Order Greg’s Autographed Books — only a few left…

To celebrate completing 20 years of my “Flying Carpet” magazine column, I’ve been offering autographed copies of my most popular books. I am now almost out of them, and do not plan to offer autographed copies again in the foreseeable future.

All my books remain widely available through normal channels, but if you’d like to have or give an autographed copy for Christmas, please order now before I run out.

In each case, click the “Order an Autographed Copy” link below, and then “add to cart” on order page.

12/2 UPDATE: only a few autographed copies of The Savvy Flight Instructor Second Edition remain. (Sorry, I am out of autographed copies of The Turbine Pilot’s Flight Manual and Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane.)

The Savvy Flight Instructor Second Edition

Secrets of the Successful CFI

You’ve mastered the Flight Training Handbook, and wrapped up one of the toughest orals of your flying career.

You can now fly and talk at the same time, all from the right seat. You can write lesson plans, enter mysterious endorsements in student logbooks, and actually explain the finer points of a lazy eight.

That’s everything you’ll ever need to know to be a flight instructor… No more questions, right?

Yeah, right! If you’re a little apprehensive about where those students will come from, and how you are going to teach them, you’re not alone. The Savvy Flight Instructor is designed to help out with all those “other” flight instructing questions, like how to recruit new flight students. And once you’ve got ’em, how do you keep them flying? How can you optimize your pass rate on checkrides? What are the tricks for getting students to return for their advanced ratings?

Along with tips on how to attract and retain flight students, this book is about professionalism in flight instructing: how to advance your personal flying career by increasing the skills and satisfaction of your students, while promoting general aviation at the same time.

New in this second edition:

  • Aspiring flight instructors will learn why and how to become a CFI, how to get hired, and how to build business.
  • Learn how to sell today’s pilot prospects via online marketing and social media, and outsell competing activities beckoning from a mouse-click away.
  • Seasoned flight instructors and flight school managers will learn how to systematize customer success and satisfaction, price and structure their services to fit today’s markets, and implement flight instructor professionalism.

ORDER The Savvy Flight Instructor 2nd Edition in print, PDF, or ePub via ASA, AmazonApple iBook or your favorite pilot supply shop or website.

Or, order an autographed copy direct from Greg

Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane 

The days of freewheeling aerial adventure are not over

Pilots and aviation enthusiasts will enjoy my popular aviation adventure book, “Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane.” (I was named Barnes & Noble Arizona Author of the Month for this book.) I’ll let the reviewers describe it:

“Buckle in with Greg Brown and head off to chase a solar eclipse or wrestle with ice on your wings or try to outwit troublesome mountain waves. Each chapter of Flying Carpet is a new ticket to extraordinary adventures that transform a pilot from novice to journeyman and eventually, skilled aviator.

“More than just flying stories, this is the tale of a person who evolves to think with the mind of a pilot, question with the curiosity of a philosopher, and see with the eyes of a poet. Pilots will be entertained and wiser for having read it. Non-pilots will thrill to sharing the wings of a skilled aviator. I’m hooked!
— Rod Machado, aviation writer and humorist

“If Greg Brown can’t inspire you to join us in the sky, no one can.”
— Stephen Coonts, New York Times best-selling author

“Quite marvelous — a journey of life and flying that contains some of the most fetching words yet penned about a father-son relationship…”
— Rich Karlgaard, Publisher, Forbes

“You don’t have to be a pilot, or even a frequent flyer, to soar with Greg Brown in Flying Carpet.”
— Nina Bell Allen, Former Asst. Managing Editor, Readers Digest

Order Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane in print and ebook via your favorite online sources including ASA, Amazon/Kindle, and iTunes.

Or, order an autographed copy direct from Greg.

The Turbine Pilot’s Flight Manual  Fourth Edition (New!)

Everything a pilot is expected to know when transitioning to turbine aircraft

Whether you’re preparing for turbine ground school, studying for your Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate, priming for a corporate or airline interview, or upgrading into a personal jet or turboprop—The Turbine Pilot’s Flight Manual is designed for you.

The Turbine Pilot’s Flight Manual Fourth Edition covers all the basics of turbine pilot operations, clearly explaining the differences between turbine aircraft and their piston engine counterparts.

The manual clarifies the complex topics of turbine aircraft engines and all major jet and turboprop power and airframe systems. It also addresses high-speed aerodynamics, automation, wake turbulence, high-altitude and adverse weather, air carrier operations, transport airplane performance, and cockpit professionalism and leadership.

You’ll be introduced to state-of-the-art cockpit instrumentation, hazard avoidance systems, advanced communication procedures and equipment, and the latest engine performance management techniques. A wealth of illustrations and online resources enhance understanding.

This new edition adds numerous illustrations, technology and terminology updates required for completing an ATP Certification Training Program (ATP-CTP). Pilots transitioning from single- to multipilot cockpits will also appreciate new crew coordination resources including checklists and briefings. Included are an updated glossary of airline and corporate aviation terminology, handy turbine pilot rules-of-thumb, and a comprehensive turbine aircraft “Spotter’s Guide.”

In short, The Turbine Pilot’s Flight Manual  introduces all the principles and lingo required to “talk turbine.” Many airlines and corporate flight departments recommend reading this book before interviewing and prior to attending ground school. 

Reviewer Comments from previous editions:

[This text] should not only improve the hiring opportunity for pilots, but also add hours of sleep to nights between ground school classes… Where was this manual when I needed it? — Dan Russell, captain for a commercial airline

The most comprehensive and complete information available to any aspiring commercial pilot. A basic knowledge of systems and terminology is invaluable not only for initial training, but also for your presentation during the interview process. A must read! — Captain Dick Ionata, senior captain for a major airline

ORDER NOW in print, PDF, or ePub through ASA or Amazon/Kindle, or in print via your favorite pilot supplies store or website.

Don’t care about the autograph? All three books are available in print and ebook formats from the publisher and your favorite online, pilot shop, and bookstore sources.

What’s the difference between Part 61 and Part 141 pilot training programs?

fc-cover-photo-smBased on the number of questions I get, I thought it worth explaining US Part 61 vs Part 141 pilot training programs.

Training under Part 61 is virtually unregulated except for meeting the specific objectives defined in the FAA regulations — that boils down to covering required maneuvers, aeronautical experience, and meeting test standards, pretty much however a given flight instructor sees fit.

Part 141 programs, on the other hand, are individually FAA approved, meaning each flight school must develop a detailed pilot training curriculum including lesson-by-lesson syllabus and extensive record-keeping requirements, and submit it to the FAA for approval. Part 141 programs must by definition be highly structured to be approved by the FAA. As a result, they are one-size-fits-all, meaning that every student must be trained precisely within each flight scool’s approved syllabus. Part 141 programs theoretically can graduate pilots in slightly fewer hours than under Part 61 (35 vs 40) and are required for those seeking government funding of their training, most notably to qualify for VA benefits.

My longtime-CFI buddy Jim Hackman likes to observe that “the best and the worst pilot training take place under Part 61 [because instruction quality can vary across the spectrum], while Part 141 trains for the lowest common denominator.” These days Part 61 programs increasingly incorporate some of the best Part 141 features such as written syllabi and stage checks.

Incidentally, well-run Part 141 programs are great places for beginning instructors to cut their teeth because rigorous syllabi and standardization help them learn to structure training for their students.


©2016 Gregory N. Brown

Greg’s “Airplane Geeks” podcast interview

Greg-SharlotHallFCopening_JanCollinsphoto_5024eCrSmw1200For you Airplane Geeks podcast fans, I had the pleasure of being their guest this week.

We spoke mostly on flight training and flight instructor topics, along with their usual news and industry features. Here’s the link for those interested in listening.

Thanks to Max, Max, Rob, and David for having me!


For more guidance on this topic, see Greg’s book, The Savvy Flight Instructor 2nd Edition.

“Cap’n Alex,” Greg’s March, 2016 Flying Carpet column

Flying “turns about a patio”

Nicole-AlexChambers_CarolWyatt-Smith_FC_SEZ_2236-EditeSmw1200I questioned how much Alex Chambers would appreciate an airplane ride celebrating his 5th birthday, given little kids’ notoriously short attention spans.

But Jean’s friend and tennis coach, Nicole, had long reported her son’s obsession with airplanes, so I willingly offered a flight when Jean suggested it.

Normally I fly first-timers around the nearby San Francisco Peaks, followed by breakfast at scenic Sedona Airport. But for little Alex, I figured one or the other would be enough. I also bought a toy airplane to occupy him if necessary during our flight; finding no Flying Carpet-style Cessnas, I selected a nifty P-47 fighter.

Our opportunity arose a week after Alex’s birthday. Nicole’s visiting girlhood friend Carol Wyatt-Smith from South Africa would join us.

“Why are we going inside the gate?” Alex asked his mom when we met at the Flagstaff Airport.

“We’re going to see Greg’s airplane,” she explained. Alex squirmed shyly when invited out of the car, but eventually emerged to open his P-47 birthday present and stash it with his back-seat airplane collection.

AlexChambers_FCaloft_2218eSmw1200I assigned my young friend to push the button opening the hangar door—always popular among youthful passengers.

Then he “helped” me pull out the airplane. Surprised at Alex’s level of engagement, I demonstrated the elevators during preflight.

“These make the plane go up and down,” I said. “What do you think they’re called?”

“Are those the flaps?” he replied. This is a five-year old, mind you, so I was impressed that he could name any flight surface, even if the wrong one…


Top photo: Alex and Nicole Chambers with friend Carol Wyatt-Smith, at Sedona Airport, Arizona. (KSEZ)

Lower photo: ‘Cap’n Alex’ at the controls.

(This column first appeared in AOPA Flight Training magazine.)


©2015 Gregory N.Brown

If you enjoyed this story, you’ll love Greg’s book, Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane. Autographed copies available!

Download Greg’s “You Can Fly!” ebook for free!

YCF ebook image-ASA ecrHi Folks,

Get my You Can Fly! eBook for FREE by downloading the new ASA Reader iPhone/iPad App!

Authors Greg Brown and Laurel Lippert write to those who are considering flight training, specifically to answer frequently asked questions about it, and at the same time entice more people into exploring general aviation.”

There are no strings attached. My coauthor Laurel and I, along with the good folks at our publisher, ASA, felt that offering this book for free would be a worthy contribution to get more people into the air to experience the joys of flight we so treasure.

You aviators out there, please share this with your friends who have always dreamed about becoming pilots but didn’t know where or how to start — now they can take that long-awaited first step with some guidance.

Spread the word!


©2013 Gregory N. Brown

Greg’s PilotCast interview: “Adventure Training”

Greg’s take on how to improve the student pilot dropout rate

“The PilotCast crew banters around ideas with respected author and CFI Greg Brown, to discover ways to bring the sense of adventure back into flight training.

“From building a sense of community for new students, to rethinking the flight training curriculum, CFI pay, and becoming a pep-talk-giver yourself, no topics are off limits in this exciting episode.”

Play or download Greg’s interview here (via playback bar at bottom of PilotCast page).

Many thanks to PilotCast‘s Tiffany, Kent, and Bill, for inviting me to join this worthy discussion!

©2011 Gregory N. Brown

For more guidance on this topic, see Greg’s book, The Savvy Flight Instructor 2nd Edition.

How often must new pilots fly to stay proficient?

My buddy Gary just wrote with a great question. He’d been chatting with another friend, Yaron, who is taking flying lessons,  and the two were discussing how many hours per month a new pilot should fly to remain proficient. Yaron figured six hours per year would be enough, while Gary was thinking more in terms of six hours per month.

At three landings per 90 days, the regs hardly require enough continuing flight experience to stay sharp. Competence can be measured at different levels, but in my mind a minimum of 2-3 flights per month are desirable to maintain basic piloting skills, particularly for those new to the game. That being said, frequency is probably more important than hours. For those on a tight budget I’d rather see two or three 45-minute flights a month in the traffic pattern, than a single 3-hour cross-country with only two landings.

One thing that always intrigues me about such questions (and they are very common) is why anyone who has invested all the time, money, and passion into becoming a pilot wouldn’t automatically want to fly a few times a month. Otherwise why learn? I suspect it’s due to budgetary concerns, which brings me to a final point. Pilots-in-training like Yaron are accustomed to making a big investment every flight, because they’re paying for the airplane and usually an instructor every time themselves. But flying once you’re licensed needn’t be nearly that expensive.

The regs of course allow expense-sharing with passengers, and more pilots should take advantage of that as an alternative to flying infrequently. Rather than flying around the neighborhood alone once a month, invite two friends to share costs and make three flights for the same investment. $200 might sound expensive, but who can’t come up with $65 for an airplane ride?

Going somewhere makes it even more palatable. Instead of flying around Phoenix for proficiency, head for Las Vegas. Better yet, make the trip with two couples and… well, does $150 apiece sound reasonable for a day in Vegas? Again, those taking lessons tend to think in terms of “flying costs $150 per hour.” But going somewhere in that hour changes the picture considerably. Invite someone along to share the cost, and it becomes more reasonable yet.

The bottom line for staying proficient while controlling your flying budget? Fly smarter, rather than less often.

Subscribe here to follow Greg’s latest posts, photos, and podcasts!

©2011, 2022 Gregory N. Brown

“Girls’ Morning Out,” Greg’s March column & photos

“Four-whiskey-alpha – is that you?”

“Hey Greg, are you free tomorrow for ‘guys’ morning out?’”

It was my former neighbor, Gary Wyant, from when Jean and I lived near Phoenix.

Once or twice a year, Gary cruises his motorcycle an hour northeast through the Mazatzal Mountains from Fountain Hills, and I soar 35 minutes southeast over the Mogollon Plateau from Flagstaff to rendezvous at Payson Airport’s Crosswinds Restaurant.

Often I invite friends along; this time it was my retired Flagstaff neighbors, Suzanne Golub and Sue Weber. Suzanne is a student pilot, and Sue has long requested a ride. So early the next morning, we three winged our way toward Payson.

“Is there anything you’d like to practice on this trip?” I asked Suzanne after takeoff.

“Frankly, the radio is my nemesis. Every time I push the mic button I get stage fright. In fact one day I was suffering and suffering on the radio while circling the traffic pattern. I babbled something on the radio, and the tower came back and said, ‘Four-whiskey-alpha – is that you?’” We laughed at her rendition of the controller’s quizzical inflection, and agreed that she’d handle communications this trip.

“What got you interested in piloting, Suzanne?” asked Sue.

“Actually Sue, I’ve had a great desire to fly for as long as I can remember. There’s not an airplane or helicopter that flies overhead that I don’t stop to watch, and wish I was going along, wherever they are going.

Continue reading Greg’s March column, “Girls’ Morning Out,” here. (Please allow a moment for the column to load.)

Photo: Suzanne’s first solo, Flagstaff Pulliam Airport, Arizona. See additional photos, here.

©2011 Gregory N. Brown

If you enjoyed this story, you’ll love Greg’s book, Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane. Autographed copies available!

45 minutes of joy…

Just a quick morning circuit around the San Francisco Peaks before work, a landing at Sedona Airport without even shutting down, and look what I found…

Photo: Yes, those are gigantic fields of flowers carpeting the flanks of O’Leary Peak! See more photos from this morning’s 45 minutes of joy, here.

©2010 Gregory N. Brown

“Captain Midnight,” Greg’s August Flying Carpet column & photos

“Hi, Men!” Most of us remember someone we idolized as a kid, someone we aspired to be when we grew up. For my brother Alan and me, it was Frank Rosenstein, corporate pilot.

Back then, we joined my dad every Saturday at Chicago’s DuPage County Airport to fly, polish his airplane, and jaw with his pilot buddies over lunch. Prominent among them was Frank Rosenstein. As a pro pilot among pleasure flyers, when he talked flying everyone else listened. Although not a big man, Frank projected quiet power with his large presence and mischievous grin. Gentlemanly and reserved, he personified “speak softly and carry a big stick.” But what captivated Alan and me was how he treated two impressionable young kids…

Read my August column, “Captain Midnight,” here. (Please allow a moment after clicking for the story to load.) Mobile-optimized version here.

Above: Frank Rosenstein in his favorite Learjet, “Sugar-Whiskey,” in 1970. See more Captain Midnight photos here.

©2010, 2022 Gregory N. Brown 

If you enjoyed this story, you’ll love Greg’s book, Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane. Autographed copies available!