Rod Machado’s Private Pilot Handbook – Second Edition, 626 full color pages

Flying is fun, and with Rod Machado’s Private Pilot Handbook, learning about flying is now fun, as well.

If you want to learn to fly, or even just learn about what makes a plane fly, you’ll find this lavishly illustrated, fast-paced book to be the best available guide. Written in a clear and witty style, the Private Pilot Handbooks contains more than 1,200 illustrations and photos that are a standalone education about why we can fly.

Studying for your private pilot oral and knowledge exams? Everything you need is in this book. It’s not just a beginner’s book—it’s a comprehensive and useful reference resource for private and even professional pilots. As one flight student said, “This handbook explains why things are the way they are, in a way that’s easy to understand. I learned lots of things in Rod’s book that I had not read ANYWHERE else, despite years of reading aviation literature.”

Rod has been teaching people how to fly airplanes since 1973. His highly acclaimed teaching methods have established him as one of aviation’s most respected teachers. Using analogies, memory aids, clear and detailed graphics and a little humor, Rod reduces the complexity of all aviation subjects (aerodynamics, meteorology, navigation, airspace, etc.) to a level that even the non-technical person can easily understand. Simply stated, Rod Machado makes learning about flying a fun and enjoyable experience.

This 626 page, one-stop handbook contains:

-Easy-to-understand analogies and examples for technical subjects such as engines, aerodynamics, flight instruments and the airplane’s electrical system.

-Weather codes: METAR and TAF, and Internet weather technology.

-Water model of electricity allows quick learning and understanding of the airplane’s electrical system.

-Alphabet airspace made E-Z with 3-D color illustrations.

-Step-by-step procedures for planning a cross country flight.

-Clear, down-to-earth explanations of pertinent FARs—Parts 61 and 91.

-Easy to apply navigation methods for VOR, GPS and ADF, and glass cockpits.

-A wealth of basic and advanced insights, advice and wisdom gleaned from practical experience.

What’s New

Version 2.3

In this update, I’ve added information or updates on the following items:
- ICAO flight plan form and how to file this flight plan with the AFSS.
- ADS-B, TIS-B, and FIS-B Information.
- Aerodynamics structural envelope information.
- NOTAM Info (Pointer, SAA, Military).
- Advanced TFR information.
- Graphical Forecasts for Aviation (GFAs).
- General updates to keep eBook current beyond 2020

Ratings and Reviews

4.4 out of 5
5 Ratings

5 Ratings

FailsafeMachine ,

It’s Good But...

I have enjoyed reading this book so far as I’m just starting out on my Private license. It’s full of good information. There’s only one thing I wish I could do with this and that is the ability to highlight certain passages that I want to remember and to mark pages like you can with a “real” e-book. I know this is just an “app” but I wish it was made more like a book. That would enable me to keep all my notes and such in one place. Other than that, it’s great.

Craig VW ,

Just like the book

This is exactly like the hard copy. If you're interested in learning to fly, this is the book I would highly recommend. If you're like me who always thought flying a plane was complicated which kept me from wanting to learn. I've been to the bookstores looking at some "learn to fly" books, first chapters I read - I confirmed my thoughts that it's complicated. But when I found Rod's book, he made it so easy than it looks. His way of breaking down things, explaining them in ways that we can relate to, based on cars for example, lots of pictures and his humor is what made flying seem like driving a car. I got the motivation to go on and study for my private pilot's license because of Rod's book. I'm self studying for my FAA exam with this book and I'm not spending a cent on ground school classes - that's how easy Rod's book is to learn from.

This is the app version and it's exactly like the book. Only problem is I can't highlight some stuff that I need to look back on like the hardcopy. But, hey, I get it on my iPhone and can read it between my busy schedule on the go and highlight the stuff in my hardcopy later at home. And what make me buy the app version is I will be able to get new versions of his book each time one is released - free. Thanks, Rod!

lordofuo ,

A splendid app/book, regardless of your experience.

I've read Rod's book in its "physical" form, and I have to say, it is a Grade-A "must have" for anyone interested in aviation. The book covers so much material in such an interesting way. If you are looking to take-up flying, but hate dry, boring textbook-like reading, look no further. This app will cover you. The guy is a genius when it comes to teaching. He has written the book in a way that it never leaves your mind to wander. Your attention is constantly being redirected back to the subject by his good sense of humor. There are many, many useful photos/charts for those of you who need visual aid to fully understand (the majority of us).
The app is just like the hard-copy, but easier to navigate through. I couldn't find anything wrong with it. It's pretty much perfect, though I agree with a previous review that having it in iBooks would be a little more convenient.
This app is highly recommended. I give it ten stars, though iTunes will only let me show five.


Rod Machado
159.5 MB

Requires iOS 9.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.



Age Rating


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