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5 Books to Inspire Those Wanting to Learn How to Fly

161 views | Last updated on May 08, 2021 by Senne Vandenputte

As a pilot, we often read with the purpose of gaining knowledge. About flying in general, aircraft systems, regulations, or other important aspects of flying.

But sometimes, all we need is a little inspiration. Whether it’s to start our journey in aviation, or persevere in our journey when things get rough and we lose some of our initial motivation.

Here are some must-read books to inspire those wanting to learn how to fly, or those just looking for that little extra motivation or inspiration.

1. Night Flight, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

In this gripping novel, Saint-Exupéry tells about the brave men who piloted night mail planes from Patagonia, Chile, and Paraguay to Argentina in the early days of commercial aviation.

ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY, the “Winged Poet,” was born in Lyon, France, in 1900. A pilot at twenty-six, he was a pioneer of commercial aviation and flew in the Spanish Civil War and World War II. In 1944, while flying a reconnaissance mission for his French air squadron, he disappeared over the Mediterranean.

$10.61 $13.99

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2. The Flying Life: stories for the aviation soul, by Lauran Paine Jr.

The collected stories of EAA “Sport Aviation” columnist Lauran Paine Jr. This is aviation from the heart.

“For many years I have enjoyed Lauran Paine’s column, and so I was interested in reading his book, Flying Life. I knew early on that it was a compliation of his earlier writings. His style and delivery, with choice of words, makes for an easy and entertaining experience. Of special feeling are the chapters describing why those of us who drive small airplanes, are thoroughly captured in the activity. How do we explain to “civilians” why we like to get into our homebuilt, or a manufactured two or 4 place plane and just take-off? Even with his years of background, first in the military and then as an airline pilot, Paine is still in touch with the thrill of getting into his RV and just going for a ride at sunset.” – Ralph Stephenson (Amazon review)

$14.95

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3. The Next Hour: The Most Important Hour in Your Logbook, by Richard L. Collins

The author shares his personal experience, enriching it with real-life examples, to illustrate the key points of safe flight and to make practical applications for pilots how to manage the risks.

$7.99

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4. Because I Fly: A Collection of Aviation Poetry

This book is the most complete, up-to-date collection of aviation poetry ever published. Its sole purpose is to consolidate all of the best in aviation poetry and inspirational verse. Helmut Reda examined over 115 books and magazines in the United States, England, Canada, France, and Australia. He also investigated over 42,500 hits on the Internet. From his exhaustive research, 170 poems were selected covering the period between 1869 and 2001.

$22.00

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5. Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart

Featured in the upcoming National Geographic documentary, Expedition Amelia! This is a critically acclaimed look at the life, disappearance, and search for the legendary aviatrix, Amelia Earhart.

On May 21, 1937, the most famous female pilot of all time, Amelia Earhart, set out to do the impossible: circumnavigate the globe at its widest point–27,000 miles in all. Just six weeks later, she disappeared over the Pacific Ocean. Eighty years have passed since that fateful flight; and still, Amelia’s plane has never been found. Discover the thrilling life and tragic end of America’s most famous trailblazing flier with this impeccably researched and masterfully crafted book from acclaimed author Candace Fleming.

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year!

$10.99

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6. FERRY PILOT: Nine Lives Over the North Atlantic

What could possibly go wrong? A LOT, if you spend 30 years flying small airplanes over the North Atlantic!

Join Kerry McCauley in the cockpit as he battles a fuel system malfunction over the Atlantic, a total electrical failure at night over the Sahara, being struck by lightning off the coast of Portugal and losing his engine in a thunderstorm. As an international ferry pilot Kerry’s almost insatiable, reckless quest for danger and adventure also led Kerry to put international smuggler and bank robber on his resume. Kerry’s skill, ingenuity and a heavy dose of luck were what allowed him to survive the countless mishaps, catastrophes and a nearly fatal plane crash. A true tail of adventure and courage, this harrowing account will have you on the edge of your seat wondering how Kerry is still alive. Ferry Pilot is destined to be a true aviation classic.

$8.99

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Looking for some more inspiration? Read our 26 quotes to inspire your aviation journey!

Want to discover some more interesting books to read about flying and aviation? Check out our guide with 10 books that will help every (student) pilot!


Recommended reading

10 Books That Will Help Every Student Pilot

Books are a student pilot's best friends. Here are the helpful ones worth reading!

The Best Aviation & Flying Quotes to Inspire Your Aviation Journey in 2021

"The pilot who teaches himself has a fool for a student."


Do you have any questions, suggestions or remarks about this guide? Let us know!