A Manual for Helicopter Enthusiasts (Crowood Press)
‘The Helicopter Pilot’s Companion’ is based on articles which I wrote for ‘Today’s Pilot’ and ‘Flight Training News’ over a number of years. It starts by covering a whole range of topics related to rotary aviation, such as common myths concerning helicopter flying, choosing a flying school and instructor, the basics of rotary aerodynamics, plus all aspects of actually learning to fly helicopters. It then looks at issues which are important when the new helicopter pilot has gained his or her licence and is let loose to fly alone, such as flying with passengers, coping with more challenging weather, and dealing with emergencies. Finally, it offers advice to those readers who are considering becoming professional helicopter pilots.
Although it provides a wealth of information, this book is not a textbook, and should in no way be considered as a substitute for a flight course and actual experience. Instead, it aims to complement any flying which the reader is doing, and to be more readable than those dry-as-dust course books that no-one actually wants to study. To this end it discusses issues in an interesting, down-to-earth, and entertaining fashion, which is always related to real life flying and frequently includes anecdotes and examples from my own experience.
This is a book to be dipped into over a cup of coffee, to be read because the reader is enthralled by its subject matter and can’t put it down, rather than one which gathers dust on a shelf of reference books. To this end, technical concepts are explained as simply as possible, and chapters are relatively short, making for fairly easy reading even when the subject matter is quite complex. Thus the book should be as accessible to non-flying enthusiasts and fixed-wing pilots as to those who actually fly helicopters, and should be of real interest to everyone who loves rotary-winged flying machines. It can be bought here.