Good flying books?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by RhinoDrvr, Jun 18, 2015.

  1. RhinoDrvr

    RhinoDrvr Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Messages:
    96
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    RhinoDrvr
    What good flying books can everyone here recommend? For reference, probably my favorite aviation related piece of literature is The Intruders by Stephen Coonts. Great book that captures the essence of Naval Aviation.

    Any others out there? I have found it tough to find another writer who really captures the feeling of flight like Coonts did in his early novels.
     
  2. Gucci Pilot

    Gucci Pilot Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2014
    Messages:
    2,045
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Gucci Pilot
    http://www.pilotsofamerica.com/forum/showthread.php?t=61478&highlight=books

    http://www.pilotsofamerica.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1545&highlight=aviation+novels

    Along with these, my recommendations:

    Operation Overflight - Francis Powers
    Yeager - his autobiography
    Fighter Pilot - memoirs of Robin Olds
    Masters of the Air - Donald Miller
    Flight of Passage - Rinker Buck
    The Spirit of St. Louis - Charles Lindbergh(reading this now)

    Being a military guy I figured you'd like the first four. Yeah mostly Air Force but still good reads.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2015
  3. woodchucker

    woodchucker Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2014
    Messages:
    633
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    woodchucker
    One of my favorites from WWII
    1) Battle of Midway

    I don't remember the names of the books, but also from WWII:
    2) A book about the Thunderbolts over Europe. Fascinating stories
    3) A book about flying Mosquitoes... also fascinating

    A book from a test pilot, and I could be wrong here, but I think it was by Scott Crossfield.
    4) Always Another Dawn

    And I remember reading a book about the development of passenger air travel. It included the accidents, and the humor. One story related how a pilot would empty a bucket of nuts and bolts down the passenger aisle, giving them the impression the plane was coming apart. I have no idea what the book was called, but it was a great read also.
     
  4. garyb

    garyb Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    Coeur d'Alene
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    garyb
    It was a good read (mostly), but now that I know what he's like, it no longer has any appeal.
     
    tspatrick likes this.
  5. Gucci Pilot

    Gucci Pilot Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2014
    Messages:
    2,045
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Gucci Pilot
    I can kinda see where you're coming from. While reading it he kinda rubbed me the wrong way.
     
  6. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    8,511
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Velocity173
    I generally read military non fiction. Some of the better ones:

    Flying Low- BK Bryans
    Red Ruppert Two- Jack Broughton
    Viper Pilot- Dan Hampton
    Centaur Flights- Richard Spalding
    Apache Sunrise- Jerome Boyle
    Chickenhawk- Robert Mason
    American Patriot- Bud Day
    DUSTOFF- Mike Novosel
     
  7. Rigged4Flight

    Rigged4Flight Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Messages:
    1,105
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Rigged4Flight
    excellent book. I highly recommend it.
     
    mscard88 likes this.
  8. GMascelli

    GMascelli En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,567
    Location:
    Ocean City, MD
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    GaryM
  9. Criitter7

    Criitter7 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    Messages:
    169
    Location:
    Ohio
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brian
    I enjoyed reading viper pilot. Wouldn't reccomend reading a few chapters then hop in a 172, leaves you a little disappointed.
     
  10. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    8,511
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Velocity173
    I liked it but there was definitely a bit of arrogance on the part of the author. Seemed to not like back seaters (WSO), staff aviators, or pretty much anyone who hasn't hung it out on the edge flying a single seat jet in combat. Part of me agrees with him but I also realize that without the support system of non flying personel, no one would get off the ground. I'm also with him on his views of unmanned aircraft being overrated.
     
  11. Busflyer

    Busflyer Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2013
    Messages:
    178
    Location:
    Mid Tenn
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Busflyer
    Moondog's Academy of the Air and Other Aviation Disasters
    By Peter Fusco. Great stories that will have you laughing out loud.
     
    Chip Sylverne likes this.
  12. Wingsofglass

    Wingsofglass Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    May 21, 2011
    Messages:
    281
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Wingsofglass
    Yup. I love this book.
     
  13. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    13,279
    Location:
    Denton, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Now offering reverse discounts.
  14. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    13,279
    Location:
    Denton, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Now offering reverse discounts.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2015
  15. oilburner

    oilburner Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2014
    Messages:
    235
    Location:
    Midland TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    oilburner
  16. Stewartb

    Stewartb En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2014
    Messages:
    4,186
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    stewartb
    Wager With the Wind. The best.
     
    EvilEagle likes this.
  17. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Messages:
    5,366
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pilawt
    Find a copy of Song of The Sky by Guy Murchie, published around 1954. Murchie, himself a WW2-era navigator, weaves aviation science, folklore, history, and philosophy into an unforgettable tapestry, with a poet's touch. Amazing book, highly recommended.
     
  18. 3393RP

    3393RP Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,312
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    3393RP
    Thud and Phantom pilot Ed Rasimus's autobiographies about his tours in Vietnam, When Thunder Rolled and Palace Cobra are good books. He also co-wrote Robin Old's autobiography.

    Rasimus flew over 250 missions during the Vietnam war.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2015
    EvilEagle and mscard88 like this.
  19. DavidWhite

    DavidWhite Final Approach

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Messages:
    6,167
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Grundle Brush
    That's my favorite book.
     
  20. Rigged4Flight

    Rigged4Flight Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Messages:
    1,105
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Rigged4Flight
    Thanks - just added it to my next amazon purchase. :yesnod:
     
  21. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    13,684
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Fearless Tower
    One of the worst (I don't think I ever finished it) was God is My Co-Pilot. Unlike most of the WWII auto-biographies, Scott just came across as a guy who was in it entirely for his own self-image.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2015
  22. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    13,684
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Fearless Tower
    If you like Naval Aviation, see if you can find a copy of The Flying Guns: Cockpit Record of a Naval Pilot from Pearl Harbor Through Midway, by Dickinson. It is out of print, but you can usually find a copy here and there on the web.

    He tells a very good first-hand account of the air war in the pacific from being caught in the air by the Japanese during the Pearl Harbor attack to the battle of Midway.
     
  23. Flyhound

    Flyhound Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    265
    Location:
    Washington State
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Flyhound
    I really liked "Chasing the Glory" by Michael Parfit and
    "No Parachute" by Arthur Gould - both available on Amazon

    The first is a travelogue of a flight across the US. The author flew 25,000 miles zig-zagging over America as he retraced Lindbergh's lap around the US to promote aviation. It is a wonderful peek at this fine land from above.

    The second is an account of what it was like to fly in WWI. Fighter pilots were not allowed to use parachutes because senior brass thought having the ability to bail out would reduce the willingness to fight aggressively. It is a sobering tale of a period in military aviation when pilots were inexperienced and when more were killed by the planes than by combat.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2015
  24. Gucci Pilot

    Gucci Pilot Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2014
    Messages:
    2,045
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Gucci Pilot
  25. wilkersk

    wilkersk Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    Messages:
    852
    Location:
    Puget Sound
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    KennyW
    Excellent book. Also, check out "My year as an Alaskan Bush Pilot".

    If you like WWII pilot non-fiction, check out:

    1) Aphrodite: desparate Mission
    2) The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2015
  26. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    8,511
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Velocity173
  27. jkaduk

    jkaduk Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,106
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    John Kaduk
    My favorite as well. Wish there were more like it.
     
  28. Seanaldinho

    Seanaldinho Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1,561
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pop Yankee
    I'll throw in one more, "In the Company of Eagles" its by Gann and focuses around a German WW1 pilot.
     
  29. DoubleD

    DoubleD Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    David
    Another vote for "A Higher Call". A lot of the book is about the war from the Luftwaffe perspective. Very interesting.

    Having said that, "Flight of Passage" is my favorite aviation book and one of my favorites of any genre. It's actually much more than a flying book. Many non-flying friends have enjoyed it.

    Of course, "Fate is the Hunter" is the classic aviation read.
     
  30. WakeNCAgent

    WakeNCAgent Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
    Messages:
    133
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Louis
    I love both history and aviation, so one I would recommend, in addition to anything from Ernest K Gann, would be , West with the Night It's a great autobiographical story told by a woman who was raised in colonial Africa and who pursued bush flying of all things in the 1920's and 30's. Definitely a woman ahead of her time and an impressively written book. I have listened to the green jacketed audio book at least three or four times and highly recommend it.
     
  31. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    39,482
    Location:
    Ft Lauderdale FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iHenning
    I never found one that flys well.
     
  32. Jimmy cooper

    Jimmy cooper En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Messages:
    4,327
    Location:
    Baltimore md.
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jim cooper
    Jacky Cochran flew quite well, including the F104. As for a book try " spitfire, a test pilots story" by jeffery quill. Fantastic pilot.
     
  33. Criitter7

    Criitter7 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    Messages:
    169
    Location:
    Ohio
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brian
    I've has some thrown at me that did pretty well in the flying department
     
  34. wilkersk

    wilkersk Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    Messages:
    852
    Location:
    Puget Sound
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    KennyW
    I just finished "The Wrong Stuff", by Truman Smith. It is a memoir by a WWII B-17 pilot, who flew 35 combat missions with the 385th bomb group.

    This is a very interesting book, with a lot of humor and some really neat stories.

    I highly recommend it!
     
    mscard88 likes this.
  35. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    7,150
    Location:
    NM or AK
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Billy
    Winging it! A compilation of stories about Jack Jefford flying in Alaska when bush pilots were men and pushed every limit possible.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2015
  36. kabluie

    kabluie Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2015
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Oregon Coast
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    kabluie
    There are several books in my library that are military flying that private pilots can relate to. "Over the Tree Tops," and "My Years in Vietnam," both about FAC pilots, are good reads. "Bury Us Upside Down," is about the Misty Pilots flying FAC missions in F-101's in Vietnam. "Naked in Da Nang," is a book about a FAC pilot who flew O-2's (Military version of the Cessna 337) in Vietnam.
    FAC is Forward Air Controller.

    "Flying Through Midnight," is a good read about flying C-121's over the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

    There's also "Viper 7," and "Eye of the Viper," which are about F-16 pilots.

    A book that I'm looking for is "Sled Driver," about flying the SR-71.
     
  37. petrolero

    petrolero Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    May 1, 2014
    Messages:
    2,399
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    petrolero
    "I Could Never be so Lucky Again" - Jimmy Doolittle

    John Glenn's autobiography

    The Right Stuff

    Apollo 13

    Air Vagabonds (about ferry pilots)
     
  38. weirdjim

    weirdjim En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Messages:
    3,219
    Location:
    Grass Valley, CA (KGOO)
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    weirdjim
  39. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller En-Route PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Messages:
    4,413
    Location:
    New York City
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Skip Miller
    The Wright Brothers by David McCullough.

    This story is surprisingly compelling even though you know the ending. Well, no you don't know the ending because it follows the brothers to the end of their lives. You are a pilot? Read the book.
     
    Chip Sylverne and mscard88 like this.
  40. Sundancer

    Sundancer Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2015
    Messages:
    1,798
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Sundog
    Thud Ridge

    The Lonely Sky, Bill Bridgeman - usually considered the best narrative on rocket plane flying.