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Aloft

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  204 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
More than a decade after the publication of Inside the Sky, Aloft is a completely revised, expanded, and updated edition of this classic text, which is widely regarded as the most lyrical and incisive book on flying.
 
In these essays, William Langewiesche considers how flying has altered not only how we move about the earth, but also how we view our world and our place in
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Paperback, 272 pages
Published October 19th 2010 by Vintage (first published 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jacob Maurer
Jan 28, 2017 Jacob Maurer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, just finished this last night!
Two of my favorite things right here; American Airlines and Contemplation.
But, in all seriousness this book was so lovely and written all in all,
Through a very spirited and dynamic motion.
I really did feel like I WAS there. It was so fluent too understand,
even though my dad (being the pilot he is) had to explain a few things...
Just awesome, made me realize I have passion for more than what's inside my own comfort zone.
Eric_W
Feb 04, 2009 Eric_W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: technology
Langewiesche, one of my favorite technology writers, and author of the fascinating dissection of the ValueJet crash in Atlantic several months ago, is in love with flying. Inside the Sky is his attempt to convey that passion to non-pilots. He disdains commercial flight, which has reduced the experience of flying to being squeezed into tiny little seats, eliminates any sensation of flying, and suppresses the beauty of being able to see the world from a different vantage.

He's a little crazy, too.
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Dana Stabenow
Dec 20, 2010 Dana Stabenow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Langewiesche (son of the author of Stick and Rudder) explores the art and craft of flight in first person from the left seat, the view, aviation history, banking, accidents, weather, the FAA, and the tower. "Flying at its best is a way of thinking," he writes. "Because of that, once having left the earth's surface, people never again quite return to it."

On banking, he illustrates an integral movement of flight by using analogies anyone can understand

The bank is a condition of tilted wings, and t
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Wayne Paul
Great Book...Meditations on/of negotiating through the sky in good and difficult times...as well as some issues that pop up in life. Interesting perspective from an experienced pilot and his thoughts along the way. Lots of technical issues as well as some problems associated with humans travelling through the air and life....well worth reading.
Steven Hull
Jan 12, 2015 Steven Hull rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in flight


Langewiesche is an author, pilot, and journalist-correspondent. He is also a gifted storyteller. At first glance Inside The Sky appears to be a collection of seven essays on different aspects of aviation, each independent of the others and capable of being read and understood individually. It becomes clear to the reader early on that these are not mere essays, however, but rather personal devotionals to Langewiesche’s true love—flight.

The author’s style is reminiscent of Ernest Gann, particul
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Ryan Murdock
Jan 10, 2013 Ryan Murdock rated it liked it
We have become creatures of the air, and flying has changed the way we see the world. That aerial view — of orderly houses in neat little rows, of farmland being swallowed by urban growth, of congested highways and abandoned factories — allows us to see ourselves in context.

It is a story of human geography written across the landscape in a narrative as obvious as any book. You don’t need statistics to interpret the growth of office parks, the division of farms, and the inflated architecture of
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Andrea
Sep 15, 2011 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was absolutely fascinating! I would caution however this is not a book for those who have a fear of flying. I love going on airplanes so for me this was a great book and all of the information was of great interest to me. I love this particular quote "Flight's greatest gift is to let us look around." I think that the author who has been a professional pilot wrote about it with a heart and a depth that only someone who has experienced the sheer passion of flying can write about it. I h ...more
Cathi Davis
Oct 31, 2015 Cathi Davis rated it really liked it
Interesting, as always, providing beautifully written descriptions of modern air flight, but descending into a battery of chapters on aviation disasters. But he makes a point not often seen in the press, flying is inherently easy and mundane and mistakes are constantly being made and adjusted for. He upends Murphy's Law, telling us that it is wrong--and that what actually happens is that what can go wrong usually goes right. And that when this happens there is "a collective relaxation of technic ...more
Jim
Mar 09, 2013 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Fans of books about flying and flight should reach unhesitatingly for this collection of meditations on the art and science of those magnificent men in their flying machines. Which sometimes crash and burn in a fairly scary way, as some of these articles relate.
Written with precision by a journalist and pilot, I dropped the book a star because the subjects and the narrative are a bit patchy from article to article. Some are gripping and informative while others had me stifling a yawn and wishin
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Joseph Gendron
May 13, 2013 Joseph Gendron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although the subject of this book is not one that I would normally seek out, I picked the book up because I had read some extremely interesting articles in The Atlantic in 2002 by this author titled "Amercian Ground: Unbuilding the World Trade Center". This book did not diaappoint and is a very fascinating insight into various aspects of flying and aviation. I learned a lot from the book and when I take a cross-country commercial flight in the coming week, it will be with a broader awareness and ...more
Donna Lynch
Would have liked to give this book 3.5 stars, but that's not an option. I really liked the book for the information about the nuts and bolts of flying. Even thought the author goes into some detail about specific plane crashes, it was interesting and comforting to me to see how really safe it is to fly. The only reason I didn't give it a higher rating is because it was sometimes a bit boring. I found it was a good book to read before bed.
Mark
Mar 10, 2015 Mark rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hmm...I love aviation, and this book looked promising. The book, though, is really three or so essays that are (barely) stitched together into a whole. There isn't much cohesion and it reads like separate sections.

Some parts were interesting, mainly when he's describing flight, others not so (some of the storm-chasing was way too much, as well as the long treatise about the FAA and its battles with the flight controllers).
Matthew Eargle
Good observations on the nature of safety checks in aviation, but a little too fatalist for my liking. Overall, his writing style is compelling and well-paced, but sometimes that typical "pilot hubris" tends to overshadow the point. A good read, but I don't think that I would want to have a beer with the author.
Adi Alsaid
Interesting, but what lost me was the lack of poetry. It is less a meditation on flight and more a technical exploration of a couple of facets of flight. In one section, he mocks Saint de Expury's romanticization of flying, but that's really what I wanted from this book.
Noah
Mar 17, 2013 Noah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Langewiesche is at his absolute best when writing about flight (besides being an experienced pilot himself, his father literally wrote the book on aviation). Just about every essay in this book is riveting. Highly recommended.
Gordon Burns
Oct 27, 2016 Gordon Burns rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Don't bother with this book - Just a Pompous Manifesto

The author misses the point regarding aviation repeatedly. On one hand struggles for details and on the other fails to recognize the value of aviation.
Amy
Mar 27, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
"The bank is a condition of tilted wings, and the turn is the change in direction that results. The connection between the two is inexorable: The airplane must bank to turn, and when it is banked it must turn."

p. 64
Sheyda
Dec 21, 2010 Sheyda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: current-affairs
You MUST read this. The first essay alone is just a gorgeous piece of non-fiction writing. I re-read this every year or so.
Mike
Sep 13, 2014 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The man speaks his mind and his writing is better for it. An extremely honest book that will make anyone who flies (whether as pilot or passenger) think a little more deeply about the experience.
Marc
Nov 27, 2009 Marc rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a pilot, I always enjoy reading about flying. This fellow's dad wrote "Stick and Rudder" probably 50 years ago. An aviation classic that every pilot considers "the bible."
Lincoln
Interesting in some parts. It kind of went away from the parts I liked and dragged on some stuff I didn't find all that interesting. Recommended? not sure.
Ray Leon
Sep 21, 2012 Ray Leon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book, really interesting information. Made me feel more safe and more afraid of flying at the same time!
Jim B
Jan 02, 2014 Jim B rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An odd collection of thoughs on flight and essays on accidents and air traffic control. Not quite what I expected based upon the subtitle.
Ahmed Hassan
Ahmed Hassan rated it liked it
Jun 30, 2013
Heidihark
Heidihark rated it really liked it
Oct 14, 2016
Michael Brady
Michael Brady rated it it was amazing
May 16, 2007
Cathy Houston
Cathy Houston rated it really liked it
Jun 18, 2017
W. Olsen
W. Olsen rated it it was amazing
Mar 05, 2012
Douglas
Douglas rated it liked it
Aug 03, 2012
Philip Wilk
Philip Wilk rated it it was amazing
Jan 07, 2017
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William Langewiesche is a journalist who has written for Vanity Fair and The Atlantic Monthly.
More about William Langewiesche...

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