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The Thinking Pilot's Flight Manual: Or, How to Survive Flying Little Airplanes and Have a Ball Doing It Paperback – January 20, 2012
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From the Back Cover
In a provocative and sometimes controversial style, this guide starts where standard-issue flight training manuals leave off. The Thinking Pilot guides you deeply into topics that weren't taught in flight training-everything from how to really do a preflight, through keeping your passengers happy, scud running, precautionary landings, and how to survive a crash. It includes a detailed introduction to flying floats, skis, aerobatics, and classic airplanes; probes some of aviation's dirty little secrets, explodes myths, and presents the best, most succinct guide to flying tailwheel airplanes ever written.
About the Author
Rick Durden was once described as aviation's Renaissance Man. He is an Airline Transport-rated pilot with experience in some 200 types of airplanes, a practicing aviation attorney who has been involved in hundreds of aircraft accident cases, writer, aviation magazine editor, safety counselor, flight instructor, volunteer pilot in remote areas of the U.S. and Central America, and has been the executive director of a nonprofit conservation organization making use of aircraft and volunteer pilots throughout much of North America.
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Well, thank goodness that Mr. Durden wrote this book. I had an excellent CFI, but it's impossible to cover every topic when it comes to flying light aircraft in a part 61 program. Durden's philosophy can be summed up by the title of his book with the operative word being "thinking." I took seriously the adage that a student pilot should spend 3-4 hours studying and preparing for each hour of flight instruction. Think about what you're going to do, go do it and be ready to adapt, and then think about what you did and could improve. Be prepared.
Durden picks up where the PHAK and AFH leave off. All the the stuff that is "by the book" but isn't necessarily in the book. The sections on crashworthiness, weather and "it's ok" are priceless. Durden provides plenty of anecdotes and I'm certain that the advice he provides will prevent me from making the same mistakes that others have.
Highly recommended and looking forward to reading Volume 2.
On some matters Rick Durden simply doesn't pull any punches - Flying into Oshkosh unprepared being one. I'm 100% with him on this particular chapter having got cut off on final at Oshkosh this year by an aircraft that wasn't talking to ANYONE - even the tower who I heard murmur "WTF?"
Ever wondered what it is like to fly in a balloon - hear Rick's magical, peaceful account and get the balloonist's perspective so you better understand their next move.
Scared of paperwork? Prefer to die rather than declare an emergency? Hear Rick explain why there is extremely unlikely to be ANY paperwork coupled to a real world account from a pilot who took Rick's advice - declared - and turned out to be VERY glad he did.
Some things pilots do are simply not acceptable and some things pilots USED to do are no longer acceptable as the world changes around us. Rick Durden's quiet humor catches you off guard as he explains why in with the extremely good sense offered in this "real world" approach to flying.
In addition to recommending this book to pilot friends, I have purchased several extra copies to pass along.
If you are considering the purchase of Vol 2 but have not already read Vol 1, add it to your purchase. I do not think that you will be disappointed.
This is a book for the average private ticket pilot, the one who prefers a grass runway to a regional towered one. This is a book written for the people who have a passion for flight and started learning to fly in order to do just that: flying. Not sitting in some bus with wings attached pushing a few buttons. This is a book for pilots who tend to fly slightly less than new airplanes (Cessna 172's, 150's, Piper cubs, ...) rather than jets or turboprops.
Above all, its practical, fun to read and a great way to keep your flying fun and safe!