I get a fair amount of e-mail and every now and then someone asks for permission to print parts of the website — no problem — and sometimes they want to know if they can find some of this stuff in printed form. I am trying to get all the good stuff into print, my grand plan here: Book Notes.
The second in the series is Advanced Flight: How Eddie Learned the Best Way to Learn. This book tells a story, from start to finish, about Eddie's progression from Boeing 707 copilot, to aircraft commander, to instructor pilot, on to flight examiner; and then again in the Boeing 747. In the Boeing 707 Eddie manages to learn the higher points of the profession, not really understanding how the learning took place. In the Boeing 747 the secrets are revealed to him. Each chapter begins with a part of that story and concludes with the more technical aspects of the flight lesson itself. That means there are three possible audiences:
- If you have only a minor interest in airplanes you could read just the story, I hope, and have a satisfying read.
- If you don't care about the story and just want the facts, procedures, and techniques, you can skip the story and go right to the flight lesson.
- If you really want to understand the flight lesson, I recommend you read the book from start to finish. I think after the narrative you will more easily grasp even the most technical of flight lessons.
Here's a sneak peek of what a flight lesson looks like from the second book: Flight Lessons: Situational Awareness.
The book is on sale right now at Amazon.com (Flight Lessons 2: Advanced Flight) in eBook ($9.99) and printed ($14.99) versions. Both are in full color.
So far the response has been very positive. As always, please let me know. (Click "Contact Eddie" below.)
Advanced Flight — What's Inside?
The first part of this book takes place in Hawaii, where Eddie completes the journey from copilot to the left seat, then to instructor, and then to flight examiner. There is a lot of learning going on. Eddie goes from a wet behind the ears first lieutenant copilot, to what he thought was a well seasoned flight examiner captain. He learned a lot, but he wasn't sure how all that happened. The second part of this book takes place in Omaha, where Eddie thinks he is about the undergo the same song, second verse. But he ends up learning how to learn. (And that was the best lesson of all.)
- Secrets. Eddie's introduction to the Boeing 707 and high bypass turbo fan jet engines. The flight lesson focus is on the principles of jet engine propulsion.
- Grasshopper. Eddie gains a better understanding of flying heavy jets by getting back to the aeronautical engineering that makes airplanes fly: the V-G diagram.
- Technique. Eddie learns that flying a big jet is more than applying memorized procedures and basic flight techniques from smaller airplanes, most notably with the problem of getting the airplane from en route altitudes back into the approach arena. The flight lesson covers descent math.
- Lieutenant Tutti Frutti. Eddie faces two cabin fires; the first was a false alarm, the second the real thing. The flight lesson covers cabin fire detection and fighting, and the best way to get the airplane on the ground in minimum time.
- Lefty. Eddie upgrades to the left seat for the first time. The flight lesson covers the secrets of flying from the left seat that few upgrade programs cover.
- Fly Safe. Eddie goes to the Air Force Flight Safety Officer Course, where he is trained to be an aircraft mishap investigator. He finds that his engineering background and operational flight experience made him perfectly prepared for all facets of the new job except one: pilot psychology. The flight lesson dives right into that topic.
- Pressure. Eddie's first trip as an aircraft commander, the "captain," with a new crew goes smoothly except for one thing: a rapid cabin depressurization. He handles that well but fumbles on the political front, turning his squadron commander into a sworn enemy. The flight lesson focus is on rapid depressurizations.
- Anticipate. Back in 1985 most Air Force "heavy" squadrons did a lot of training in airplanes and instructors were tasked with training unqualified pilots without the benefit of simulators. The traffic pattern tended to be very busy for these instructors and many simply were not up to the task. Eddie upgrades to instructor and finds out if he can make the grade.
- An Instructor's Notebook. Eddie's first tasking as an instructor pilot is to learn a completely new way of flying procedure turns and then to train his squadron mates. The flight lesson is just that: ICAO course reversals.
- Spindler's Gambit. Eddie flies to Shemya, Alaska for the first time. The trip requires close attention to an equal time point (ETP) and a point of safe return (PSR), because the island's runway is too short to give the airplane any divert options. The math is no problem, but he falls into the squadron commander's trap: sending Eddie to Alaska for good. The flight lesson covers the math behind ETPs and PSRs.
- Number Crunch. Eddie goes to the Air Force Instrument Instructor's Course and learns the secret of applying easy math to everyday instrument flight. The flight lesson is an engineer to pilot translation of the 60-to-1 technique.
- Asymmetric. Eddie's squadron almost loses an airplane after a poorly flown practice engine failure. He then has his third engine failure at V1, this time in the Boeing 707 taking off from Dallas, Love Field. Eddie and his fellow instructors come up with a safer way to deal with engine failures on takeoff.
- An Examiner's Notebook. Eddie's final job with the Boeing 707 is as the wing's chief of standardization and evaluation. One of many check rides witnessed a very good arc around-a-point instrument approach, but ended up taking out a senior squadron officer.
- Situational Awareness. Eddie is cited for exceptional situational awareness in the air, but gets sucker punched on the ground by a squadron commander determined to send him to an AWACS assignment. A last minute Hail Mary pass pays off, and Eddie gets orders to the Boeing 747. The flight lesson is all about situational awareness.
- A New Ball Game. Eddie is sent to United Airlines to get his Airline Transport Rating and Boeing 747 type rating. The airplane — systems, procedures, stick and rudder — is no problem. But Eddie reveals a glaring deficiency in his training: Crew Resource Management.
- Aim Point. Eddie is checked out in the new airplane and learns his squadron's aim point is coming up short when it comes to flying airplanes and getting promoted. The flight lesson uncovers the mystery between a pilot's aim point and the actual touchdown point of the airplane's landing gear.
- A Different Approach. Eddie learns why he was hired at such a young age into the Boeing 747; as well as how to circle the heavy airplane into some very small airports. The flight lesson is all about circling approaches.
- Eruption. Eddie upgrades to Boeing 747 instructor pilot and is immediately turned lose on what the squadron sees as an epidemic of Boeing 747's falling out of the sky after encountering volcanic ash.
- Going the Distance. This chapter covers two operational sorties. Eddie flies the first sortie by the operational book, but in violation of the rules of politics. He flies the second beyond what the book calls for, and as a result gets appointed as the Air Force's only Boeing 747 functional check pilot.
- Dysfunctional. The Air Force decides it has too many senior pilots and starts throwing out majors and lieutenant colonels. The Air Force decides is doesn't have enough junior pilots and starts throwing money at the captains. Eddie is promoted to Major and sent to senior officer school, out of the cockpit. Is this the end of Eddie's flying career? The flight lesson is all about functional check flights.
Print Version or eBook?
I priced each book at the minimum level the publisher would allow. For an eBook that ends up being $9.99 and because the printed book is all color and 220 pages, that ended up being $14.99. So there is that, the print book will cost you another five dollars. So, that aside:
Both versions contain the same material but the print version has a few more pictures. The eBook version is right at the maximum allowed in size and another picture would have put it over the limit.
I suppose it is easier to search for things in the electronic version but the print version does have an index. You can carry the eBook wherever you carry your electronic device. (It is published for the Kindle but Kindle readers are available for your iPad, your PC, your MacBook, just about everything.) The print version isn't too hard to carry, though. It is published on 6" x 9" stock and is a half inch thick. I think it will look smart on any aviation library, especially as part of a five volume set.
So I can't answer this for you. Me? I bought both.
Where do I buy?
The publisher says "anywhere fine books are sold," but there is the matter of public interest. (This is a book for pilots, no doubt about it.) The book is available on Amazon.com right now, eBook and print.