Best of the Web: Aviation books for summer reading

Pilots who are grounded or have some spare time for summer reading might want to check out a few of these books worth having on a summer aviation reading list:

Lost in Shangri La. Tracy, the blogger behind the Around the Pattern blog, has mentionedLost in Shangri-La” by Mitchell Zuckoff. The book is about a sightseeing trip over the jungle-covered mountains of Dutch New Guinea that ended in a crash above a valley with a large population of natives that was only recently discovered from the air. However, there appeared to be no navigable land routes in or out of the valley while some of the natives in it were believed to be cannibals. The book is the story of the survivors of the crash and their struggle to remain alive long enough to be rescued.

The Me 262 Stormbird: From the Pilots Who Flew, Fought, and Survived It. History buffs should also check out “The Me 262 Stormbird: From the Pilots Who Flew, Fought, and Survived It,” which gives the complete story of how the Stormbird came to be as told by the German aces who flew it. The Stormbird  entered combat in August 1944 and its performance so far exceeded that of Allied aircraft that USAAF General Carl Spaatz remarked that if greater numbers of them appeared, they could inflict heavy enough losses to force the cancellation of the Allied daylight bombing offensive. The book is available on

Jim McCartney: My Life in Flight. After being diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer, James F. McCartney teamed up with his sister Angela McCartney Miro to write a memoir on his aviation entitled “Jim McCartney: My Life in Flight.” The book covers McCartney’s  aviation career at four different airlines through deregulation, bankruptcies, contract negotiations and finally the mandatory retirement at age 60. Hence, the book gives a good idea about how the airline business works from the inside. AVweb also has a podcast interview with McCartney.

The Rogue Aviator: In the Back Alleys of Aviation. In another pilot memoir entitled “The Rogue Aviator: In the Back Alleys of Aviation,” Pilot “Ace Abbott” recalls his 36 year aviation career that included flights to 44 countries with 25 different employers. Ace Abbott had worked in South Florida flying the rich and famous in private-chartered Learjets with passengers that included sports figures to entertainment personalities to drug dealers.  For more information, visit

Captain. Todd McClamroch of the My Flight Blog has written a review of the latest novel from Thomas Block entitled “Captain” which features a retrofitted 767 as the crux of the story. It should be mentioned that Block spent 36 years as a commercial pilot flying for US Airways and since then he has combined his love of aviation and writing to become an author. You can learn more about Thomas Block and his books from his website.

WeatherWise — Forecasting and Nowcasting for General Aviation Pilots. TSGPress has published “WeatherWise — Forecasting and Nowcasting for General Aviation Pilots,” which is intended to give general aviation pilots a better understanding of the forces that generate various types of weather that a pilot might encounter. The book is available from Aircraft Spruce, Sporty’s and

Teaching Women to Fly: General Aviation Flight Instructor Communication Manual. Finally, Dr. Penny Hamilton, a Colorado writer and volunteer director of the Teaching Women to Fly Research Project, has recently been given a grant from the Wolf Aviation Fund to write an aviation textbook about teaching women to fly. The book is intended to be an “easy-to-read textbook for flight instructors with self-study exercises and case studies to increase communication skills.” For more information or for ideas or topics toy think the book should cover, visit

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One Response to Best of the Web: Aviation books for summer reading

  1. alessander June 25, 2012 at 10:05 #

    Found this great book on aviation's impact on the Middle East, its called "History in the Arab Skies" check it out on amazon. I also found a couple of good reviews on the publisher's site

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