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Good Reading: Any Aviation Books out there?

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Well-known member
Jul 27, 2005
I'd love to find some good books to read about the industry: true accounts, funny, life at various airlines...all of the above? I just finished "Nuts: the Southwest Airlines Story" and it was great. Anything you can think of that were just hard to put down?

So if there are any other titles out there you can recommend, please do.

Flight of Passage by Rinker Buck
North Star Over My Shoulder by Bob Buck
Boyd by Rober Coram
Yeager by Chuck Yeager
War For the Hell of It: A Fighter Pilot's View of Vietnam by Ed Cobleigh
Fate is the Hunter by Ernest Gann
I highly recommend "Trafficking: The Boom and Bust of the Air America Cocaine Ring" by Berkeley Rice

Publishers Editorial Review:
From 1980 to 1984, pilots for a Scranton, Pa., aircraft company flew more than $2 billion's worth of cocaine from Colombia to the U.S., earning an estimated $40 million. The freight company was named Air America, conjuring up images of the CIA's Vietnam-era front in Southeast Asia, and leading many to believe that the outfit was affiliated with the government. The pilots, products of upper-middle-class families and college educations, were apprehended when in 1984 one of them, Peter Cooper, became a Drug Enforcement Agency informant. Rice is particularly effective in his analysis of motives--greed, he asserts, and also a sense of romance and adventure. Alarmingly, the author maintains that few of the pilots feel remorse; if anything, they are indignant at being imprisoned with "criminals."
Beryl Markham's 'West With the Night'. She was the first person (male or female) to fly solo, against the prevailing winds, across the Atlantic ocean. It is the best book I have ever read, aviation or not. There is some discrepancy on whether or not Beryl wrote it herself, but either way it is amazingly written.

This is a letter written about it to maxwell perkins....
"Did you read Beryl Markham's book, West with the Night? I knew her fairly well in Africa and never would have suspected that she could and would put pen to paper except to write in her flyer's log book. As it is, she has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer. I felt that I was simply a carpenter with words, picking up whatever was furnished on the job and nailing them together and sometimes making an okay pig pen. But (she) can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves writers. The only parts of it that I know about personally, on account of having been there at the time and heard other people's stories, are absolutely true...I wish you would get it and read it because it is really a bloody wonderful book."

I am not usually one who cares about reviews on the back of books, but that was a letter to Mr. perkins written by Ernest Hemingway.
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User997 said:
I highly recommend "Trafficking: The Boom and Bust of the Air America Cocaine Ring" by Berkeley Rick

I'll second the above book.


"Forever Flying" Bob Hoover's Autobiography
"Moondog's Academy of the Air and other Disasters" by Peter Fusco
The others above have some great examples, here are a few of my favorites......

Flying the Line vols I and II.
Hard Landings.
Baa Baa Black Sheep
The Right Stuff.
Four Strings said:
"Da Nang Diary" Tom Yarborough. One of my favorites.


That is a good read. For others, just go to my website. www.bdkingpress.com

Out of these books, THE LEFT SEAT addresses the airline industry during the late 40's and early 50's. BY THE SEAT OF MY PANTS goes even farther back, to the days of airmail.

Amazon carries these books, but from a website order, I pay shipping and handling for two or more books.


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