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Happy Aviation Day! For Potential Pilots and Aviation Aficionados

Female pilot in plane
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Thursday, August 19 is National Aviation Day!  National Aviation Day was created in 1939 to celebrate aviation and to promote interest in aviation.

I might work at a public library, but for fun I am a private pilot. I learned a lot by reading about airplanes, aviation, and other pilots as role models before I began my first flying lesson. However, even the most experienced pilots never stop learning! It’s good to keep reading in order to stay up-to-date on changes to technology, regulations, and other aspects of aviation that may be constantly changing and evolving. 

If you want to imagine your story in the cockpit of an airplane, here are some book recommendations and other library resources that may be helpful to you. 

For Kids 

Airplanes: Soaring! Diving! Turning! by Patricia Hubbell — This picture book utilizes verse and intriguing illustrations to demonstrate different types, categories, and classes of airplanes and the roles they play in everyday life.  

Planes Fly! by George Ella Lyon — This appealing picture book, written in verse by Kentucky’s poet laureate George Ella Lyon, covers not only planes but also different personnel roles and equipment involved in aviation. One page illustrates the interior of a cockpit; another shows the inside of an air traffic control tower. 

Planes Go by Steve Light — This board book cheerfully illustrates a few different kinds of aircraft, from a small seaplane to the Concorde supersonic jetliner, accompanied by the sounds that they make. 

Airplanes Take Off and Land by Patrick T. McBriarty –– This book is about a lamb named Harry who goes to work with his Aunt Stacy, an airline pilot. The story details the way Stacy and other aviation professionals perform their duties, from going over the flight plan in the pilot lounge and the preflight inspection walk around to the landing and flight report once they reach their destination. The narrative may help readers stay engaged while also giving details about aviation practice and aircraft maintenance that will be useful for future pilots to know. 

How to Eat an Airplane by Peter Pearson — This is a very silly book about throwing a party to eat an airplane with your friends! In spite of its whimsical premise, it does share a lot of information about various airplane parts. 

Born to Fly: The First Women’s Air Race Across America by Steve Sheinkin — Sheinkin, who writes engaging nonfiction for middle grade readers, goes in depth about the 1929 Women’s Air Derby, which saw nineteen competitors try to fly from Santa Monica, California to Cleveland, Ohio. 

For Teens and Adults 

The FAA Handbook Series in our Hoopla Digital Collection includes many aviation handbooks that every potential pilot should read and study. Three of the my most important picks would be: 

The Airmen Certification Standards Series goes in depth regarding requirements for a variety of different pilot licenses and ratings, such as a commercial pilot’s license or an instrument rating. 

The Aviator’s Field Guide series covers the topics of buying and owning personal aircraft. 

If you’re looking for more involvement, the Do-It-Yourself Engineering (Great Courses Plus on Hoopla Digital) has three thirty-minute episodes on aviation topics that can help you with some engaging engineering projects at home. 

  • Episode 9: “Exploring Aerodynamics” 
  • Episode 10: “Build a Model Airplane” 
  • Episode 11: “Take Flight!”