Best of the Web: Aviation books

With winter fast approaching, we have collected a few aviation related book reviews from various pilot blogs for this week’s Best of the Web. Pilots or would-be pilots who are grounded for the winter might want to consider reading these books while they wait for the spring thaw:

imageTogether We Fly: Voices from the DC-3. Scott Spangler, the blogger behind Jetwhine, has written a detailed review of Together We Fly: Voices from the DC-3. Scott wrote that Voices “subdivides more than 75 years of DC-3 history into 30 clear, concise, and evocative chapters that fill all but a handful of its 192 well illustrated pages.” He concluded that the book was a delightful surprise as it was full of intriguing new stories about the DC-3.

Tales of Timeless Wings. General Aviation News contributing writer Sparky Barnes Sargent has published “Tales of Timeless Wings,” a new book containing the stories of more than a dozen pilots who have devoted their lives to the preservation of aircraft that have been in their families for decades. In fact, many of these aircraft were built by family members and then passed down through the generations.

imageWalking on Air: The Aerial Adventures of Phoebe Omlie. The Winged Victory: Women in Aviation webzine has a book review of “Walking on Air: The Aerial Adventures of Phoebe Omlie.” Phoebe Fairgrave Omlie (1902-1975) was an important aviation pioneer and was once one of the most famous women in America with the press labeling her "second only to Amelia Earhart among America’s women pilots." She also became the first woman to hold an executive position in federal aeronautics.

Flying Tales. Larry Van Pelt (Colonel, USAF retired), a fighter pilot, combat pilot, test pilot and general aviator in many different aircraft types, was asked by his grandchildren to put all of his flying “tales” down on paper. Hence, he started writing one “flying tale” per week and before long, he had enough flying tales (100 of them) to compile into book appropriately named “Flying Tales.”

imageThe First Jet Pilot. Sylvia, the blogger behind the Fear of Landing blog, was recently reading “The First Jet Pilot.” The book is a historical biography about Captain Erich Warsitz, a German test-pilot in the 1930s and 1940s. Warsitz was later kidnapped in the American sector of Berlin by Russian soldiers and sentenced to 25 years hard labour in Siberia for refusing to cooperate with Russian jet and rocket research. After five years in Siberia, Warsitz returned to Germany and founded his own company, Maschinenfabrik Hilden.

Wings: A Novel of World War II Flygirls. Lynda, the Founder and Executive Director of Girls With Wings and the blogger behind Life on the Road as a Pilot, has written a review of the novel, “Wings: A Novel of World War II Flygirls.” Lynda noted that she believes the book stuck to the facts as far as the training WASP women underwent and their living conditions. But as with any novel, the author made sure plenty of drama was thrown in so that people would actually want to read it!

Zero 3 Bravo: Solo Across America in a Small Plane. And finally, Tracy, the blogger behind the Around the Pattern blog, has written about “Zero 3 Bravo: Solo Across America in a Small Plane.” In the book, the author writes about taking a 3-month leave of absence from her job and then flying her 1950 Luscombe 8F around the USA. Her starting and ending point was her home airport in Spring Valley, New York – roughly 35 miles north of New York City.

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One Response to Best of the Web: Aviation books

  1. Rob Delger December 15, 2011 at 21:54 #

    Good list, thank you. You might also consider a recent collection of stories about flying in the Amazon jungle called Memories of an Emerald World, by Michael Bleriot. ( I heard about it from my copilot and just read it on a three-day. Great writing, and it was good to drift off to the tropics while waiting in line on the ramp at La Guardia…

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