Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook, by Rod Machado

Rod Machado's
Private Pilot Handbook

by Rod Machado

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Update Information Since Last Printing

  • 1. Added information on BasicMed in Chapter 6, Postflight Briefing #6-7, Page F58.
  • 2. Updated sectional chart information in Chapter 10. Added information on “stadium TFR” symbols and “space launch activity areas” on Page J13, Figure 41.
  • 3. Updated information on frost, Page L13, column 1, paragraph 3.
  • 4. Added information on the new ICAO flight plan requirements, including how to manually file an ICAO VFR flight plan. See Postflight Briefing #17-2 on Page Q39. As of this printing (9-7-2017) the FAA hasn’t decided precisely when it will require that all flight plans be filed using the ICAO format

  • A complete information manual by one of aviation's most knowledgeable and experienced teachers

    Flying is fun, and with Rod Machado’s Private Pilot Handbook, learning about flying is now fun, as well. If you want to learn to fly, or even just learn about what makes a plane fly, you’ll find this lavishly illustrated, fast-paced book to be the best available guide. Written in a clear and witty style, the Private Pilot Handbooks contains more than 1,200 illustrations and photos that are a standalone education about why we can fly. Studying for your private pilot oral and knowledge exams? Everything you need is in this book. It’s not just a beginner’s book—it’s a comprehensive and useful reference resource for private and even professional pilots. As one flight student said, “This handbook explains why things are the way they are, in a way that’s easy to understand. I learned lots of things in Rod’s book that I had not read ANYWHERE else, despite years of reading aviation literature.” Rod has been teaching people how to fly airplanes since 1973. His highly acclaimed teaching methods have established him as one of aviation’s most respected teachers. Using analogies, memory aids, clear and detailed graphics and a little humor, Rod reduces the complexity of all aviation subjects (aerodynamics, meteorology, navigation, airspace, etc.) to a level that even the non-technical person can easily understand. Simply stated, Rod Machado makes learning about flying a fun and enjoyable experience.

    Many major flight schools, including Embry Riddle, have switched to this book from those of the major publishers. Since doing so, they have reported their student pass rate up 15-20%. It's easy to see why. Highly recommended. The matching workbook contains questions and answers from the FAA private pilot written test along with additional student study aides and for instructors, an FAA approved Part 141 ground school syllabus.

    Another reviewer's description:

    "A serious text written in a fun and witty style. More than 1,100 original illustrations and photos with 64 pages in color, ensures this to be a one-of-a-kind manual. You can learn or review by just looking at the pictures. However, the text is laced with Machado's humor, so you will want to read every word. Written in the first person, it's as if Rod is sitting next to you, personally explaining all the necessary aspects of flying to make you an informed, confident and competent pilot. It is the first book of its kind completely written and illustrated by one instructor, a CFI with more than two decades of teaching experience, 8,000 hours as a flight instructor and 600+ aviation seminars under his belt. Flight instructors will love using the great illustrations with their students. It will also be a favorite for its readability. It's perfect to refresh for a flight review, catch up on new rules or for student pilots to pass their FAA knowledge and oral exams.
    • New weather codes: METAR & TAF
    • Alphabet airspace made E-Z with 3-D color illustrations
    • Easy to understand analogies and examples for technical subjects such as aerodynamics, engines and flight instruments
    • The airplane's electrical system described using the water analogy of electricity
    • Step-by-step procedures for planning X-country flights
    • Clear, down-to-earth explanations of pertinent FARs-Part 61 & 91
    • Easy to apply navigation methods for VOR, GPS & ADF!
    • Practical tips and techniques for ensuring a safe and enjoyable flight

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    • 1] Airplane Components - getting to know your airplane
    • 2] Aerodynamics - the wing is the thing
    • 3] Engines - knowledge of engines is power
    • 4] Electrical Systems - knowing what's watt
    • 5] Flight Instruments - clocks, tops, & toys
    • 6] Federal Aviation Regulations - how FAR can we go
    • 7] Airport Operations - no doctor needed
    • 8] Radio Operations - aviation spoken here
    • 9] Airspace - the wild blue, green, & red yonder
    • 10] Aviation Maps - the art of the chart
    • 11] Radio Navigation - the frequency flyer program
    • 12] Understanding Weather - looking for friendly skies
    • 13] Weather Charts & Briefings - PIREPS, Progs& METARs
    • 14] Flight Planning - getting there from here
    • 15] Airplane Performance charts - know before you go
    • 16] Weight & Balance - let's wait and balance
    • 17] Pilot Potpourri - neat aeronautical information


    Global Rating: 5.00 from 4 reviews

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    I actually switched to Rods book Aug 31, 2011 Jim Trusty,1997 General... FAA Na
      I actually switched to Rods book because of something as small as Zulu Time -- no one else covers it -- Now I am hooked. For those Flight Instructors that attach as much importance to ground school as I do, you simply cannot get along without this text. more...
    I rave about Rod's Handbook. Aug 31, 2011 Shawn S. Sullivan, CFI Bay Area CA US
      I rave about Rod's Handbook. It is ALL you need for your private, more easily understood and very comprehensive. One CFI that I converted said, Rods book changed my life. My first impression was it might be a goofy book, but it is REALLY good! I love the explanations and the illustrations. I always thought the BRAND X handbook and other more serious books were the way to go, but I was wrong. more...
    Brand X book too dreary Aug 31, 2011 Jim Slade, Pilot 40-year radio TV
      For my next biennial review, I've been studying Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook. The [Brand X] book is just too dreary and legalspeak to bother with and [Brand Y] puts me to sleep. more...
    Fabulous! Aug 29, 2011 E. Allen Englehardt Designated Examiner Na
      Fabulous! Absolutely AN EDUCATIONAL MASTERPIECE! It follows the natural training order that an experienced instructor would use and ensures the student a complete course of training. Nothing like it anywhere in the U.S. It should to be recommended by all flight instructors. more...