This is my recommended reading list of books and other good sources for pilots. Many of my pages have documents or list books that are great reads more specific to the subject being discussed. This list is more of my “every pilot REALLY should read this” list.
Stick and Rudder
Excellent book about good old-fashioned flying skills. This should be required reading at the start of initial training and every pilot should read it…twice! Even the “pros” can learn plenty from this book. Please read it. Seriously.
Austin’s Very Easy Guide to Proper Radio Phraseology and Technique
Every pilot can improve their radio communication skills (some need a lot of help). For some reason, good communications gets very little priority in flight training and bad radio skills has been a problem for a long time. Austin Collins has written some very good guides for proper communications. There is very little I disagree with in his guide. Highly recommended reading for all pilots. It’s time to clean up the radio calls!
Learn to Turn
Excellent e-booklet by Rich Stowell a covering turning flight and the inadequate understanding most pilots have concerning turning flight and its relationship with Loss of Control – Inflight (LOC-I). Yes, that is correct, a majority of pilots do not have a complete understanding of turns and will learn something from reading this booklet. The booklet is on Specialized Aero Work’s website and also links to Rich’s L2T videos. Well worth your time!
Along with this e-booklet, watch Rich Stowell’s Learn to Turn videos on Specialized Aero Works’ webpage dedicated to Learn to Turn.
How To Fly Airplanes
Most texts have only a basic summary of how control is applied. This book outlines the use of all aspects of flight control. This book, which you can read online for FREE, is great at discussing airplane control in different ways than the typical plot is used to. Definitely worth your time.
Emergency Maneuver Training
Excellent book covering emergency maneuvering subjects by Rich Stowell. Every small airplane pilot should read this especially considering the lack of training and emphasis on the subject. The unfortunate result of this lack of training and knowledge is the unacceptable number of Loss of Control – Inflight mishaps.
Fate is the Hunter
From Amazon: Ernest K. Gann’s classic memoir is an up-close and thrilling account of the treacherous early days of commercial aviation. In his inimitable style, Gann brings you right into the cockpit, recounting both the triumphs and terrors of pilots who flew when flying was anything but routine.
Bottom line: Great book about flying and trans-Atlantic flights in the old days. Some harrowing stories to learn from.
Bob Hoover was a truly amazing pilot, reaching “legend” status. His book is riveting as he tells the stories of his life of flying. If you are a pilot and do not know about Bob Hoover, you really should go learn about him. Anyone who has seen him fly will likely tell you how amazing he was. I saw him at an airshow in the 90s and it was incredible. I cannot recommend this book highly enough!
The Pilot’s Guide to Air Traffic Control
Andy Watson has written a really nice book on the subject. This book is full of interesting Air Traffic Control (ATC) stories, and more importantly, includes many great nuggets of information for pilots to learn relating to better work with ATC and communicate better. Pilots of all levels who talk to ATC should read this and work on improving. We pilots can all stand to be better on the radio!