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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 15 September 2008
For a number of years I have been plagued by two conflicting passions: a nerdy love of airplanes and everything about them and a paralysing fear of flying.

After reading this book, I feel much more informed about airplanes and flying; so much so I haven't had trouble flying ever since. I learned about the first flight in history, about pilot training and how airlines are operated, and about some of the most interesting airplanes ever constructed.

In addition, it satisfied my curiosity -and I believe every frequent flyer's curiosity- of some basic simple facts: how do airplanes take off AND stay in the air for hours on end? Why do the lights in the cabin switch off during take off and landing? The common belief that it's to direct more energy to the engines is wrong (and rather worrying); but read this book and you'll know exactly what goes on every minute of your flight.
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on 18 January 2005
The author sides with the reader right away. He knows his audience. People who have no problem flying aren't likely to buy this book. Thankfully for the author, 1 out of 3, as he points out, have some form of anxiety about being 40,000 feet above ground in a steel tube.
By far the most useful section of the book deals with turbulence. This chapter is basically a physics lesson made simple. In short, he explains how a little movement by the plane results in the sensation of a large movement. He even explains how air pockets don't exist.
There is also plenty of information on every part of a plane flight, from pre-take off to landing. I actually read the along with the book during a recent flight. The only thing scary about that flight was how bang-on he was.
The book delves into other flight fear oriented subjects. This includes a chapter on media obsession with plane crashes.
This book has been printed in easy "carry on" size. I highly recommend white-knuckle types to take it on the plane. As soon as you hit turbulence, you'll feel like it's the smoothest flight you've ever been on!
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on 16 June 2006
I bought the book out of curiosity. I love flying and often wonder whether I'll ever fulfill my pilot day dreaming adventures...

The book is filled with facts from how a plane flies to how weather affects flying; from plane food to how not to flush a plane loo whilst you're still sitting on it!

It also details a pilots resoponsibilities and covers a the short history of commercial flight.

A super book for anyone who has flown and wonders about the uniquness of flight. Its simple, gives you more than you need to know and fails to bore.

It's a shame text books don't come in this format!
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on 28 October 2013
I bought this book for my Kindle, having read a number of glowing reviews but was sadly disappointed.
Firstly, it is quite out of date with details about airlines, airports etc.
Secondly, there were a number of chunks missing - unfinished sentences or words omitted, plus several spelling errors. I felt that the editing was very poor throughout.
Many of the snippets of information which were interspersed here and there, whilst interesting in content, seemed to have been placed at random with little or no reference to the context at that point.
Yes, there were some reassuring facts; I was especially grateful for the explanations of the "pings" which one hears soon after take-off and during the flight. Was always worried that the pilot was signalling a problem!
However,several chapters were of limited interest so I felt the price was rather a lot considering these drawbacks.
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on 19 October 2008
This book should be called "how to get rid of your fear of flying without trying to, and then go for flying lessons" This book is brilliant,I picked up a dislike for flying in the army(go figure)and since have hated it. It was not so much the idea of flying as the feeling and sound overload as you strap in.

This book has opened my eyes to the inner workings in a way that it is very easily digestible. My wife has loaned my copy to most of her friends and every time she does I fear I wont see it again.I take it with me every time I fly now for the tips and whats that sound reference.
I can recommend this to anybody that is interested about flying or anybody that is worried about flying, also if you are interest in flying and have no knowledge of it this book is for you. If you are looking for a comprehensive technical reference to flying you should consider perhaps pilots manuals but for the rest of us this book is brilliant.
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on 7 November 2010
I love flying. But only because some years ago a very kind BA 747 pilot took the time and trouble to explain to me how planes get into the air and how they stay in the air, and how difficult it is for anything to happen to them that would cause you danger. This book goes one step further, explaining the minor details of everything that is happening around you from take off to landing. Ever wondered what the "bongs" you hear after take off as your rise in the sky are actually for? This book explains all. (They actually tell the crew what height the plane is at so they know when they can get out of their seats, but anxious passengers usually think it's the pilot signalling a problem). It's all in here. What are all the things that stick out of a plane for? How does a plane land in the dark? I've given this book to many friends who're frightened of flying to great effect. Everybody should enjoy getting into a plane, even if you are in coach! Even if you're not afraid of flying you will not be able to put this book down. Totally fascinating and a work of art. Buy it.
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on 1 May 2009
I am a frequent flyer and not at all uncomfortable about air travel so I bought this book for my partner who is a little less at ease at 35,000 feet. He hasn't got it yet because I am reading it for the second time in case I missed anything the first time round. Informative, funny.. a cracking read and not entirely sure I am willing to part with it now,
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on 22 March 2008
This book is very imformative and teaches everyone from the curious passenger to someone wanting to fly as a career new facts.
It is the kind of book where after reading it you can point out things to your partner, colleague or bored fellow passenger.
All in all, thoroughly recommended.
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on 16 April 2014
I'm not a great flyer so decided I'd do some background reading in order to understand a little more about what makes aviation and planes work in order to hopefully feel more at ease with it. This book is a really good read covering all the ins and outs of Aviation in a easy to digest manner....not too vague and at the same time not to technical. Goes through the whole flight from 'push back' at the airport at the beginning, takeoff, cruising and then landing explaining all the sounds, sensations and technicalities of it all. I have now become a little obsessed with flying and instead of being anxious am now excited about boarding Boeings finest. This book definitely helped and if you have any interest in aviation is worth reading.
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on 31 May 2012
This book is AMAZING! It has a really easy to read interface. (However the fact that it's a square, rather than 'normal book' size was a little uncomfortable at first - I got used to this quite quickly, but it's difficult to read like a regular book for a long time.) It has very distinct sections so you can read about specific things, and even has little 'fact boxes' on some pages for extra info. It's such a good read, I received it 8 hours ago, and I'm already half way through it! I've been reading it to some members of my family, too who've also found it really interesting! This is totally worth getting!
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