New book for pilots heading to the airlines

After the rubbish book last week (The Pilot Factor: A fresh look into Crew Resource Management) it was a real pleasure to read something well thought out, nicely presented, and filling an otherwise unmet need. Pilots in Command (2014) by Kristofer Pierson is published by Aviation Supplies and Academics (ASA) who have a large range of pilot training products. It’s about all the non-flying parts of being a great airline pilot.

“I wrote this book intending for it to become a guide for new or aspiring airline pilots, as much as for the experienced pilot who is looking ahead to upgrade”

~ Kristofer Pierson, Pilots in Command

In clear language he spells out things like crew briefings, CRM, operational integrity, known unknowns, non-normals, cockpit organization, layovers, and how a professional airline pilot looks and treats others. It’s general enough to work for all the US airlines I’ve jumpseated on. A good review for folks about to be a first-time captain, or heading to their first airline job. Would also be approiate for many corporate jobs. However it’s not for private or military pilots. And it’s not about personal airmanship, but rather professionalism in leading a crew.

Pilots in Command book cover

It’s a little stiff, a little academic feeling, and no doubt that’s by design to appeal to university flight departments and FAA ATP schools. A few more examples and stories might have been nice. The title is short and sweet, but the odd s in Pilots seems to be there only to distinguish it from a book by a different author titled Pilot in Command. But I couldn’t fault the material. Nice summary of aviation human factors topics like CRM, pilot monitoring, etc. It’s up to date (2015) with FAR 117 and the latest changes to the FAA ATP requirements.

“No matter what your background is, how many hours you have under your belt, or how many type ratings you have, you can start improving today by making a difference in how you operate.”

~ Kristofer Pierson, Pilots in Command

There are lots of books on how to fly an ILS, aerodynamics, airliner systems, weather,  regulations, airline history, on and on. But there wasn’t much on the practical aspects of running a crew and being an airline captain. Now there is.

(Note: I don’t know Kristofer Pierson, I didn’t get paid anything to post this, I bought the book myself using my own money.)

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