Ask the Pilot

Ask the Pilot

4.4 10
by Patrick Smith
     
 

Though we routinely take to the air, for many of us flying remains a mystery. Few of us understand the how and why of jetting from New York to London in six hours. How does a plane stay in the air? Can turbulence bring it down? What is windshear? How good are the security checks? Patrick Smith, an airline pilot and author of Salon.com's popular column, "Ask the

Overview

Though we routinely take to the air, for many of us flying remains a mystery. Few of us understand the how and why of jetting from New York to London in six hours. How does a plane stay in the air? Can turbulence bring it down? What is windshear? How good are the security checks? Patrick Smith, an airline pilot and author of Salon.com's popular column, "Ask the Pilot," unravels the secrets and tells you all there is to know about the strange and fascinating world of commercial flight. He offers:

  • A nuts and bolts explanation of how planes fly
  • Insights into safety and security
  • Straight talk about turbulence, air traffic control, windshear, and crashes
  • The history, color, and controversy of the world's airlines
  • The awe and oddity of being a pilot
  • The poetry and drama of airplanes, airports, and traveling abroad

In a series of frank, often funny explanations and essays, Smith speaks eloquently to our fears and curiosities, incorporating anecdotes, memoir, and a life's passion for flight. He tackles our toughest concerns, debunks conspiracy theories and myths, and in a rarely heard voice dares to return a dash of romance and glamour to air travel.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review
Anyone remotely afraid of flying should read this book, as should anyone who appreciates good writing and the value of great information.
Alex Beam
Patrick Smith is extraordinarily knowledgeable about modern aviation, and communicates beautifully in English, not in pilot-ese. Smith is the ideal seatmate, a companion, writer and explainer who will set your mind at ease.
Boston Globe

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594480041
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
06/01/2004
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.18(w) x 7.49(h) x 0.81(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

James Kaplan
Patrick Smith is one of the best writers around, period, which certainly makes him by far the best writer ever to have earned a commercial pilot's license. Ask the Pilot is deliciously stylish and informative. A soaring accomplishment, and an indispensable book for anyone who travels by air, which means everyone.

Meet the Author

Patrick Smith is an airline pilot and freelance writer. His air travel column appears weekly on Salon.com. He has flown both passenger and cargo jets and has visited more than fifty countries. He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.

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Ask the Pilot 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
CuteK8 More than 1 year ago
A friend gave me this book to help with my fear of flying.  It was easy to read and easy to understand.  The author does a nice job of explaining things without getting too technical.  I personally would have liked a little more info about all the noises, bumps, and jostles that one feels flying, but the way he explained what he did will certainly help me be less anxious my next time in the air.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book to deal with my fear of flying. It's a fact book of how planes fly and other things that have to do with air travel. Note that this book is very honest and it does include a list of the top 10 worst air disasters. I learned a lot from this book and hopefully this knowledge will help me be calmer next time I fly.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was very disapointing to buy this book. It had no details at all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is truly a book that you can use. The way the author, Patrick Smith, calms you down about flying is a very big plus. I am planning to become a pilot for a major airline, so I would like to know what will calm people down on an airplane. I reccomend this book to people that fly alot, and to people that love airplanes. Even if you think you know everything about airplanes, airports, and pilots, this book will show you that you are mistaken. Outstanding!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was outstanding. The author explains the ups and downs of air travel and being a pilot. After reading a couple pages even my history teacher wanted to read it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Flying is a love-hate relationship for me. While I am fascinated with airplanes and the entire process of boarding a jet for a destination, I hate and sometimes fear flying. I have so many questions related to flying, and this book answered a lot of my questions. It is a unique book written by a pilot, and a professional who understand his trade. It is interesting to learn all the 'science' behind flying a commercial jet, and the why's and how's of operating this huge machine that also happens to carry hundreds of people in it. He writes with passion and humor. It is a good read- buy it and read it on a plane ride!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one of the best books I have read in a long time. If you are fascinated by airplanes/piloting/airports, this book is a must read. It was very educational, with a touch of humor. I was so sad when I reached the last few pages because I didn't want it to end! I hope he writes a continuation of this book sometime in the near future.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The trouble with this book is it's too short, and you end up with a whole new set of questions not covered in the text. I mean that in a GOOD way, as the author's style and intelligence really inspire you to THINK about flight and travel. I was startled by how smart and well written this book is. The author's critique of airline liveries and logos for example is hiliarious and brilliant. If you travel even semi-regularly, and whether you love or hate to fly, this is a must buy.