Choosing the right book is a dilemma for a beginner pilot in flight training.
There are hundreds of books for student pilots. Only studying the appropriate book can build you as an excellent pilot. The books I mentioned in this article will aid in flight training, FAA knowledge test, and your check-ride.
I shared the top five beginner pilot books, and studying any one of them will take you close to getting your private pilot license.
Many websites share a list of books for beginner pilots or student pilots, but they rarely say why a book is essential for student pilots; instead, they talk about the book’s author and history.
Hence, I listed the books in this article, explaining:
- How easily can a beginner pilot understand the book’s language?
- Why a book is essential for student pilots to pass the PPL knowledge test and check-ride;
- Is a particular book a must-buy for student pilots;
- In which phase of flight training, any specific book will benefit the most;
The first book I want every beginner pilot to have on their shelf is Rod Machado.
Private Pilot Handbook by Rod Machado.
Rod Machado is a veteran flight instructor and gained popularity for teaching in a clear, understandable language.
For beginner pilots, aeronautical knowledge is overwhelming, and remembering various subjects can be challenging.
Thus, a student pilot must understand the subjects.
Similarly, the ground school for student pilots is accelerated, and it is better to learn technical methods.
Rod Machado’s private pilot handbook has at least two pictures or illustrations on each page to describe a topic transparently.
The author took his time to write this book for beginner pilots.
And the author added unique techniques that allow student pilots not to forget a topic even if they want to.
Is this book essential for student pilots?
Aviation studies and aeronautical knowledge is complicated in the beginning. Thus many students lose interest in studying. Yet, Rod Machado keeps students engaged with his humor while preparing for their FAA knowledge test.
Typically, student pilots get the flying hours, but they procrastinate in taking the private pilot knowledge exam.
Why do they procrastinate?
Students fear they may fail the FAA knowledge test.
As a result, it takes almost a year for many student pilots to prepare for the FAA knowledge test and get their private pilot license.
A good book can play an excellent role in boosting your confidence.
The Private Pilot Handbook by Rod Machado has more than what you require to pass the private pilot exam in FAA.
Why every beginner pilot needs this book?
This book is for beginner pilots, but any pilot can read it at any stage of their flight training.
This book has all the fundamentals of aeronautical knowledge, an introduction to aviation, and an excellent refresher book for pilots at any stage.
But mostly, this book is essential for beginner pilots. Student pilots preparing for the private pilot knowledge test only need one book.
This book has everything you need to learn for the knowledge test in the shortest possible time.
Be ready for any questions in the FAA knowledge test or by your check-pilot.
“How to fly an airplane handbook” by Rod Machado.
It may sound weird that I suggest the first two books by Rod Machado.
For a beginner pilot willing to be good at flying an airplane, I suggest either of these two books:
- How to fly an airplane handbook by Rod Machado;
- Airplane flying handbook by ASA.
The airplane flying handbook by ASA has always been my favorite book for flight training. This is an excellent book for learning basic maneuvers of aircraft.
However, now I suggest student pilots buy: The how to fly an airplane handbook by Rod Machado.
As always, Rod Machado uses transparent language, and explanation is on a different level. I believe Rod Machado’s flying handbook is superior to the book by ASA in various ways.
Rod Machado explained all the maneuvers in detail:
- What to do for a particular plot and why to do that;
- How the airplane will react when a student pilot does something wrong;
- How a student must respond if his input is not correct.
- Why an aircraft reacts in different manners;
- Which maneuver is suitable for tricky situations.
Rod Machado went into in-depth details about the aircraft and how the airplane reacts, and why it does like that. Unlike ASA only explained what a student pilot needs to do to control the plane.
Likewise, Rod Machado has tons of illustrations to explain how the airplane will behave to beginner pilots and why it will behave like that.
This book is not essential for passing the FAA knowledge test. But with the details on how to fly an airplane, you will be ready for your FAA check-ride.
Student pilots repeat the same mistakes in their flight training.
Therefore, it takes longer for beginner pilots to be ready for their first solo.
Study this book, implement the techniques and trust me, you will learn to operate and control an airplane in no time.
Get your first solo flight quicker, and improve your airplane flying skills.
This book will make a significant difference in your actual flight training.
Typically, it takes 30 hours for student pilots to get their first solo flight. As a result, student pilots fly more than the required 40 Hours for their private pilot license.
The national average for student pilots is to fly 50+ hours to get their private pilot license.
Therefore beginner pilots spend more money than they are supposed to.
Using this book, you will improve your flying skills and get several private pilot training endorsements within lesser hours.
Investing in a book like this before you begin flight training will save you money plus time.
Stick and Rudder by Wolfgang Langewiesche.
People say this book is the Bible of airplanes flying. As the name suggests, this book teaches The art of flying.
This book is not only meant for pilots but aviators. Can you see the difference?
Aviators are the ones who love going back to the sky again and again to experience new challenges because that’s what they love.
So as a beginner pilot, you will not lose anything by investing in this book. Buy this book once, and keep it forever.
Although many things in the book seem irrelevant in this age, you will know nothing is irrelevant while controlling the aircraft.
For student pilots, it’s a must-have.
It explains everything about flying an airplane and knowing how and why an aircraft responds to your input. Rod Machado’s “How to fly an airplane handbook” is similar to Stick and Rudder’s, but Rod Machado wrote his book elaborately with his twist.
You will also learn what you must not do while controlling the airplane and why it is best to avoid doing so.
Students pilots need this book to become better at flying.
Beginner pilots, regardless of their intentions:
- Whether to start flight training,
- Learning to fly an airplane;
- To improve their flying skills;
This book can help beginner pilots of fixed-wing airplanes or helicopter student pilots. Get this book at an early stage of your flight training, and you will not regret it.
Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge.
ASA is excellent at publishing books in straightforward language. I studied Jeppesen’s private pilot handbook when I was a student pilot.
No wonder the ASA’s handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge is a lot more understandable than Jeppesen’s. ASA’s manual of aeronautical knowledge is an excellent alternative to Rod Machado’s private pilot handbook.
Though it is not the best, it has all you need to know as a student pilot.
Similar to Rod Machado’s private pilot handbook, ASA’s handbook of aeronautical knowledge is in a straightforward language. However, this book failed to cover all topics elaborately.
ASA’s handbook is essential for beginner pilots, especially to study necessary materials to pass the FAA private pilot knowledge test.
You can order online or get PDF formats here.
After getting your private pilot license, you need to learn more advanced topics to become a better pilot regardless of your flying purpose. Fly with your friends and family for recreation but always keep learning as a pilot to become a safer pilot.
Acquiring more knowledge is crucial to becoming competent in the industry.
You will have to buy another book with the Pilot’s handbook of aeronautical knowledge for more advanced knowledge.
I like books by ASA because they are easy to understand and always on point.
Get a copy of this book if you are a student pilot or before you start your flight training.
Weather Flying by Robert N. Buck.
As a pilot, you will encounter adverse weather, and by studying this book, you will know how to fly in bad weather.
This book may not be necessary for a student pilot, but nothing is wrong with being ready.
In this book, you will learn:
- What kind of weather to avoid and what weather to expect en route.
For student pilots, reading this book can be tedious. The book is challenging to read, as there is no picture or illustrations. This book is like a novel by two pilots where they share their experiences of weather flying.
Yet, take your time to read this book.
You will be a better pilot in real life. This book has nothing much for passing your private pilot knowledge test.
This book is only about aviation weather. It is different from what you learn in other private pilot handbook meteorology chapters.
All aeronautical handbooks explain:
- The weather;
- Types of clouds;
- What kind of weather to avoid;
- Why adverse weather is dangerous, etc.
On the other hand, this book doesn’t discuss meteorological topics in-depth. This book talks about how to fly through challenging weather conditions.
Knowing how to fly through different weather and landing an airplane is crucial for becoming a safe pilot.
No one knows what you may encounter as a pilot. After reading this book, you will know what to expect and what kind of weather to avoid.
Beginner pilots in their private pilot training stage can sharpen their skills as pilots by reading this book.
This book tells you about the safe operations of an airplane in any weather condition.
This book is very relevant for weather flying in the United States today, as the author of this book experienced flight operations in the USA.
As a beginner pilot in general aviation, you must get this book as it is essential to learn “weather flying” for safe operations. Regardless, any pilot can buy this book and read this book several times during their flying career.
No matter at what stage of your flight training or your aviation career you are now, you can refer to this book repeatedly.
The only books that beginner pilot needs.
You can get a free trial of Weather Flying audiobook with audible.