More Soaring-Related Books to Consider

Some more soaring books – your library can never be too big

I put together a list of soaring-related books in December 2013. Now, I’d like to add to that list. Each list is descriptive, rather than suggesting any particular order of purchase; that’s up to you! The pictures are all scans of the cover of my copy of the book, not just generic/publisher’s pictures.

As before, if the link goes to Amazon and you buy the book, I get a few cents on a gift card. The other links simply go to the publisher or another vendor. Please let these folks know you saw the link here. (By the way, I’m going to get incredibly rich doing this. After more than two years, I’ve gotten exactly one ten-dollar gift card from Amazon! Why can’t I be a dot-com millionaire, too?)

Bernard Eckey

I bought the first edition of Bernard Eckey’s Advanced Soaring Made EasyI was intrigued by the title, of course. This book is on its third edition already! I learned a lot from this book and refer back to it frequently. A friend described it as, “Highly recommended – not the Bob Wander baby food book series.”

Advanced Soaring Made Easy
Bernard Eckey’s Advanced Soaring Made Easy is a great first addition the new glider pilot who wants to learn more.


Derek Piggott

Derek Piggott has long been the dean of soaring. Pretty much anything he has written is worth reading.

Gliding Safety book
Derek Piggott’s Gliding Safety

Gliding Safety (2nd ed) contains a lot of useful information. You might think the section on options for a first-timep purchaser might seem dated, but if you consider the aircraft discussed, they are pretty much exactly what’s on the market today.


Understanding Flying Weather by Derek Piggott
Recommended book: Understanding Flying Weather by Derek Piggott

Who can fly without Understanding Flying Weather? Although a bit Euro-centric, the information presented is applicable anywhere.

More Weather? There’s always room for more weather!


Understanding the Sky
Understanding the Sky takes a micro approach to understanding weather – this can be a useful perspective for a glider pilot.

Dennis Pagen Understanding The Sky is meteorology by a soaring pilot. The link is to Amazon, though I actually purchased my copy from Paul Remde at Cumulus Soaring.


Recommended book: Aviation Meteorology
Aviation Meteorology is available in German or English.

Karl Heinz Hack was the Swiss national meteorologist for many years. He’s also an accomplished artist. Like Piggott’s book, it’s somewhat Euro-centric in its examples, but the material is incredible.

Want a PhD in Aeronautics?

Recommended book: Stick and Rudder
This book is the long-time go-to resource for how the parts of an airplane work.

Wolfgang Langewiesche’s Stick and Rudder: An Explanation of the Art of Flying

target=”_blank”>Stick and Rudder has been described as a must-read annually for every one who flies a fixed-wing aircraft. Please don’t read it and start calling elevators “flippers,” but do take the time to learn more.

Recommended book: Gliding Theory
Are you looking for a semi-engineering text to describe the who, what, where, when, why,how of gliders as a class of aircraft? This British book is for you!


Recommended book: Private Pilot Ground School
Glider Pilot Ground School books provide a detailed outline of the material required for the FAA written test(s)

Glider Pilots Ground School offers detailed outlines of study material you need for private, commercial, or CFI glider ratings. I only have the commercial book; I suspect the others are quite similar.

The soaring book I’ve had the longest.

I suspect this book was not widely distributed and is likely not available anymore. In the early 90s I was in Ridgeland, SC, with the South Carolina Army National Guard. I met Derek Johnson and ended up doing a dual flight in a Krosno KR-03. I think Derek was the distributor for them, though that memory may be faulty. I had previously had one flight in Germany in a very old, clunky 50’s-vintage glider. I bought Derek’s book from him. Later, I spent a year as a member of the Soaring Society, but didn’t fly a glider again for almost 20 years. I got a copy of The Joy of Soaring from the SSA, but gave it away long ago. Pretty basic, but nice memories.

I don’t have these, but they’ve been suggested by others

  • Welch and Irving -“New Soaring Pilot” a wealth of practical and other stuff
  • C. E. Wallington “Meteorology for Glider Pilots” (the classic)
  • Frank Irving “The Paths of Soaring Flight” for the “numerate” pilot
  • Thomas “Fundamentals of Sailplane Design”
  • ASA publications “Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators”
  • George Moffat “Winning II” (and if you can find one, “Winning on the Wind”)
  • Leo and Riccardo Brigliadori “Competing in Gliders”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *