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“Things My Flight Instructor Never Told Me” is filled with excellent advice, delivered with humor.

“Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.” Author Michael Leighton says that summarizes his personal experience with general aviation.

This rather slim volume is filled with excellent advice, developed from just such “experience” during a 25-year aviation career. Leighton writes of lessons learned while journeying through the world of general aviation and aircraft ownership; lessons which many of us can put to good use whether we fly strictly for pleasure or commercially. Leighton does both.

Leighton has owned some 70 airplanes, ranging from a very rare Travel Air 12Q biplane to a King Air 200. He covers topics every bit as varied as the airplanes he has flown, ranging from fuel management and flight planning to reluctant passengers, dealing with weather and the FAA, buying and owning airplanes, and moving up to bigger and faster ones. He does it with humor and wit, making the book quite readable as it educates.

The chapter on “The Realities of Flying a Multi-Engine Aircraft” is, alone, worth the price of admission. Particularly perceptive is his point that published performance figures come from factory flight tests, in factory-new airplanes, with factory-new engines, under ideal flight conditions. Furthermore, “the test pilot knows that the engine is going to fail and is spring loaded to respond. When it happens to you, there will be several seconds that will pass before you actually react.” Ah, yes. “Realities,” indeed.

Leighton began flying in 1980 and has earned private, commercial, instrument, multiengine, flight instructor, instrument instructor, multi-engine instructor and ATP ratings, along with a type rating for Citation 500 series jets and a single engine seaplane rating. He is an active flight instructor, a licensed A&P mechanic and a former FAA accident prevention counselor, operating a Part 135 charter company in South Florida. All of this adds up to advice worth following.

Things My Flight Instructor Never Told Me, by Michael Leighton; Promotion Productions Inc., Boynton Beach, Fla.; 187 pages; $19.95 plus shipping.

For more information: 561-752-3261.

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