Top 10 Airways Aviation Books – Airways Magazine

DALLAS – The best aviation books to read to become a pilot can vary depending on your reading preferences. Although guides and manuals are always necessary, there are other aviation publications that can help you along the way.

What you need to learn to become a pilot will vary depending on the type of pilot you want to be. Professional pilots will need to complete two main areas: physics and math. Knowing the ins and outs of each aircraft you fly is necessary for a private pilot certificate.

From basic textbooks to memoirs and biographies, your next AV read should keep you captivated from the first page to the last chapter. Let’s take a look at some of the best possibilities.

Photo by Rafael Cosquiere on

Staff and Rudder: An Explanation of the Art of Flying

The fundamentals of flight have not changed in the nearly 80 years since this book was created. It exemplifies the practice of flight as an art form. Wolfgang Langewiesche wants those interested in aviation to understand what happens to pilots while they fly; it is therefore a fantastic introduction for those looking to improve their flight.

This book explains a wide range of accurate descriptions of the phases of flight, and Langewiesche does so in language so that everyone can understand what pilots are actually accomplishing in the cockpit. This entertaining and informative book can benefit both new and experienced pilots.

plane silhouette under cloudy sky
Photo by Nur Andi Ravsanjani Gusma on

Weather Flying

Robert Buck is an experienced pilot who wanted to help other pilots understand the weather they encounter in the air. Dynamic weather conditions can change throughout the flight, and this book will teach you how to handle these changes safely.

When traveling in all weathers, protect yourself and your passengers while remaining confident. This FAA-recommended book can help pilots at any point in their career.

Boeing 777-9x folding wingtip. Photo: Boeing

fly wing

Fly the Wing is essential reading for anyone considering a career as a professional pilot. It’s a wonderful tool that any pilot can use to help with their training. Ideas and suggestions maintain the conversational approach of this easy-to-read book.

When you finish this book, you will have a better understanding of what it takes to be a professional pilot.

two pilots at the controls of an airplane
Photo by Kelly L on

The Thinking Pilot’s Flight Manual

Do you want to dive a little deeper into the world of aviation? After completing your flight training, the Thinking Pilot’s Flight Handbook is one of the best aviation publications you can read. When you have this option at your disposal, satisfying your passengers is simple.

Get the information you need in more areas of aviation. Rick Durden, an experienced aviation law teacher, tackles common aviation myths in this excellent read. If you liked the previous volume, The Thinking Pilot’s Flight Manual: Volume 2 is much better.

Image: FAA

Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge

This guide, published by the FAA, lays the foundation for the knowledge required to obtain a private or commercial pilot license. The manual, abbreviated PHAK, includes all the subjects you need to know thoroughly to pass the aeronautical knowledge component of the knowledge exam and the practical exam, or check ride.

This book covers everything from flight equipment to weather theory, aerodynamics, aircraft systems, airports and navigation.

The flight crew. Photo: Lorenzo Giacobbo/airways

The next hour

In this book, former FLYING editor Richard Collins tackles the seriousness of flying with the right mindset. Navigating any difficult circumstance in the air is the mark of being a skilled pilot, so Collins helps you prepare as much as possible by reading the anecdotes and practical advice Collins gives from a lifetime of flying .

The first-hand knowledge in this book is unmatched for pilots at every stage of their aviation career. Collins’ latest book also recalls the tale of when he recognized it was time to stop flying as a captain, which is a fantastic lesson for all pilots.

Wright Brothers. Photo: public domain

The Wright Brothers

David McCullough, the famous biographer, takes a long look at one of the most well-known but often misunderstood group of brothers to the world outside of aviation. If you want to learn more about the first powered flight of an airplane, this is one of the greatest aviation books to read, whether you’re a pilot or an aviation fan.

McCullough delves into fresh source material to piece together the story of the Wright brothers and their journey to the maiden flight in Kill Devil Hills. It’s hard not to admire their determination, especially considering the dangers they faced in developing a functional heavier-than-air aircraft.

Ernest K. Gann writing workshop. Photo: By Pi3.124 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Fate is the Hunter: Memoirs of a Pilot

Ernest Gann’s stories are unique because he was a fighter pilot as well as an early commercial pilot. Commercial aviation has come a long way, but Gann lets you experience what it was like to fly in the 1930s. His vocabulary conjures up the sights and sounds of early airliners such as the Douglas DC-3.

Pilots aren’t the only ones who enjoy Fate is the Hunter, and although it’s one pilot’s memoir, its simple language appeals to everyone.

Photo: Marrit Gorter

Fly Girls: How five daring women defied odds and made aviation history

You don’t have to be a woman or an aviation enthusiast to appreciate what these women went through to get to the skies. These women were unafraid to speak out in a male-dominated industry and they helped ensure that the women who followed them could fully explore their potential in aviation and as pilots.

Among the stories are those of Florence Klingensmith, Ruth Elder, Amelia Earhart, Ruth Nichols and Louise Thaden, who excelled in piloting and then transferred their skills to other areas of aviation.

Five Mexican pilots who attended Moissant Aviation School, seen here in 1914. Left to right: Alberto Salinas Carranza, Gustavo Salinas Camiña, Juan Pablo Aldasoro Suárez, Horacio Ruiz Gaviño, Eduardo Aldasoro Suárez. Photo: Creyes – Personal work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Wings: a history of aviation, from kites to the space age

Tom Crouch, Curator Emeritus of the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, walks you through the lives of some of aviation’s greatest pilots and more. Without their contributions, aviation would not be what it is today. It beautifully presents the stories of amateurs and specialists, leaving you with a clear idea of ​​how far you’ve come.

We think these titles are great reads, packed with relevant information and stories that anyone looking for aviation books would find worthy of their time.

Do you have any other books not mentioned in this list that we missed? Be sure to let us know on our social media channels!

Featured Image: Qatar Airways. List originally compiled by

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