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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book
Found the book very interesting, as I have flown a lot, and answers some of the questions you wondered about... a couple of chapters did bore me so I skipped through them
Published 13 months ago by Jennifer Deakin

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read but could have been great.
As someone with a keen interest in aviation and a frequent flyer on commercial airlines, I picked up this book with a great degree of anticipation. The premise is excellent, there were some genuinely interesting subjects covered and I found the author's style affable and easy to read. However...

At times it felt like an advertorial for the Boeing Company and...
Published 10 months ago by Danny King


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read but could have been great., 29 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Cockpit Confidential: Questions, Answers, and Reflections on Air Travel (Paperback)
As someone with a keen interest in aviation and a frequent flyer on commercial airlines, I picked up this book with a great degree of anticipation. The premise is excellent, there were some genuinely interesting subjects covered and I found the author's style affable and easy to read. However...

At times it felt like an advertorial for the Boeing Company and particularly the Boeing 747. His flag-waving allied to regular snipes about other aircraft manufacturers, particularly Airbus, cheapens the book.

As an American, Smith's experience lies with regional US airlines, so it's fair enough that this was very US-centric account. A more rounded vision of the global airline industry would have been more interesting though.

What was less forgivable was his parochial view of the US's aircraft and airlines.

Romantic claims about the 707 and its role as the pioneer of jet airline age have merit but not without a mention of the de Havilland Comet that preceded, and indeed inspired, it. In fact no mention of the Comet at all, not even in the Q&A section concerning why windows aren't bigger or different shapes on airlines - surely an ideal point in which to describe to the reader why the Comet suffered early disasters and gave the 707 its pre-eminence and competitive advantage?

His obsession with the 747 is understandable - it's a truly great, ground-breaking aircraft. But that it's also the most attractive airliner is odd for someone who acknowledges to have seen Concorde. His opinion though I guess...beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

And finally just some points of order relating to inaccurate comments about British Airways.

His criticism of BA using the phrase 'the World's Favourite airline' when it is now statistically 21st. For the record when the slogan was introduced in 1989, BA were the world's favourite airline according to passenger numbers. When in 2001 they were surpassed by Lufthansa, the slogan was summarily dropped.

And the comment that BA introduced the slogan 'The World's Favourite Airline' to charm Americans with 'cute spelling'. Could I respectfully remind the author that the language he speaks and writes in is English. As in England. 'Favourite' is not a cute spelling. It's how the word is spelt correctly.

Finally, the tailfin of a BA airliner resembles a can of Pepsi according to the author. Pedantic I know, but surely he means a can of Pepsi looks like the tail fin of a BA airliner? The Pepsi logo he draws comparison to was introduced in 1973, BA's in 1972, although as part of BA's component parts, BOAC and BEA, far earlier. The Union Jack flag on which the logo is based has been in regular use since 1606.

All-in-all, it's well worth a read though... it just needs a bit of editing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the one..., 1 July 2014
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This review is from: Cockpit Confidential: Questions, Answers, and Reflections on Air Travel (Paperback)
I am a frequent traveller with roughly 30-50% of my business time in the air between clients in different locations worldwide. I wanted to know more about what I am subjecting myself to when travelling by plane.
This is certainly not the right book for my purpose; I found perhaps two pages worth of useful information about health issues (air humidity, water supply) and some safety information. The rest of the book content is a specifically US relevant, often naive chatter and a "me, me, me" chorus line of the author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to like it more, 23 Dec 2013
This review is from: Cockpit Confidential: Questions, Answers, and Reflections on Air Travel (Paperback)
I was hoping for a more comprehensive writing on the industry but felt it to be rather vague. What was written wasn't bad but indecisive if it was for a beginner flyer to a more frequent one / enthusiast. As an enthusiast there wasn't much of interest and found the book rather mediocre.

The author is American based and much of the stories are US orientated. He does not disguise his appreciation of Boeing and not a fan of Airbus (especially the A380). Saying this it is his opinion and doesn't bad mouth Airbus as such except for his opinion on the A380.

In the end I felt the author could have been more comprehensive.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too "Americanised", 5 April 2014
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This review is from: Cockpit Confidential: Questions, Answers, and Reflections on Air Travel (Paperback)
Lots of silly questions (childrens level), answered in a very American dialogue. Not recommended for people seriously interested in the subject.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad read, too much bias though, 17 Jun 2013
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I love a good gossip, and I love a good dishing of secrets, but I was rather disappointed by this book. Although it does give you a good insight into what goes on behind cockpit doors and in the head of those behind the yokes, the author's views and manner eventually start grating. It becomes more and more prevalent towards the end where it becomes more an opinionated moan and whinge (not quite a rant) than a good book. Sorry, can I get my money back?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book, 9 Nov 2013
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Found the book very interesting, as I have flown a lot, and answers some of the questions you wondered about... a couple of chapters did bore me so I skipped through them
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3.0 out of 5 stars some glitches, 3 Dec 2014
This review is from: Cockpit Confidential: Questions, Answers, and Reflections on Air Travel (Paperback)
Some good insight into the bread and butter of being a pilot. Simple and easy to understand, if anything too simplistic. Author's reflections about some Somali pilot crew he met somewhere in Africa is just plain naive. He's impressed with amount of hard work all of them had to put in to become airline pilots. Litany about getting out from "the ghetto " and climbing social ladder... When in fact beautiful country like Somalia ended up at the top of the most corrupted countries in the world (score 8 out of 100). Where no business can be done without bribing some government official and connections are everything. I could safely say that those 3 young Somali pilots were possibly sons of businessman or minister. Typical American ignorance.
But apart from little glitches like that the read is ok.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book to dip into, 30 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Cockpit Confidential: Questions, Answers, and Reflections on Air Travel (Paperback)
Very informative, well written and with humour. Thank you Patrick Smith for demystifying some of the bumps, noises etc experienced by a frequent but nervous flier!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting, 6 May 2014
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B. J. Wicks (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cockpit Confidential: Questions, Answers, and Reflections on Air Travel (Paperback)
a well written book that gives an insight to flying as a passenger

Routes and companies are all included

Very entertaining
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5.0 out of 5 stars Informative., 29 April 2014
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I read this with a young man studying English for Aviation, it is a wonderful book for anyone who is a frequent flyer or just interested in planes.
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