August 19, 2014
By Ian J. Twombly
It’s not often we have the opportunity to get inside the mind of a master flight instructor. But with Rod Machado’s new book that’s exactly what we get.
Rod Machado’s How to Fly an Airplane Handbook is part maneuvers manual, part theory on flight. The AOPA Pilot and Flight Training columnist said he wanted to give both the why of flying and the how to do it. “There are books that talk about flying airplanes,” he said, “but they don’t talk much about the actual technique.” To that end, reading Machado’s handbook is like taking a lesson. With landings, for example, he goes beyond describing how the aerodynamics work to discuss exactly where to look and why. With steep turns, he describes the visual references and how they change with left and right turns. “It’s the advice I give when I teach,” he said.
The book is full of little gems like this that pilots normally only get from the best instructors in a one-on-one lesson. Machado spent more than three years writing and illustrating the book, which is punctuated with his trademark humor.
It’s available in print, digital, and as an audiobook for those long commutes, and can be ordered on Machado's website. It costs $44.95 to $89.95, depending on the format.
Flight Training Editor Ian J. Twombly joined AOPA in 2003 and is an instrument flight instructor.
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