If you fly an airplane that can hike itself to higher altitudes and has a service ceiling to match, congratulations. You get a lot of benefits—better range and the ability to outclimb most types of weather (except thunderstorms), to name just two.
There’s more to this type of flying than making sure you have an oxygen cannula, and Blair’s compact guide—just 120 pages—lays out the considerations pilots must take. Restricting the conversation to piston-powered aircraft, Blair suggests that a pilot will want to weigh the opportunities and risks and become very familiar with planning considerations, and then shows you how to do exactly that by delving into emergencies, performance and fuel planning, descent planning, and weight-and-balance planning. He also examines navigation and weather planning, observing that a pilot who’s used to conducting short flights at lower altitudes should prepare to go back to prognostic charts, significant weather charts, and surface analysis charts for pertinent information.
An Aviator’s Guide to Middle-Altitude Flying is a handy resource for the pilot who’s moving up to airplanes that can fly at higher altitudes.