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Good Aviation Books  
User currently offlineOsteogenesis From Germany, joined May 2003, 648 posts, RR: 2
Posted (12 years 9 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 4889 times:

Can somebody recommend good aviation books?

I just read "Emergency" by Stanley Stewart. I really enjoyed it. Would be glad to get some recommendations.



10 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineMav75 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 228 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (12 years 9 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 4854 times:

Three of my all time favorites:

Frequent Flyer, by Bob Reiss. In 1992, the author was given the privilege to ride the jumpseat of a Delta L-1011 for 72 hours straight. The book delves into the many facets behind how a major airline is run and gives great insights on what it's like to fly in the L-1011. You will definitely learn a lot from this book and it's a very interesting read.

Thunder Down the Runway, by Robert S. Ames. This author was an American Airlines Captain who retired in June, 1989 with a seniority number of 1 for the DFW base and number 2 systemwide. This book traces his entire flying career from his first solo, to his WWII experiences, to his career at American Airlines. Through his eyes, we witness the evolution of the airline pilot from the early 50's to the late '80s. Ames pulls no punches and you'll appreciate his honesty.

Freefall, by William and Marilyn Hoffer (I think that's their names). This is the true story of the Air Canada 767 that experienced a fuel starvation situation over Winnipeg in July of 1983. This novel was well researched and comprehensive.

All of these books will remain on my shelf forever. Any airline enthusiast will enjoy all three of them immensely.

User currently offlineDoorsToManual From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (12 years 9 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 4830 times:

I've recommended it before, and will do so again.

Beyond the Blue Horizion by Alexander Frater.

The author recreates the routes of the old Imperial Airways flying boat services, but on modern airliners. It reads like one, big "trip report" with plenty of interesting insights into what has now become of the old Imperial Airways aerodromes/landing sites and the cities or communities they served.

Difficult to find, try the online second-hand bookshops.


User currently offlineIkarus From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 3524 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (12 years 9 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 4819 times:

"The Max Ward Story" by Max Ward
An autobiography of a Canadian bush pilot who started out flying in Yukon with a DeHavilland Beaver, and grew his airline to become Canada's third biggest airline. Like all sizeable Canadian airlines apart from AC, it was gobbled up by competitors (Canadian in this case)

"Freefall" by no-idea-who
Book about the Gimli Glider - an Air Canada 767 that made an emergency landing due to running out of fuel (not the Air Transat A330 or the Sky Service A330  Laugh out loud It seems Canadian pilots & fuel don't mix  Big grin ) Cause was a miscalculation when changing from Imperial to metric units.

"Airframe" by Michael Crighton
One of the few books that focusses on a (fictional) aircraft manufacturer. Very thrilling, though of course it includes the typical Crighton drawbacks: poor writing and lots of faceless goons thrown in, i.e. a typical thriller novel.

"Pandora's Clock" by John J Nance
This author's only half decent novel, very thrilling and enjoyable. Better than anything else he wrote. It's about a plane carrying an airborne, fatal, Outbreak-alike virus.



User currently offlineDash8tech From Hong Kong, joined Jul 1999, 732 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (12 years 9 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 4790 times:

For fiction, ANYTHING by John J Nance.

User currently offlineOsteogenesis From Germany, joined May 2003, 648 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (12 years 9 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4726 times:

Thanks for the response.

I appreciate it.

User currently offlineTsv From Australia, joined Nov 1999, 1641 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (12 years 9 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4715 times:

"Fighter Test Pilot" by Roland Beamont.

"I told you I was ill ..." Spike Milligan
User currently offlineSrilankan_340 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2002, 202 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (12 years 9 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4699 times:

I agree,
"Airframe" by Michael Crighton (author of Jurassic Park) is pretty good

If you are looking for books with a liberal dose of humor thrown in take a look at

- Confessions of an Airline Pilot by Clyde E. Roach

- Cockpit Confessions of an Airline Pilot by Stephen Gary Keshner

- Plane Insanity by Elliott Hester

- Around the World in a Bad Mood: Confessions of a Flight Attendant by Rene Foss

This last one is really funny.

I purchased all the above books from Amazon, though some might take 2/3 weeks as they are "on order" books

Happy Reading..  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self- centered: Forgive them anyway - Mother Theresa
User currently offlineBackfire From Germany, joined Oct 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (12 years 9 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4691 times:

No-one mentioned Fate is the Hunter by Ernest Gann yet...?

User currently offlineTKMCE From India, joined May 2002, 841 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (12 years 9 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4679 times:

Dorrs to Manual

I agre with you about "Beyond the Blue Horizon". I picked it up something like 15 years ago from a second bookhand shop, but boy what a find! A real GEM!
(You should also read Alexanders Frater's "Chasing the Monsoon" as well- not much to do with aviation but does describe if I remember two flights including a hair raising one on the old "Vayudoot " from Calcutta to Shillong- but even otherwise it is another fantastic piece of writing)

Marilyn Hoffers Free Fall is also a good read.

I also found

"Pan Am 103: The Bombings, the Betrayals, and a Bereaved Family's Search for Justice by Susan Cohen, Daniel Cohen"

a very interesting as well as a touching work. Written by parents of a teenage victom of the crash, I read it only a couple of months back and found it very useful in understanding the recent developments onm the issue (Libya's admission of guilt).

Also another fascinating book has been
"Jeremy's Airport" by Jeremy Spake, the aeroflot customer service rep at LHR, who was featured in the BBC seral. The book is brought out by the BBC and is a real page turner!


User currently offlineVimanav From India, joined Jul 2003, 1538 posts, RR: 14
Reply 10, posted (12 years 9 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 4642 times:
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Some of the best aviation books that I have read are:

Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de St. Exupery
Slide Rule by Nevil Shute
A Gift Of Wings by Richard Bach
Great Flying Stories - various authors

World War II:
VCs of the Air by John Frayn Turner
Fight for the Air by Jonh Frayn Turner
Von Richthofen - the Legend Evaluated by Richard Townshend Bickers

On Airlines / airline business:
Skygods by Robert Gandt (Pan Am story)
Fasten your seat belt by Valerie Lester (Stories and experiences of Pan Am cabin crew)
Nuts! by Kevin and Jackie Freiburg (on Southwest)
From Worst to First by Gordon Bethune (the Continental turn-around story)

Air Accident books:
Air Disaster Volumes 1 - 4 by Macarthur Job
Disaster in the Air by Andrew Brookes
Flights into Disaster by Andrew Brookes
Emergency - Crisis on the Flight Deck by Stanley Stewart
The Naked Pilot by David Beaty
Ghost of Flight 401 by John G. Fuller

More novels with an aviation slant:
One - Richard Bach
Illusions - Richard Bach
Jonathan Livingstone Seagull - Richard Bach
The Bridge Across Forever - Richard Bach
Nothing by Chance - Richard Bach
Airport - Arthur Hailey


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