Aeronautics Professional Development Reading List and Library

Beyond The Call: The True Story of One World War II Pilot's Covert Mission to Rescue POWs on the Eastern Front by Lee Trimble

This is the inspiring true story of Capt. Robert Trimble, who laid his life on the line to rescue hundreds of World War II POWs, including women and children, on the Eastern Front. Near the end of World War II, thousands of Allied and civilian ex-prisoners of war were abandoned to wander the war-torn Eastern Front. With no food, shelter or supplies, the POWs were at great risk of perishing. As the Red Army advanced across Poland, the Nazi prison camps were liberated. In defiance of humanity, the freed camp inmates were discarded without aid. The Soviets viewed POWs as cowards, and regarded all refugees as potential spies or partisans. Thus many were rounded up again and put in detention camps. With little covert training, Trimble took the mission. He would survive by wit, courage and determination. This is the compelling true story of an American hero, who risked everything to bring his fellow soldiers and abandoned civilians home to safety and freedom. Replacement cost $12.

The Birdmen: The Wright Brother, Glenn Curtiss and the Battle to Control the Skies by Lawrence Goldstone    

The feud between this nation’s great air pioneers, the Wright brothers and Glenn Curtiss, was a collision of unyielding and profoundly American personalities. On one side, a pair of tenacious siblings who together had solved the centuries-old riddle of powered, heavier-than-air flight. On the other, an audacious motorcycle racer whose innovative aircraft became synonymous in the public mind with death-defying stunts. For more than a decade, they battled each other in court, at air shows and in the newspapers. The outcome of this contest of wills would shape the course of aviation history — and take a fearsome toll on the men involved. Replacement cost $12.

The Bishops Boys: A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright by Tom Crouch

Brilliant, self-trained engineers, the Wright brothers had a unique blend of native talent, character and family experience that perfectly suited them to the task of invention but left them ill-prepared to face a world of skeptics, rivals and officials. Using a treasure trove of Wright family correspondence and diaries, Tom Crouch skillfully weaves the story of the airplane's invention into the drama of a unique and unforgettable family. He shows us exactly how and why these two obscure bachelors from Dayton, Ohio, were able to succeed where so many better-trained, better-financed rivals had failed. Replacement cost $13.

Boeing v. Airbus: The Inside Story of the Greatest International Competition in Business by John Newhouse

The commercial airline industry is one of the most volatile, dog-eat-dog enterprises in the world, and in the late 1990s, Europe’s Airbus overtook America’s Boeing as the preeminent aircraft manufacturer. However, Airbus quickly succumbed to the same complacency it once challenged, and Boeing regained its precarious place on top. Now, after years of heated battle and mismanagement, both companies face the challenge of serving burgeoning Asian markets and stiff competition from China and Japan. Combining insider knowledge with vivid prose and insight, John Newhouse delivers a riveting story of these two titans of the sky and their struggles to stay in the air. Replacement cost $15.

Breaking the Chains of Gravity: The Story of Spaceflight before NASA by Amy Shira Teitel

NASA's history is a familiar story, culminating with the agency successfully landing men on the moon in 1969, but its prehistory is an important and rarely told tale. America's space agency drew together some of the best minds the non-Soviet world had to offer. At the end of World War II, Wernher von Braun escaped Nazi Germany and came to America where he began developing missiles for the United States Army. The engineer behind the V-2 rocket, von Braun dreamt of sending rockets into space. Ten years later his Jupiter rocket was the only one capable of launching a satellite into orbit. The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics and the U.S. Air Force, meanwhile, brought rocket technology into the world of manned flight. NACA test pilots like Neil Armstrong flew cutting-edge aircraft in the thin upper atmosphere while Air Force pilots rode to the fringes of space in balloons to see how humans handled radiation at high altitude. "Breaking the Chains of Gravity" looks at the evolving roots of America's space program -- the scientific advances, the personalities and the rivalries between the various arms of the United States military. After the Soviet launch of Sputnik in 1957, getting a man in space suddenly became a national imperative, leading President Dwight D. Eisenhower to pull various pieces together to create the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Replacement cost $25.

Bringing Columbia Home: The Untold Story of a Lost Space Shuttle and Her Crew by Michael Leinbach and Jonathan Ward

On Feb. 1, 2003, Columbia disintegrated on reentry before the nation’s eyes, and all seven astronauts aboard were lost. Author Mike Leinbach, Launch Director of the space shuttle program at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center was a key leader in the search and recovery effort as NASA, FEMA, the FBI, the U.S. Forest Service, and dozens more federal, state, and local agencies combed an area of rural east Texas the size of Rhode Island for every piece of the shuttle and her crew they could find. Assisted by hundreds of volunteers, it would become the largest ground search operation in U.S. history. This comprehensive account is told in four parts:

  • Parallel Confusion
  • Courage, Compassion and Commitment
  • Picking Up the Pieces
  • A Bittersweet Victory

For the first time, here is the definitive inside story of the Columbia disaster and recovery and the inspiring message it ultimately holds. In the aftermath of tragedy, people and communities came together to help bring home the remains of the crew and nearly 40 percent of shuttle, an effort that was instrumental in piecing together what happened so the shuttle program could return to flight and complete the International Space Station. Bringing Columbia Home shares the deeply personal stories that emerged as NASA employees looked for lost colleagues and searchers overcame immense physical, logistical and emotional challenges and worked together to accomplish the impossible. Featuring a foreword and epilogue by astronauts Robert Crippen and Eileen Collins, and dedicated to the astronauts and recovery search persons who lost their lives, this is an incredible, compelling narrative about the best of humanity in the darkest of times and about how a failure at the pinnacle of human achievement became a story of cooperation and hope. Replacement cost $18.

Chickenhawk by Robert Mason

This straight-from-the-shoulder account tells the electrifying truth about the helicopter war in Vietnam. This is Robert Mason’s astounding personal story of men at war. A veteran of more than 1,000 combat missions, Mason gives staggering descriptions that cut to the heart of the combat experience: the fear and belligerence, the quiet insights and raging madness, the lasting friendships and sudden death — the extreme emotions of a "chickenhawk" in constant danger. Replacement cost $12.

Collision Course: Ronald Reagan, The Air Traffic Controllers, and the Strike that Changed America by Joseph M McCartin

In August 1981, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) called an illegal strike. The new president, Ronald Reagan, fired the strikers, establishing a reputation for both decisiveness and hostility to organized labor. As Joseph A. McCartin writes, the strike was the culmination of two decades of escalating conflict between controllers and the government that stemmed from the high-pressure nature of the job and the controllers' inability to negotiate with their employer over vital issues. PATCO's fall not only ushered in a long period of labor decline; it also served as a harbinger of the campaign against public sector unions that now roils American politics. "Collision Course" sets the strike within a vivid panorama of the rise of the world's busiest air-traffic control system. It begins with an arresting account of the 1960 midair collision over New York that cost 134 lives and exposed the weaknesses of an overburdened system. Through the stories of controllers like Mike Rock and Jack Maher, who were galvanized into action by that disaster and went on to found PATCO, it describes the efforts of those who sought to make the airways safer and fought to win a secure place in the American middle class. It climaxes with the story of Reagan and the controllers, who surprisingly endorsed the Republican on the promise that he would address their grievances. That brief, fateful alliance triggered devastating miscalculations that changed America, forging patterns that still govern the nation's labor politics. Written with an eye for detail and a grasp of the vast consequences of the PATCO conflict for both air travel and America's working class, "Collision Course" is a stunning achievement. Replacement cost $15.

Crash Detectives: Investigating the World's Most Mysterious Disasters

A fascinating exploration of how humans and machines fail — leading to air disasters from Amelia Earhart to MH370 — and how the lessons learned from these accidents have made flying safer. In "The Crash Detectives," veteran aviation journalist and air safety investigator Christine Negroni takes us inside crash investigations from the early days of the jet age to the present, including the search for answers about what happened to the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. As Negroni dissects what happened and why, she explores their common themes and, most important, what has been learned from them to make planes safer. Indeed, as Negroni shows, virtually every aspect of modern pilot training, airline operation and airplane design has been shaped by lessons learned from disaster. Along the way, she also details some miraculous saves, when quick-thinking pilots averted catastrophe and kept hundreds of people alive. Tying in aviation science, performance psychology, and extensive interviews with pilots, engineers, human factors specialists, crash survivors, and others involved in accidents all over the world, "The Crash Detectives" is an alternately terrifying and inspiring book that might just cure your fear of flying, and will definitely make you a more informed passenger. Replacement cost $12.

Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, and Sacrifice Hardcover by Adam Makos.

Devotion tells the inspirational story of the U.S. Navy’s most famous aviator duo, Lt. Tom Hudner and Ensign Jesse Brown, and the Marines they fought to defend. A white New Englander from the country-club scene, Tom passed up Harvard to fly fighters for his country. An African American sharecropper’s son from Mississippi, Jesse became the navy’s first black carrier pilot, defending a nation that wouldn’t even serve him in a bar. While much of America remained divided by segregation, Jesse and Tom joined forces as wingmen in Fighter Squadron 32. Adam Makos takes us into the cockpit as these bold young aviators cut their teeth at the world’s most dangerous job — landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier — a line of work that Jesse’s young wife, Daisy, struggles to accept. Replacement cost $18.

East to the Dawn: The Life of Amelia Earhart by Susan Butler

Based on a decade of archival research through Earhart's letters, journals and diaries, and drawing on interviews with the aviator's friends and relatives, "East to the Dawn" provides the most authoritative and richly textured account of both Earhart's record-setting aviation career and her personal life: her early years with her grandparents, her experiences as a nurse and social worker, her famous marriage to publisher George Putnam, and her secret affair with Gene Vidal, head of the Bureau of Air Commerce. As the Los Angeles Times raved, "East to the Dawn" is a "fully realized portrait of a truly remarkable woman.” Replacement cost $8.

Failure Is Not an Option by Gene Kranz

This memoir of a veteran NASA flight director tells riveting stories from the early days of the Mercury program through Apollo 11 (the moon landing) and Apollo 13, for both of which Kranz was flight director. A fascinating firsthand account by a veteran mission controller of one of America’s greatest achievements, "Failure is Not an Option" reflects on what has happened to the space program and offers his own bold suggestions about what we ought to be doing in space now. Replacement cost $14.

Fatal Words: Communication Clashes and Aircraft Crashes by Steven Cushing

In March 27, 1977, 583 people died when KLM and Pan Am 747s collided on a crowded, foggy runway in Tenerife, the Canary Islands. The cause, a miscommunication between a pilot and an air traffic controller. The pilot radioed, "We are now at takeoff," meaning that the plane was lifting off, but the tower controller misunderstood and thought the plane was waiting on the runway. In "Fatal Words," Steven Cushing explains how miscommunication has led to dozens of aircraft disasters, and he proposes innovative solutions for preventing them. Cushing examines ambiguities in language and other causes of miscommunication between pilots and air traffic controllers. He looks at instances when a pilot or tower controller slips from technical aviation jargon into colloquial English, when a pilot inadvertently "tunes out" repeated instructions, when radios are misused, when a word is used that has different meanings, and when different words are used that sound alike. For example, he shows how a confusion involving to and two led to a fatal crash at a Southeast Asian airport. To remedy these problems Cushing proposes, for the short term, a visual communication system to supplement voice communication, one that would include a visual touchscreen interface. The technical details of a visual touchscreen prototype are included in an appendix. For the longer term, Cushing outlines an intelligent voice interface to filter conversations for potential confusions and provide real-time feedback to help clear up confusing language. Fatal Words is an accessible explanation of some of the most notorious aircraft tragedies of our time, and it will appeal to scholars in communications, linguistics, and cognitive science, to aviation experts, and to general readers. Replacement cost $31.

Fate is the Hunter by Ernest K. Gann

Ernest K. Gann’s classic memoir is an up-close and thrilling account of the treacherous early days of commercial aviation. In his inimitable style, Gann brings you right into the cockpit, recounting both the triumphs and terrors of pilots who flew when flying was anything but routine. Replacement cost $11.

The Flight of the Century: Charles Lindbergh and the Rise of American Aviation by Thomas Kessner

In "The Flight of the Century," Thomas Kessner takes a fresh look at one of America's greatest moments, explaining how what was essentially a publicity stunt became a turning point in history. Kessner vividly recreates the flight itself and the euphoric reaction to it on both sides of the Atlantic, and argues that Lindbergh's amazing feat occurred just when the world -- still struggling with the disillusionment of WWI -- desperately needed a hero to restore a sense of optimism and innocence. Kessner also shows how new forms of mass media made Lindbergh into the most famous international celebrity of his time, casting him in the role of a humble yet dashing American hero of rural origins and traditional values. Much has been made of Lindbergh's personal integrity and his refusal to cash in on his fame, but Kessner reveals that Lindbergh was closely allied with, and managed by, a group of powerful businessmen -- Harry Guggenheim, Dwight Morrow and Henry Breckenridge chief among them -- who sought to exploit aviation for mass transport and massive profits. Their efforts paid off as commercial air traffic soared from 6,000 passengers in 1926 to 173,000 passengers in 1929. Kessner's book is the first to fully explore Lindbergh's central role in promoting the airline industry -- the rise of which has influenced everything from where we live to how we wage war and do business. Replacement cost $7.

The Forgotten 500: The Untold Story of the Men who Risked All for the Greatest Rescue Mission for World War II by Gregory A. Freeman

During a bombing campaign over Romanian oil fields, hundreds of American airmen were shot down in Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia. Local Serbian farmers and peasants risked their own lives to give refuge to the soldiers while they waited for rescue, and, in 1944, Operation Halyard was born. The risks were incredible. The starving Americans in Yugoslavia had to construct a landing strip large enough for C-47 cargo planes — without tools, without alerting the Germans and without endangering the villagers. And the cargo planes had to make it through enemy airspace and back — without getting shot down themselves. Classified for over half a century for political reasons, the full account of this unforgettable story of loyalty, self-sacrifice and bravery is now being told for the first time ever. "The Forgotten 500" is the gripping, behind-the-scenes look at the greatest escape of World War II. Replacement cost $14.

The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny Beyond Earth by Michio Kaku

The No. 1 best-selling author of "The Future of the Mind" traverses the frontiers of astrophysics, artificial intelligence and technology to offer a stunning vision of man's future in space, from settling Mars to traveling to distant galaxies. Replacement cost $21.

The Greatest Flying Stories Ever Told by Lamar Underwood

In "The Greatest Flying Stories Ever Told," editor Lamar Underwood has collected some of the finest writings, both fact and realistic fiction, to lay bare the drama of human beings coping with the skills needed to direct their machines through the vastness of the skies. With contributions from: Charles Lindbergh, Ernest K. Gann, General Chuck Yeager, Leo Janos, Tom Wolfe, Mary Lovell, Richard Bach, Rinker Buck, Diane Ackerman, Derek Robinson, and more. Replacement cost $6.

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

This book was the precursor to the movie! The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space.  Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Space Race, "Hidden Figures" follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades they faced challenges, forged alliances and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country’s future. Replacement cost $10.

A Higher Call by Adam Markos

New York Times and international best-seller. December, 1943: A badly damaged American bomber struggles to fly over wartime Germany. At the controls is 21-year-old 2nd Lt. Charlie Brown. Half his crew lay wounded or dead on this, their first mission. Suddenly, a Messerschmitt fighter pulls up on the bomber’s tail. The pilot is German ace Franz Stigler — and he can destroy the young American crew with the squeeze of a trigger... What happened next would defy imagination and later be called “the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.” The U.S. 8th Air Force would later classify what happened between them as “top secret.” It was an act that Franz could never mention for fear of facing a firing squad. It was the encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for 40 years until, as old men, they would search the world for each other, a last mission that could change their lives forever. Replacement cost $14.

I Could Never Be So Lucky Again by Gen. James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle

Best remembered as leader of the 1942 raid over Tokyo, Doolittle later commanded the U.S. 8th Air Force in England. After the war he was active in the reorganization of our defense establishment and became director of several companies in the private sector. here recounts his knockabout Alaskan youth, his experiences as a miner in California, his brief but successful career as a prizefighter, and his adventures as a aerial-show "aerobat" and later as a test pilot. The book recalls vividly Doolittle's days as an aviation pioneer -- and retells the exciting story of the Tokyo raid. Replacement cost $25.

Jeppesen: A biography by his son by Richard Jeppensen

Plane crashes... by the hundreds. This was not a safe business. There was nothing to copy, no one to learn from. Nobody knew about metal fatigue and G forces. Nobody knew what damage hail could do to an airplane flying at 120 mph. Nobody knew what turbulence could do to an airplane. Nobody knew icing would kill the lift on wings. There were no gyros, no instruments, no navigation facilities, no beacons, no rules, no regulations, no aircraft standards and no airports in the early days. Just young men and their flying machines that would bet their lives to pioneer a mega-billion-dollar industry. Replacement cost $24.

Jet Age: The Comet, the 707 and the Race to Shrink the World by Sam Howe Verhovek

Explores the advent of the first generation of jet airliners and the people who designed, built and flew them. The path to jet travel was triumphal and amazingly rapid -- less than 50 years after the Wright Brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk, Great Britain led the world with the first commercial jet plane service. Yet the pioneering British Comet was cursed with a tragic, mysterious flaw, and an upstart Seattle company put a new competitor in the sky: the Boeing 707 Jet Stratoliner. Jet Age vividly recreates the race between two nations, two global airlines and two rival teams of brilliant engineers for bragging rights to the first jet service across the Atlantic Ocean in 1958. Jet Age offers a gorgeous rendering of an exciting age and fascinating technology that permanently changed our conception of distance and time, of a triumph of engineering and design, and of a company that took a huge gamble and won. Replacement cost $4.

The Jet Set: The People, the Planes, the Glamour by William Stadiem

Best-selling author and Vanity Fair contributor William Stadiem brings that Jet Age dream to life again in the first-ever book about the glamorous decade when Americans took to the skies in massive numbers as never before, with the rich and famous elbowing their way to the front of the line. Dishy anecdotes and finely rendered character sketches re-create the world of luxurious airplanes, exclusive destinations, and beautiful, wealthy trendsetters who turned transatlantic travel into an inalienable right. It was the age of Camelot and “Come Fly with Me,” Grace Kelly at the Prince’s Palace in Monaco and Mary Quant miniskirts on the streets of Swinging London. Men still wore hats, stewardesses showed plenty of leg and the beach at Saint-Tropez was just a seven-hour flight away. Replacement cost $29.

John Glenn: A Memoir by John Glenn

He was the first astronaut to orbit the Earth. Nearly four decades later, as the world's oldest astronaut, his courage riveted a nation. But these two historical events only bracketed a life that covers the sweep of an extraordinary century. Replacement cost $15.

The Killing Zone:  How and Why Pilots Die by Paul A. Craig

This survival guide for new pilots identifies the pitfalls waiting inside the killing zone, the period from 50 to 350 flight hours when they leave their instructors behind and fly as pilot in command for the first time. Although they're privately certified, many of these unseasoned aviators are unaware of the potential accidents that lie ahead while trying to build decision-making skills on their own -- many times falling victim to inexperience. Based on the first in-depth scientific study of pilot behavior and general aviation flying accidents in over 20 years, "The Killing Zone" Second Edition offers practical advice to help identify the time frame in which you are most likely to die. Author and aviation specialist Paul Craig offers rare insights into the special risks new pilots face and includes updated preventive strategies for flying through the killing zone ... alive. Replacement cost $22.

Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 by Jim Lovell

In April 1970, during the glory days of the Apollo space program, NASA sent Navy Capt. Jim Lovell and two other astronauts on America's fifth mission to the moon. Only 55 hours into the flight of Apollo 13, disaster struck: A mysterious explosion rocked the ship, and soon its oxygen and power began draining away. Commander Lovell and his crew watched in alarm as the cockpit grew darker, the air grew thinner and the instruments winked out one by one. The full story of the moon shot that almost ended in catastrophe has never been told, but now Lovell and coauthor Jeffrey Kluger bring it to vivid life.  Replacement cost $16.

Night Flight by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

In this gripping novel, Saint-Exupéry tells about the brave men who piloted night mail planes from Patagonia, Chile and Paraguay to Argentina in the early days of commercial aviation. Replacement cost $9.

No Dream Is Too High: Life Lessons From a Man Who Walked on the Moon Kindle Edition by Buzz Aldrin

Beloved American hero Buzz Aldrin reflects on the wisdom, guiding principles and irreverent anecdotes he's gathered through his event-filled life — both in outer space and on Earth — in this inspiring guide-to-life for the next generation. Replacement cost $13.

Nuts!: The Southwests' Crazy  Recipe for Business and Success by Kevin Freiberg

Twenty-five years ago, Herb Kelleher reinvented air travel when he founded Southwest Airlines, where the planes are painted like killer whales, a typical company maxim is "Hire people with a sense of humor," and in-flight meals are never served -- just 60 million bags of peanuts a year. By sidestepping "reengineering," "total quality management," and other management philosophies and employing its own brand of business success, Kelleher's airline has turned a profit for 24 consecutive years and seen its stock soar 300 percent since 1990. With unlimited access to the people and inside documents of Southwest Airlines, authors Kevin and Jackie Freiberg share the secrets behind the greatest success story in commercial aviation. Read it and discover how to transfer the Southwest inspiration to your own business and personal life. Replacement cost $12.

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers" -- the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: What makes high-achievers different?  His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band. Replacement cost $8.

The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe

Millions of words have poured forth about man's trip to the moon, but until now few people have had a sense of the most engrossing side of the adventure; namely, what went on in the minds of the astronauts themselves -- in space, on the moon and even during certain odysseys on Earth. It is this, the inner life of the astronauts that Tom Wolfe describes with his almost uncanny empathetic powers that made "The Right Stuff" a classic. Replacement cost $10.

Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars Paperback by Nathalia Holt

In the 1940s and '50s, when the newly minted Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate velocities and plot trajectories, they didn't turn to male graduates. Rather, they recruited an elite group of young women who, with only pencil, paper and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design, helped bring about the first American satellites, and made the exploration of the solar system possible. For the first time, "Rise of the Rocket Girls" tells the stories of these women -- known as "human computers" -- who broke the boundaries of both gender and science. Based on extensive research and interviews with all the living members of the team, "Rise of the Rocket Girls" offers a unique perspective on the role of women in science: both where we've been, and the far reaches of space to which we're heading. Replacement cost $12.

Secrets From The Tower: An O’Hare Air Traffic Controller’s Personal Stories of Life and Aviation by Bob Richards

A powerful, rare and original look into the important world of a Chicago O'Hare air traffic controller, "Secrets from the Tower" is a terrific, thrilling, well-written, funny read, for its fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of an air traffic control tower, and will be enjoyable for anyone who's ever traveled by air. It's entertaining for its anecdotes, informative about air traffic and also poignant, in terms of the life lessons the book delivers, and its tales of love and loss. "Secrets from the Tower," by Author Bob Richards gives the reader an inside look at the life of an air traffic controller at one of the world's busiest airports. Thousands of people travel via air every day and give little thought to what is happening behind the scenes. "Secrets from the Tower" brings the reader close up and personal to the action. Bob Richards has written an exciting, captivating, and sometimes heart-breaking, true story of a fledgling air traffic controller becoming one of the most experienced in the industry. "Secrets from the Tower" details not only the fast-paced, high-pressure life of an air traffic controller but also how that lifestyle affects a man and his family. It is a must-read for travelers, aviation buffs and autobiography lovers alike. "Secrets from the Tower" is witty, heart-wrenching and fast-paced. Replacement cost $25.

Spinning At The Boundary By David Larson

Air Traffic Control is one of the most misunderstood occupations in the world, and yet it affects anyone that has ever...or will ever fly in an aircraft. This book tells all. Replacement cost $19.

The Spirit of St. Louis by Charles A. Lindberg

Charles A. Lindbergh captured the world's attention—and changed the course of history—when he completed his famous nonstop flight from New York to Paris in 1927. In The Spirit of St. Louis, Lindbergh takes the reader on an extraordinary journey, bringing to life the thrill and peril of trans-Atlantic travel in a single-engine plane. Eloquently told and sweeping in its scope, Lindbergh's Pulitzer Prize-winning account is an epic adventure tale for all time. Replacement cost $14.

They Fought for the Sky: The Dramatic Story of the First War in the Air by Quentin Reynolds

In four short years, man developed to terrible perfection the ability to kill and destroy in the lonely battlefield of the sky. In 1913, flying machines were little more than toys and the men who built them and who flew them were regarded, at best, as amiable eccentrics; by 1918, however, the lightly regarded airplane had become a potent war machine, and the men who flew were international heroes. This great, and most important, the war-adventure story is told here dramatically and with powerful immediacy by one of our best war reporters. Replacement cost $24.

Secrets From The Tower: An O’Hare Air Traffic Controller’s Personal Stories Of Life And Aviation By Bob Richards

At the height of World War II, Look Magazine profiled a small upstate New York community for a series of articles portraying it as the wholesome, patriotic model of life on the home front. Seventy years later, a history teacher tracks down the veterans with a connection to “Hometown, USA” who fought the war in the air over Europe, men who were tempered in the tough times of the Great Depression and forged in battle. He rescues and resurrects firsthand accounts of combat and brotherhood, of captivity and redemption, and the aftermath of a war that left no American community unscathed. Here are the stories that the magazine could not tell, from a vanishing generation speaking to America today. Replacement cost $20.

Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo by Capt. Ted W. Lawson

After Pearl Harbor, America seemed to have lost the war before it had begun. Allied forces were being beaten across the Pacific by the Japanese military juggernaut, and morale was at the breaking point. America desperately needed to strike back at the enemy. For this, a corps of heroic volunteer fliers led by Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle began training to attack the very heart of the Japanese Empire -- Tokyo. To succeed, the "Tokyo Raiders" would have to launch 16 fully loaded B-25 twin-engine medium bombers off the deck of the aircraft carrier Hornet -- something never done before -- and land at airfields in China. Through courage and luck, the raid itself went flawlessly. But bad weather, lack of fuel, and darkness worked against many of the pilots -- and for many, escaping China proved even more perilous than the mission.... This gripping eyewitness account -- hailed as "the most stirring story of individual heroism that [the war] has so far produced" (The New York Times) -- details one of the most daring missions in military aviation history: the legendary Doolittle Raid. Replacement cost $15.

Those Wonderful Women in Their Flying Machines: The Unknown Heroines of World War Two by Sally Van Wagenen Keil

From 1942 to 1944, almost 2000 women pilots left their civilian lives as students, movie stuntwomen, secretaries, blackjack dealers, teachers and wives with husbands overseas to converge on Avenger Field, Sweetwater, Texas. There at the only all-female cadet airbase in history, they slipped into ill-fitting men’s GI flying suits and marched into the “Army Way” of life. Six months later, the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) were sent out to fly every airplane in America’s air arsenal, from the colossal B-29 Superfortress to the lighting-fast P-51 Mustang fighter. This is a narrative history, from first-hand interviews, of the valiant American women pilots of World War II. Replacement cost $24.

Turn the Ship Around: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders by L. David Marquet and Stephen R. Covey

Since "Turn the Ship Around!" was published in 2013, hundreds of thousands of readers have been inspired by former Navy Capt. David Marquet’s true story. Many have applied his insights to their own organizations, creating workplaces where everyone takes responsibility for his or her actions, where followers grow to become leaders and where happier teams drive dramatically better results. Replacement cost $13.

Twelve Years of Turbulence: The Inside Story of American Airline’s Battle for Survival

The inside story of crisis and turmoil at American Airlines during the 12 years following the terrorist attacks of 9/11. In the 12 years following 9/11, American Airlines lost billions of dollars and endured years of crisis and turmoil. Financial upheaval, the crash of Flight 587, grueling confrontations with labor, a rival’s push to acquire the company and a challenging fight with the government tested the mettle and fortitude of its top executives. Against all odds, American found a way to save what was once the world’s largest airline from certain ruin. Told through the eyes of American’s chief lawyer, this insider’s story of intrigue of the unfolding events is set against a personal look at the innermost workings of the sexiest industry in the world. Replacement cost $18.

Unsung Eagles: True Stories of America’s Citizen Airmen in the Skies of World War II by Jay A. Stout

Winner of 2014 San Diego book award for best published history, military and politics. The nearly half-million American aircrewmen who served during World War II have almost disappeared. And so have their stories. Award-winning writer and former fighter pilot Jay A. Stout uses "Unsung Eagles" to save an exciting collection of those accounts from oblivion. These are not rehashed tales from the hoary icons of the war. Rather, they are stories from the masses of largely unrecognized men who ― in the aggregate ― actually won it. The combat careers of 22 different pilots from all the services are captured in this crisply written book. Replacement cost $12.

Vectors to Spare: Life of an ATC-93 by Milovan Brenlove

In Vectors to Spare, author Milovan Brenlove sets out to describe what it's really like to be an air traffic controller. He should know. His on-again, off-again relationship with the Federal Aviation Administration spanned a tumultuous 15-year period that included rapid growth in air travel and the 1981 nationwide strike of air traffic controllers. Brenlove chronicles the rising tensions and increasing militancy that preceded the strike and the rocky "recovery" that followed. He analyzes the causes and lingering effects of systemic problems in the FAA, assigning shared responsibility to incompetent management and to power-hungry union leadership as well as to himself and fellow controllers. This thoughtful, inside look at a defining moment in FAA history is woven into Brenlove's frequently entertaining account of his own career, from his earliest days as a developmental controller to his self-imposed retirement. Readers learn what it's like to scan the skies for traffic from the glass-enclosed tower, to time landings and runway crossings to the second, and to guide enroute pilots and passengers in safety from the dark inner sanctum of the radar room. Finally, though, it is Brenlove's "you shoulda seen what happened" stories that fascinate most. A few are agonizing, like the account of the cargo pilot who lost an engine and spent his last moments describing exactly what was happening as his heavily loaded plane dropped into the trees. Many are comic: the pilot who lost oil pressure, landed his crippled airplane on the Ohio turnpike, and joined the westbound traffic to the next off-ramp; the pilot who wouldn't declare an emergency but wanted controller approval to land in the snow alongside the runway because his plane had no wheels; and the confused car driver who lost his way while leaving the passenger terminal, meandered along the airport's taxiways, and finally confronted a DC-9 coming in for a landing. Replacement cost $8.

Vulcan 607 by Roland White

Shoulder to shoulder with Strategic Air Command B-52s throughout the Cold War, the big delta-winged Vulcans of the Britain's V-bomber force faced down the Soviet threat to the West. In 1982 they were just months from retirement when they flew in anger for the first time. It was to be a record-breaking mission of breathtaking audacity: a single bomber launched from a remote island airbase to carry out what would be the longest-range air attack in history -- an 8,000-mile round trip. Her crew of six would be flying into a hornet's nest of modern weaponry: radar-guided anti-aircraft guns and missiles. There would be no second chances. "Vulcan 607" tells the gripping true story of that legendary raid for the first time -- an operation that many thought would turn out to be a real-life Mission Impossible. Replacement cost $20.

West with the Night by Beryl Markham

A true classic, a book that deserves the same acclaim and readership as the work of her contemporaries Ernest Hemingway, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Isak Dinesen. If the first responsibility of a memoirist is to lead a life worth writing about, Markham succeeded beyond all measure. Born Beryl Clutterbuck in the middle of England, she and her father moved to Kenya when she was a girl, and she grew up with a zebra for a pet; horses for friends; baboons, lions, and gazelles for neighbors. She made money by scouting elephants from a tiny plane. And she would spend most of the rest of her life in East Africa as an adventurer, a racehorse trainer, and an aviatrix ― she became the first person to fly nonstop from Europe to America, the first woman to fly solo east to west across the Atlantic. Hers was indisputably a life full of adventure and beauty. And then there is the writing. When Hemingway read Markham's book, he wrote to his editor, Maxwell Perkins: "She has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer... [She] can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves as writers... It is really a bloody wonderful book." Replacement cost $10.

The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s over Germany 1944-1945 by Stephen Ambrose

Stephen E. Ambrose, acclaimed author of Band of Brothers and Undaunted Courage, carries us along in the crowded and dangerous B-24s as their crews fought to destroy the German war machine during World War II. The young men who flew the B-24s Over Germany in World War II fought against horrific odds, and, in The Wild Blue, Ambrose recounts their extraordinary heroism, skill, daring, and comradeship with vivid detail and affection. Ambrose describes how the Army Air Forces recruited, trained, and selected the elite few who would undertake the most demanding and dangerous jobs in the war. These are the boys—turned pilots, bombardiers, navigators, and gunners of the B-24s—who suffered over fifty percent casualties. With his remarkable gift for bringing alive the action and tension of combat, Ambrose carries us along in the crowded, uncomfortable, and dangerous B-24s as their crews fought to the death through thick black smoke and deadly flak to reach their targets and destroy the German war machine. Twenty-two-year-old George McGovern, who was to become a United States senator and a presidential candidate, flew thirty-five combat missions (all the Army would allow) and won the Distinguished Flying Cross. We meet him and his mates, his co-pilot killed in action, and crews of other planes. Many went down in flames. As Band of Brothers and Citizen Soldiers portrayed the bravery and ultimate victory of the American soldiers from Normandy on to Germany, The Wild Blue illustrates the enormous contribution that these young men of the Army Air Forces made to the Allied victory. Replacement cost $7.

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, David McCullough tells the dramatic story behind the story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright. Replacement cost $11.

Yeager: An Autobiography by Chuck Yeager

General Chuck Yeager was the greatest test pilot of them all—the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound . . . the World War II flying ace who shot down a Messerschmitt jet with a prop-driven P-51 Mustang . . . the hero who defined a certain quality that all hotshot fly-boys of the postwar era aimed to achieve: the right stuff. Now Chuck Yeager tells his whole incredible life story with the same "wide-open, full throttle" approach that has marked his astonishing career. What it was really like engaging in do-or-die dogfights over Nazi Europe. How after being shot over occupied France, Yeager somehow managed to escape. The amazing behind-the-scenes story of smashing the sound barrier despite cracked ribs from a riding accident days before. The entire story is here, in Yeager's own words, and in wonderful insights from his wife and those friends and colleagues who have known him best. It is the personal and public story of a man who settled for nothing less than excellence, a one-of-a-kind portrait of a true American hero. Replacement cost $9.