What are we trying to do here?
Flying airplanes is challenging enough. My goal has always been to make the process more attainable by putting the information into a logical flow. The approach is, if it is easy enough for me to understand, then it should be easy enough for you. I try to put the most important information gleaned from thousands of pages of operating manual guidance and data into an understandable and organized outline format of around 50-60 pages per aircraft.
You can’t learn to fly from a book. But you can learn about specific aircraft systems, and some of the key things you need to know from someone who has been there and done that. I only write about aircraft I have flown and on which I have held a type rating. I’m not current on all of the airplanes I continue to document, but I was at one time on all of them. The data is kept up to date as needed on a regular basis.
Currency of Material
These books have been sold to and proofed by other pilots from the airline for whom I fly. The data is derived from books from that airline, which in turn relies on manufacturers to update their data. By the time I get it and you see it, it has been through several filters. For my airline, I update the publications monthly, at least. For the digital version, which will be available to the general flying public (and anyone interested) updates are expected to occur on an as needed basis, but no less than quarterly. In practice, the updates are generally once each month. The books are designed to be affordable enough that you can purchase one annually and be assured that it is will be kept reasonably current for your needs.
I don’t go into great detail on procedures, but instead focus on the aircraft systems. Books are laid out in the following general flow:
- Table of contents
- Aircraft Overhead and Center Console diagrams
- Emergency Immediate Action Steps
- Maneuvers Procedural Summary
- Normal Procedures General Knowledge
- Systems Chapters on each basic aircraft system
Source of Data
Books from which I derive the information generally are these:
- Quick Reference Handbook (for Emergency and Maneuvers sections)
- Operating Manual Volume I (For Limitations, Normal Procedures, and relevant procedural notes included with each aircraft system
- Operating Manual Volume II (For Systems Chapters detail, Aircraft Overhead and Center Console Diagrams)
I’m currently employed by a major airline. Pages referenced in the books are those found in the books provided by my airline. They don’t endorse the books, nor do the manufacturers. Purchasing the books is at your own risk, and they are not designed to replace any official documents provided by the manufacturers, the FAA or your employer.
These books represent my personal study notes, and I have used them for years as part of the process of preparing for training on new airplanes (writing the outlines as I gain the rating) and recurrence (refining and proofing the outlines continually.) The books generally go through anywhere from 1 to 5 years of proofing and use before publication.
If you fly for a different airline, your page references will be different. But they are retained in the version available to the general public as a guide to where the information may (or may not) be found in your respective airline manuals and in the manufacturer’s manuals. It is also a courtesy to leave them in for the use of the pilots who helped me build this business over the past 20 years. Without their assistance, this project could never have gotten off the ground!
Our first choice was to go with Kindle because of better interoperability between devices. Unfortunately, Kindle simply doesn’t have the formatting complexity needed to properly display and navigate through the material. With the latest Mac OS release, however, iBooks are now viewable on desktop and notebook platforms and are therefore much more cross-platform compatible. You can view your purchased books on any Apple device as of release of Mavericks OS 10.9. That is good news for our study guide customers!
What about all those Windows and Android Users?
We hear you. Unfortunately, the iBook and Apple folks don’t, and only make their iBook formatted books available on the Apple products. We are constantly looking for a way to reach into the Windows and Android worlds, but unfortunately don’t have a short term solution. Ideas are welcome!
I began flying at sixteen, and soloed for the first time three months after getting my driver’s license. My private license came at 18. Since then, I’ve flown over 20 different types of aircraft, from Cessna 150′s to high performance jet fighters to commercial airliners, and through that career have found myself drifting time and again into teaching and writing about how to learn aircraft systems and preparing for check rides, oral examinations, and simulator and flight checks. Amassing over 15,000 flight hours along the way, I’m hoping you will see a degree of professionalism and credibility as you look through the guides’ features.
We intend to add a gallery of photos I’ve taken that I’m hoping you will enjoy perusing. It’s just for fun, but a few of the really unique pictures are available for purchase in their original resolution. Others are available for free.
Who needs this site?
- Pilots learning the aircraft covered in these guides
- Pilots preparing for recurrence or upgrade
- Novice or aviation aficionados who just want to see what airline pilots need to know
- Anyone looking for a gift for that special pilot in their lives—surprise them with a gift that will enhance their professional qualifications!
We believe in giving back!
A portion of the proceeds from each book goes to support Kenya Kids Can! To learn more about this incredible opportunity to help, click below!