A New York Times bestseller
For millions of people, travel by air is a confounding, uncomfortable, and even fearful experience. Patrick Smith, airline pilot and author of the popular website www.askthepilot.com, separates fact from fallacy and tells you everything you need to know:
• How planes fly, and a revealing look at the men and women who fly them
• Straight talk on turbulence, pilot training, and safety.
• The real story on delays, congestion, and the dysfunction of the modern airport
• The myths and misconceptions of cabin air and cockpit automation
• Terrorism in perspective, and a provocative look at security
• Airfares, seating woes, and the pitfalls of airline customer service
• The colors and cultures of the airlines we love to hate
COCKPIT CONFIDENTIAL covers not only the nuts and bolts of flying, but the grand theater of air travel, from airport architecture to inflight service to the excitement of travel abroad. It’s a thoughtful, funny, at times deeply personal look into the strange and misunderstood world of commercial flying.
“Patrick Smith is extraordinarily knowledgeable about modern aviation…the ideal seatmate, a companion, writer and explorer.” —Boston Globe
“Anyone remotely afraid of flying should read this book, as should anyone who appreciates good writing and great information.” —The New York Times, on ASK THE PILOT.
If you're a white-knuckle flyer, this informative, comprehensive book on air travel is for you. Smith, an airplane pilot and travel writer, takes the mystery out of commercial aviation by giving the reader the basic elements of flight, explaining how these large planes stay airborne; the dangers of takeoffs and landings; and the dreaded presence of wind shear and turbulence. Casual in tone though detailed, Smith's narrative does not skirt the safety issues of lightning and bird strikes on the aircraft, and one of the most dangerous problems ice build-up. Whether he's writing about the confined legroom of the "puddle jumper regional jets" or the rigid training of pilots, he never gets caught in industry jargon or talking down to the reader. The regular air passenger will be intrigued by his expert take on the hazards of the modern airport, with overbooking, delays, and lapses in customer service, while the nervy one might gain a measure of relief or not. Along with the inside scoop on collisions, crashes, and terrorism in air history, Smith paints an unflinching portrait of modern air travel with several fresh and unexpected insights.