Should I read the Airplane Flying Handbook or the Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge first?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by vkumar, Dec 10, 2017.

  1. vkumar

    vkumar Filing Flight Plan

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    I want to begin studying for my PPL, and people online recommended these two books two study and take notes from. Which one should I read first? Are the any chapters which are vital and must be read in either of them? What is the difference between the two?
     
  2. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Any reason not to read both cover to cover? ;) (Says your instructor with a raised eyebrow and a grin...)
     
  3. Doug F

    Doug F Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm toward the end of my SP journey. My take is that it depends on what you are looking for.

    If you want to prep for the FAA written, get a Gleim manual and work the heck out of it. If you're signed up for something like the King School 'ground school', they provide dummy written exams...take them a lot as you get close to taking your test. I believe they also have both books available for download.

    If you just want to learn, I'm not sure how much it matters which one you read. Honestly, I have both and have only skimmed them. I treat them more as reference books if I need to look up something specific.

    YMMV.

    Also, the Airplane Flying book is all about...flying airplanes; takeoff, landing, zooming around. The Pilot's Handbook is all about the technical stuff that goes along with flying; instruments, weather, aerodynamics, decision making, etc. Together they cover all the stuff you need to know to be able to fly safely.
    Don't forget the FAR/AIM...
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
  4. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Either one is fine to start with. Why not read both at the same time?
     
  5. eman1200

    eman1200 Final Approach

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    yeah, either one
     
  6. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    I would say AFH first because it is easier to read. Also, the material will help you from Lesson 0 whereas the PHAK is mainly about the theoretical knowledge you need for the knowledge and practical tests.
     
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  7. mscard88

    mscard88 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    They're both good books, both to read cover to cover, or as a reference. There's a bunch of other texts out there also from many other commercial providers, some just as thorough as the gov't books, some even better. Big advantage is these two books are on faa.gov and free to view and/or download. Your choice! Just read something and don't just prepare for the written test. Better if you understand the questions. A ton of stuff out there these days, especially with the internet.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  8. Pnwannabe2

    Pnwannabe2 Pre-Flight

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    You’ll become intimate with both of them. I tried to read them but found the information stuck better with some context. When going through ground school, I would consult the relevant chapter(s) after being introduced to a topic. The weather stuff was particularly over my head until I got further along, then it made more sense on the second read.

    If you run into something that you struggle with, tab it so you can ask your CFI. Also, those books are official FAA publications so you can bring them to your checkride (tabbed) in case you need to look something up.

    The PHAK is more general theory (aerodynamics, weather, etc). The AFH is practical (maneuvers, landings, etc).

    Finally, if you don’t know, they are available online for free in pdf format. You’ll need a lot of paper, but you could print them yourself.

    https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/airplane_handbook/

    https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/phak/
     
  9. Half Fast

    Half Fast Pattern Altitude

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    I suggest reading the PHAK first as it provides the fundamental theory and background and may help you understand the AFH better, but it doesn't really matter much. You'll find yourself referring back and forth to both of them regularly.

    Just dedicate a weekend and a pound of coffee to reading and studying both, and plan to refer to them often as you progress with actual flight lessons.
     
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  10. N659HB

    N659HB Pattern Altitude

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    Yes.

    At least the e-versions are free.
     
  11. N659HB

    N659HB Pattern Altitude

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    BTW, pick up a copy of "Stick and Rudder" while you're at it.
     
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  12. tinerj

    tinerj Cleared for Takeoff

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    Great books if you have trouble sleeping.

    Until you realize how much an airman should know, and then they'll keep you up at night.

    FAR/AIM is what I read first, starting with AIM.
     
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  13. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude

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    AFH will sink in better as you start to fly. No reason to not read it twice though. PHAK is good to start with in my opinion.
     
  14. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route

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    Your tax dollars pay for dozens of FAA scribes who do nothing all day but write books for pilots.

    www.faa.gov/training_testing/training/

    If the subject is aviation-related, some poor shlub has written an FAA publication about it. Just understand that learning material with which to pass the written exam has little to do with accumulating the knowledge you will need as a pilot...we're all still learning, every day.

    Bob Gardner
     
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  15. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude

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  16. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Line Up and Wait

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    I'd recommend the PHAK first since you're not flying yet.

    If you actually do read the PHAK and AFH you'll be way ahead of most students.
     
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  17. Ravioli

    Ravioli En-Route

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    Hello. Syllabus boy here again.

    Have you done an intro flight and met a CFI to use? If so, ask for a copy of his syllabus and read the topics in the order they will be covering them.

    If the syllabus references chapters from a particular text is will be easy enough to find the Table of Contents for that text and then adapt to PHAK and AFH chapters.

    Of course, you'll want to buy the text the CFI is gearing to, but the free resources are actually worth more than the price. [Doesn't happen often these days]
     
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  18. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

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    Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge incorporates much of what is in the Flying Handbook. I read the PHAK first but I read them both back to back. I lived with those books for a few months.
     
  19. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Line Up and Wait

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    And now you know the answers to (or at least know where to go to find them) many of the questions most GA pilots will answer with, "well, my CFI told me..."

    Read through the AIM (skipping the IFR stuff if not instrument rated) and you'll know the answers to almost all of them!
     
  20. CJ Rader

    CJ Rader Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm reading them both at the same time, along with a few other books. I pre-emptively cover the information that the CFI is going to go over.
     
  21. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    AFH has chapters on transitioning to complex, tailwheel, mult, turbine, LSA, etc. that you could skip for now. But, oddly, it does not have a section on transitioning to a nosewheel.
     
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  22. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Or from an F-4 to a Bird Dog. A very old CAP instructor I know said that was interesting to watch... :)
     
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  23. mscard88

    mscard88 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    You could ask @Shepherd about it. He seems to have transitioned fine.
     
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  24. vkumar

    vkumar Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks for the reply. I did have an intro lesson with a CFI, and I'll email him and ask for his syllabus when I have time.
     
  25. LongRoadBob

    LongRoadBob Line Up and Wait

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    I wrote a pretty long reply on your post asking about ground school. Thankfully...I can be a lot shorter here.

    For me, it just made sesnse to read handbook on aeronautical knowledge first. I was using it to figure out also what my ground school Norwegian textbooks were meaning when I was not sure about translation.

    But still, it is the basis of how one flys. In the Student Pilots Flight Manual it seemed to me they assumed some knowledge of flight that is found in the other book. But of course, I sneaked peeks in there too. Just for me anyway I felt it only made sense to learn the principles of flight, how instruments work, their idiosyncrasies, etc. before learning how to fly.

    Another thing I REALLY suggest. Get a copy of "Stick and Rudder". I read it before I even did my discovery flight. It is very helpful and straightforward, well written. It helps.

    I also forgot to mention in the long post in ground school....I started out trying to do ground school and flying lessons at the same time. After about eleven flight hours I realized I just had to get the ground school out of the way first (here in Norway, you cannot solo until you have taken the exams and I was nearing solo, at least it heard that) and for me anyway, I couldn't do both at the same time as after each flight you really want to digest what you did go over mistakes, let things sink in, etc. I at least couldn't handle that while also learning al these new concepts, but...I am glad I got some flying in. It made the theory make more sense.

    Good luck!
     
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