There is no better way to get an understanding of what the life of a pilot is like than by reading about the inspiring experiences of the people who’ve experienced it. Whether you’ve only just started thinking about a career in the aviation industry, or actively looking at available courses to train as a pilot, there are plenty of books that you can read which can help confirm that it’s the path for you.
With plenty of non-fiction and fictional accounts on flying and the aviation industry, there is a wealth of choice available. Below we have compiled a collection of our favourites, perfectly suited to anyone in the various stages of their pilot training course research.
Stick and Rudder: An Explanation of the Art of Flying
Known as an aviation classic, Wolfgang Langewiesche’s Stick and Rudder: An Explanation of the Art of Flying was first published in 1944. Despite being significantly older than some of the more contemporary books on this list, it remains incredibly relevant, covering many fundamental elements of flying including, why planes stall, how to avoid common accidents and advice for landing aircraft.
This book is considered to be applicable for all sorts of airplanes regardless of the size and age, and, as the basics of flying hasn't changed too much since the book was first released, it continues to be a popular book among those training to become a pilot.
Pilot Weather: From Solo to the Airlines
Described as ‘close to 400 pages of A to Z weather for pilots’, Pilot Weather: From Solo to the Airlines written by Doug Morris and Scott Dennstaedt is a must read for those who want to improve their knowledge of how weather can impact flying. Both Dennstaedt and Morris have racked up an impressive amount of airline miles and have substantial experience as a result of long and illustrious careers in aviation. This combined with their specific interest in meteorology and weather theory, gives the book its unique focus on the technical aspects of weather and flying, including several diagrams, graphics and detailed commentary of the cockpit.
The Wright Brothers
Though less technical, The Wright Brothers by David McCullough is an inspirational read that is designed to encourage and cater to the love of flying that drives many a prospective pilot. This book covers the story of Wilbur and Orville Wright, two brothers who changed the very nature of the aviation industry back in 1903. With intimate details collected from notebooks, family letters and private diaries, this book is a fantastic glimpse into the trials and tribulations that the Wright brothers faced as they progressed to creating the very first fully practical airplane.
Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot
Appearing on a variety of bestseller lists when it was first released in 2016, Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot by 747 pilot Mark Vanhoenacker, deliberately steers away from the more technical aspects of the job, instead focusing on trying to put down on paper what makes flying so compelling. Complete with great anecdotes, relatable details and complemented with excellent writing, this book is a fantastic choice if you want a reminder of why a career in the aviation industry is a worthwhile pursuit.
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