5 amazing books to read during flight training to get ahead

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I hated reading and didn’t take much interest in books until much later on when I came across “avgeek” books closer to my interests. To this day, I still struggle with Jane Austins Pride and Prejudice – but give me an aviation book, and I’ll smash through it in no time!

Without being cheesy, there are a handful of books that have improved my prospects as a pilot. At 21, for example, I thought I knew absolutely everything about everything. Looking back, I found myself polarising and alienating myself in many situations and making life much more problematic when it need not have been.

In this blog post, I’ll share some of the books that had a lasting impact on me that hopefully will help you not just from a flight training pilot book perspective, but in life!

In no particular order:

1) How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie 

Although not directly ‘flying’ related, how to win friends and influence people is probably the book that helped me the most in life! Almost overnight, I became less of an a**ehole.

By applying the life lessons in the book, I was able to get on much better with people and was a lot more successful in situations when I needed to achieve a particular outcome.

Without this book, I would never have been able to negotiate the ‘people’ side of flight training and go from zero to atpl via modular pilot training in 12 months around my full-time job. I promise you – this book will change your life!

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2) Why You?: 101 Interview Questions You’ll Never Fear Again by James Reed

With Why You?: 101 Interview Questions You’ll Never Fear Again, you will never have a problem with competency-based HR interviews again. I remember reading this book in preparation for all my airline assessments and never once got knocked back during the HR interview part.

This book is very helpful for interviews, but it gets you in the right frame of mind when writing job applications. Whether in aviation or outside, this will genuinely improve your job prospects if you put the work in and apply the lessons!

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3) Unbroken: An Olympian’s Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive 

I read this book during my ATPL exams and whilst I thought my life was hard having to get up at 4 am to study before work, go to work, study more ATPL theory at lunchtime, get home, dinner, do another hour, bed early, repeat!

Reading about Louis Zamperini, Olympic and world record holder who gets shot down over the pacific in B- 24 during the second world war, goes on to set the world record for surviving the most number of days at sea.

He is then captured and spends the rest of the war in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. If you are struggling for motivation or think you are in a bad situation – give this book a read!

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4) SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION: How To Become A Pilot in Europe: Complete Pilot Training Guide

I wrote this book during the first Covid 19 lockdown. It kept me sane and gave me a purpose each day. My message was that you don’t need to spend £100K plus on pilot training.

You can achieve the same end goal by progressing down the modular flight training route (as I did) at a fraction of the cost and time. I completed my modular flight training in 12 months around my job vs 18 plus months other integrated courses were quoting.

The book became number 1 in the hot new releases and was a best seller on Amazon in the commercial aviation category – remarkable. How to become a pilot in Europe is a guide written to share the truth about fight training to save you time, money hopefully, and avoid any flight training-induced heartache!

Listen to the Pilot Training Guide FREE with Audible here

See it on Amazon

5) Ace The Technical Pilot Interview 2/E

This book has achieved legendary status for those preparing for airline assessments and in particular pilot job interviews. Ace The Technical Pilot Interview, condenses a lot of the ATPL Exam material into a well-summarized book to help you prepare for technical interviews.

This book helped with my technical interviews during airline assessments and would recommend it for your assessments.

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What books did you come across that you found particularly helped your flight training? Please leave a comment in the section below and I will reply as soon as I can!

B737 flight deck at night

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