the U. S. Department of Commerce, Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA), Washington, D. C.
    Last edited by musket; 09-19-2022 at 08:32 PM. Reason: Correct misspelling
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  15. #15
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    3) AS THE PRO FLIES, John R. Hoyt: When approaching a ridge if the terrain behind the ridge disappears you're too low; If the terrain behind rises you may make it unless there's a downdraft ahead. Approach at an angle in case a turn away is needed.

    Gary

  16. #16

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    About halfway through Stick and Rudder- it's pretty good.

    Looking forward to checking out some of these other titles.

  17. #17
    mvivion's Avatar
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    My old friend Hal Terry, who is no longer with us, wrote an excellent treatise about staying alive while flying. Hal was a career Naval Aviator, then flew for a couple of Alaska air taxi outfits, and for Fish and Game in Alaska.

    Frankly, the book is a little hard to read, but I've read it a couple times and have never found anything there that I disagree with. A few years ago, after Hal's passing, several of us asked Hal's widow Bonnie if she'd consider putting the book back in print. She did. https://www.amazon.com/Fly-Wild-Stay.../dp/0967311667

    RIP Hal.

    MTV
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  18. #18
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Mike, thanks for the link. I had heard of that book and ordered one for winter read. The author and I never met but did know of him and his flying in Alaska.

    Gary
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  19. #19
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC12D-4-85 View Post
    Mike, thanks for the link. I had heard of that book and ordered one for winter read. The author and I never met but did know of him and his flying in Alaska.

    Gary
    Hal was the quintessential gentleman, and a great pilot. Used to crack me up when Hal (likely 70 at the time) would address all the twenty something seasonal ADFG troops as Sir and Ma’am, while standing at attention.

    And, the guy could fly…..

    MTV
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  20. #20

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    Almost done with stick and rudder. Great book.

    Biggest takeaway so far: at any given trim setting plane will fly same speed regardless of power. More power you climb at that speed. Less power you go down at that speed.

    I’m sure this isnt always true and probably exceptions- but as a general rule of thumb. Tested it out yesterday in the cub.
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  21. #21

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    A lot of how we fly depends on initial training. It is just a base to get you out the door so the learning can really start. The key is to question everything you learned in training and see what other ways the job can be done. Keep the book handy you will find yourself referring back to it time and time again.
    DENNY

  22. #22
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    A few more worth checking out, though they can be kind of dense:

    Emergency Maneuver Training - Rich Stowell
    Stall/Spin Awareness - Rich Stowell
    Sky Ranch Engineering Manual - John Schwaner
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  23. #23
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    My old friend Hal Terry, who is no longer with us, wrote an excellent treatise about staying alive while flying. Hal was a career Naval Aviator, then flew for a couple of Alaska air taxi outfits, and for Fish and Game in Alaska.

    Frankly, the book is a little hard to read, but I've read it a couple times and have never found anything there that I disagree with. A few years ago, after Hal's passing, several of us asked Hal's widow Bonnie if she'd consider putting the book back in print. She did. https://www.amazon.com/Fly-Wild-Stay.../dp/0967311667

    RIP Hal.

    MTV
    I'm half way through this excellent book. It's proven to be a great source of back country flying info for Alaska and others. Having some experience helps as his observations and suggestions are pointed and brief, but it tends to recall for the reader the how's and why's, some long forgotten.

    Gary

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC12D-4-85 View Post
    I'm half way through this excellent book. It's proven to be a great source of back country flying info for Alaska and others. Having some experience helps as his observations and suggestions are pointed and brief, but it tends to recall for the reader the how's and why's, some long forgotten.

    Gary
    Exactly. Hal covered a lot of ground in that book, and very insightful points. Not bad for an old F-8 pilot who made the leap to bush flying.

    MTV

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardiff Kook View Post
    Almost done with stick and rudder. Great book.

    Biggest takeaway so far: at any given trim setting plane will fly same speed regardless of power. More power you climb at that speed. Less power you go down at that speed.

    I’m sure this isnt always true and probably exceptions- but as a general rule of thumb. Tested it out yesterday in the cub.
    In pilot training that was referred to as the control-performance concept. I set the pitch and power then trim off the control pressures. I then evaluate the performance to see if it does what I want. Trim settings are always for a speed. The airplane will seek the speed that I have trimmed for. It may take a short time for the sine type wave to damp out (airplane will overshoot the trimmed airspeed in opposing directions in smaller and smaller deviations) and become stable at the airspeed. The airplane will tend to go back to the airspeed as disturbances are introduced (wind, turbulence, control inputs, etc).


    Sent from my iPad using SuperCub.Org mobile app

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