The best books about flying, flight training, and working as a pilot

Vesa Turpeinen Author Of Learn to Fly and Become a Pilot!: The Ultimate Guide for Determining Your Capabilities of Becoming a Professional Pilot and Getting Started with Flight Training
By Vesa Turpeinen

Who am I?

I have been involved in aviation all my adult life as a pilot and a flight instructor. I am also an avid reader, and I like to read books written by my fellow aviators. I find books written by pilots exciting because of the similar experiences we all share in the industry. All the books that I recommend are very accessible for any reader without previous aviation knowledge; in fact, I think you will find these books even more fascinating as they will open your eyes to the wonderful world of aviation!


I wrote...

Learn to Fly and Become a Pilot!: The Ultimate Guide for Determining Your Capabilities of Becoming a Professional Pilot and Getting Started with Flight Training

By Vesa Turpeinen,

Book cover of Learn to Fly and Become a Pilot!: The Ultimate Guide for Determining Your Capabilities of Becoming a Professional Pilot and Getting Started with Flight Training

What is my book about?

Learn to Fly and Become a Pilot! introduces readers to a non-fiction aviation series, The Pilot Career Series, by Vesa Turpeinen, packed with information and guidance for readers with the dream of flying. The author, an experienced pilot and a pilot instructor for a reputable institution gives readers the guidance they need to discern and make choices when it comes to taking lessons in flying, choosing the right flight school, and becoming a professional pilot.

In this book, readers learn about the adventure of flying, from small piston airplanes to large passenger transport aircraft, and the wonderful benefits of being a pilot. Whether the reader wants this information for themselves, their child, or a loved one, this book has a lot to offer.

The books I picked & why

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Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters

By Chesley B. Sullenberger, Jeffrey Zaslow,

Book cover of Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters

Why this book?

Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger is one of the most well-known aviators in recent history. He was made famous by an extremely dangerous situation that he handled exceptionally well. This book is not just about the “Miracle on Hudson” incident; this is a biography about Captain Sully, how he became a pilot, and how decades of flying prepared him for this one single moment. It’s an inspirational book for anyone to read.


CFI! the Book: A Satirical Aviation Comedy

By Alex Stone,

Book cover of CFI! the Book: A Satirical Aviation Comedy

Why this book?

CFI is short for a Certified Flight Instructor. As a former flight instructor and a chief flight instructor of a major flight school, I found this book very comical to read; just be aware, it’s a comedy and not to be taken seriously! This book is written by a former flight instructor who shares his stories that many flight instructors can relate to; being underpaid, flying with challenging students, and dealing with bad weather. While it is loosely based on actual events, read it for entertainment, not for factual information about flight training! 


Ferry Pilot: Nine Lives Over the North Atlantic

By Kerry McCauley,

Book cover of Ferry Pilot: Nine Lives Over the North Atlantic

Why this book?

Most people associate pilot jobs with working for airlines and wearing a uniform. Many people think about flying as similar to driving busses while, in fact, it’s far from it. Working as a ferry pilot can be one of the most exciting jobs on the planet! Ferry pilots get to fly countless different types of airplanes worldwide and face adventures like no one else. This book may not introduce you to the best decision-making by pilots, but it indeed introduces you to a different type of flying.


The Learjet Diaries

By Greg Madonna,

Book cover of The Learjet Diaries

Why this book?

The Learjet Diaries is a book that I can relate to very well, and I could see myself writing a similar book. While I have never flown Learjets, I fly corporate airplanes built by the same manufacturer, and I have had similar experiences flying jets around the world. The author describes the transition from flying small piston planes to flying fast jet aircraft very nicely. Anyone interested in flying and private jets is sure to enjoy this exciting story of a coming of age. 


Memories from My Logbook: A Bush Pilot's Story

By Lynn Wyatt,

Book cover of Memories from My Logbook: A Bush Pilot's Story

Why this book?

I have been to Alaska many times as Anchorage is one of the main fuel stops flying from Asia to the United States. It’s always fascinating to see so many small airplanes filling the skies there. It’s also fascinating to see so many planes on floats; those are the planes that can land in the lakes and rivers in remote areas. So I found this collection of stories an exciting introduction to bush flying in the Alaskan wilderness.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Wood, Wire, Wings: Emma Lilian Todd Invents an Airplane, Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot, and Falling if you like this list.