JBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4472 posts, RR: 21 Reply 2, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5890 times:
A great novel I've read was "Captain" by Earl E. Rogers...it's basically a very well-written memoir of a (fictional) professional pilot's flying history. Lots of truth and VERY interesting reading in that book...I highly recommend it!
It's about 100x better than that John J. Nance drivel.
Isitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 25 Reply 4, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5861 times:
Non-fiction NUTZ...Story of Herb and Southwest and why they make $$$
Fiction....High and Mighty by Ernest Gann...Book of the 50's and also a 1954 movie with John Wayne and Robert Stack. NEVER Released in VHS by The Wayne family. They have the rights and have not released movie...but I DID NOT say you couldn't get a copy.
Safety/accidents...anything by Robert Serling. He has also written books about airline history. AA comes to mind.
Reference...Manufacturer Production books.
If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
MCOtoATL From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 474 posts, RR: 4 Reply 6, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5810 times:
The best book I have is called "Hard Landing," by Thomas Petzinger.
"Splash of Colors" by John J. Nance is also a riveting, story-like narrative of the fall of Braniff.
"Freefall" by Jack E. Robinson looks at the demise of Eastern. Robinson was a part of Martin Shagrue's leadership team. Therefore, he offers a bit of bias towards management, and is much more critical of the unions.
One of the coolest books is called "Frequent Flyer," by Bob Reiss. He spent several days traveling aboard a Delta L1011. Crew changes, a variety of cities, and yet one author who stayed with the plane. The book is out of print (I found mine on Half.com.) But it is one of the most interesting books out there.
Pilawt From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 101 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 5786 times:
"Song of The Sky" by Guy Murchie, first published in 1954. It's long out of print, but used copies are usually available through the usual internet sources. The author, a navigator in WW2 transports and in classic propliners, weaves aviation history, science, folklore, amazing stories and the romance of flight.
The best book on how to fly an airplane was written sixty years ago: "Stick and Rudder" by Wolfgang Langewiesche, still in print and widely available.
Jumpseat70 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 13, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5628 times:
Skygods..the Rise and Fall of Pan Am by Gant. Also Splash of Colors by Nance, along with Maverick by Serling. And then there will be mine ....someday called "Jumpseat, The memoirs of a TWA Hostess". (Ha)
CainanUK From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2002, 550 posts, RR: 0 Reply 16, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5587 times:
There is of course, "NUTS!!" the Southwest Airlines story. As for fiction, I really liked "Airframe" by Michael Crichton. Quite a decent read. Fake airliner company names of course, but quite technically proficient.
SlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 69 Reply 17, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5572 times:
In no order other than how they occurred to me just now:
Stranger to the Ground by Richard Bach. Essays on flying F-84s in the Air Force in the 1950s on a framework of a single night flight from England over Germany to France in an F-84. Bach at his best.
The Lonely Sky by Bill Bridgeman. Bill was a Douglas test pilot who flew the D-558 phase I and phase II. The book ends with his first meeting with the X-3 Stiletto. Very well written.
Island in the Sky by Ernest K. Gann. Forced landing of a transport on a frozen lake in Labrador or northern Quebec during WW II and the search and survival stories. Gann at his best.
Carrying the Fire by Michael Collins. The best-written book by any of the astronauts. Collins was the command module pilot on Apollo 11 and later curator of the Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian.
The Left Seat by Robert Serling. The story is dated now but still well-told. A good look at the post-war years and the growth of airlines and their technologies. Serling is a skilled writer.
Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Ste. Exupery. Probably the most lyrical writer who ever wrote about airplanes. This may be the only "literature" about airplanes. This one deals with flying the Sahara and the southern Andes in open cockpit biplanes. Some of the best aviation writing ever, and some stirring stories. Includes the ultimate eulogy for a pilot.
Serenade to the Big Bird by Bert Stiles. Really good account of the experience of being a young B-17 copilot in the 8th Air Force. Stiles finished his tour in bombers and returned to fly fighters. He was killed on the second tour.
Flights of Passage by Samuel Hynes. The sort of autobiographical account I wish more people could write. So many great stories out there and so few good writers. This is a very good account of being a Naval Aviator toward the end of WW II. One of my keepers.
The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe. Vastly better than the movie. Same basic storyline - contrasting test pilots with astronauts ("Spam in a can") while telling the story of the dawn of the space age in the US.
Also, Milt Thompson, one of the X-15 pilots wrote a very good book about that project and about his experience with the lifting body. Very rare book apparently, I've lost my copy and cannot remember the title. Anyone remember it? I have searched Amazon and Powell's for it with no luck.
Most of these are out of print and some may be very hard to find. All of them worth the effort.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
BMAbound From Sweden, joined Nov 2003, 660 posts, RR: 4 Reply 18, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5546 times:
I've read a bunch of them, but the best was The Hardest Day by Alfred Price. It discusses the Battle of Britain and the book involves many personal stories from German and British fighter pilots. What I find most interesting was that the RAF sent 18 year olds out in battle with as little as 15 hrs of flying experience. Read it!
FlySC From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 136 posts, RR: 0 Reply 20, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5486 times:
John J. Nance writes some great books. I was given Blackout by an friend of mine and that got me started into Nance's books. I have read about 5 of his books so far. Looking forward to many more. Just bought his book Fireflight a few days ago and I am looking forward to getting started on it.
I do not fail!!! I succede at finding what does not work!!!
LHR340 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2003, 877 posts, RR: 1 Reply 21, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5473 times:
I just read Unfriendly Skies by "Captain X" it was really interesting, even though its about 10-15yrs old, it went through everything, from choosing the best seat in a crash, how to find the best fare, and all about his life in aviation blah blah blah....
A340 LoVeR! EC-GQK - LHR The Bussiest International Airport & 3rd Bussiest In The World!
PA110 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1966 posts, RR: 25 Reply 23, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5423 times:
The Long Way Home, by Ed Dover. The story of the crew of Pan Am's Pacific Clipper enroute to New Zealand from SFO at the start of WW2. An amazing tale of getting one of those beautiful B314 flying boats back home by flying completely around the world.