Comments by Customers

At 7:30 a.m. this morning I took and passed my private pilot check ride. What a thrill! This is something I have wanted since I was 9 years old. I owe a part of my success to Rod. His Private Pilot Handbook was the most valuable piece of literature I acquired during my training. During my ground school, I would study the information in his book along with my other training manuals. Rod’s wonderful writing style and depth of knowledge made even the most confusing topics easy to understand. During my flight training, I was having an especially tough time with VOR navigation, but Rod’s explanation finally made it "click." Rod produced such a wonderful book.


I am a 15-(almost 16) year-old student pilot out of NY. I recently purchased Rod Machado’s Private Pilot Handbook and I just wanted to say how much better I understand airplane engines and electrical systems now, then I did when I took the test. Rod’s book is a great learning tool. I will recommend it to any pilot, at any level.


I recently turned 73, and passed my check ride (first time) for Private Pilot yesterday with flying colors. The last lesson I had prior to starting ground school was in 1945 - 57 years ago today. I am certainly indebted to my CFII, my excellent ground school instructor and, of course, to Rod Machado whose book "Private Pilot Handbook" sits dog-eared on my aviation reference shelf. Was it worth it? This is my crowning achievement!


Any student who buys the Handbook but not the Workbook is making a conscious decision to spend more time earning his private pilot ticket. I don't see how any student could not want to test his knowledge and progress.
Barry Wallis,

I wanted to take a moment to thank Rod for writing his signature Private Pilot Handbook and Workbook. I used them together as my primary source on info, culminating in a PP-ASEL certificate. His materials fit my learning style to a tee. I saw Rod’s Handbook on a shelf of aviation books. I browsed through it and quickly knew it would be a perfect way to at least satisfy my curiosity, and possibly serve as my primary training aid. Good call I think :-) I can't say enough about the balance of instruction, humor, real-world anecdotes, emphasis on safety and sheer breadth of topics achieved in the Handbook!

S. McCrory

Machado’s Private Pilot Handbook and Workbook are packed full of great information and entertaining to read as well. Rod’s flight lessons on Microsoft Flight Simulator taught me a great deal. He has a great way of making complex subjects understandable. Rod provides so much information for those of us that are interested in aviation.

D. Burney

Rod’s handbook and workbook are great and make reading all of the information enjoyable.

J. Vigar

We have been using Rod Machado’s Private Pilot Workbook at our flight school since it first came out. It's really great.
Mark Wilson,

The only way to consistently meet the demand for better, smarter and safer pilots, is to ask more of yourself as an instructor, and demand more of every training aid that you use. I use Machado's Private Pilot Handbook and Workbook and I get credit for a lot of work that is done by these books.
Jim Trusty,
Master CFI, National Flight Instructor of the Year

I passed my written prepared by using Rod Machado’s Private Pilot Handbook. I also purchased Rod’s Workbook although it was only available at my flight school last week. I plan to re-read the Handbook using the Workbook this time, while I finish my cross-countries. I’m sure I'll be ready for the oral. Rod IS th' man!

Quite a few years back I attended a ground school where they utilized a text that was so dull and confusing that I quickly put aside any ideas of going aloft. Rod Machado’s Private Pilot Handbook has been quite the opposite, I have enjoyed it to the point that I am more than halfway through before I have even taken an introductory flight (that happens on Tuesday). I am not even sure if I will actually enjoy the experience of a small plane. Even so, even if I decide to stay on terra firma, I will likely complete Rod’s text as an enjoyable intellectual exercise just to see how I do on the written exam. I just picked up a copy of the workbook and it too is very helpful. Great books. I am really enjoying them.

If you are contemplating learning to fly the choice you make on your CFI will be one of the most important decisions of your life. What you learn and retain in the initial stages of your tenure as a pilot can stay with you until the day you make your last flight. I can't stress enough the importance of picking the RIGHT instructor.

Dudley Henriques

Thanks for the link! Your book made getting my private easier than I expected. I just downloaded the Instrument book. It’s easier than reading the FAR/AIM, that’s like watching paint dry. Thanks again! 

Dan McCrillis


Listening to an awesome audio book from Rod Machado. Love this guy. Intelligent, clever, funny.
Angie S.


Rod, I purchased your Private Pilot Handbook a few weeks ago.  What a fantastic resource.  Wish I had purchased it when I first got started a little over a year ago.  While all the other resources I am using are factual and well written, recall was weak and I found it difficult to understand some of the concepts.  VOR tracking was one of my challenges when it came time to ascertain how to intercept.  Hard to believe after boating for 30 years and learning navigation the old fashioned way but to keep this short I was going a long way around the barn to get where I needed to be.  Page K10 solved that.  E6B recall was marginal after a short time with no use.  Page N35 and N38 solved that. I must admit that I thought the "kitty cat's nose" memory tool was a little hokey, but now I don't forget! All of your illustrations are excellent and the sidebar stories keep it interesting.  I have yet to find myself asleep on the couch while reading your book. I could go on and on. Suffice it to say I think I would be miles ahead of the game if I had bought this sooner. Thanks, KR, Park Hall, MD

Dear Rod,
There truly is no way you can describe my feelings for your writings.  In your wildest dreams, you cannot visualize my thoughts of his books.  I truly can't keep them in stock for they are the most complete presentation of aviation knowledge.  In my earlier years as an instructor using XXX, FAA, XXX and XXX texts, I hated instructing.  Now it is a joy to instruct for I am using your material. During my weekly Saturday seminar we have attacked your Private Pilot Book of which I have sold  approx. 165 copies to date.  I have also sold many, many of the instrument books which I have covered front to back during my bi-weekly instrument refresher courses. I continue to order and sell the work book which is the greatest thing since popcorn. I always tell pilots and students that the new Rod Machado's Instrument Book and the Private Pilot Book are the finest textbooks ever written to help students and pilots to understand flying from the ground up. Please keep giving us the tools we need to be good instructors.
Luigi J. Bottini, CFII, Galaxy Aviation, 40-year Pilot, 25-year Flight Instructor

Hi Rod,
I wanted to start off by telling you what a big fan I am of your books.  I have been reading your books since I was a student pilot.  Now I am an ATP flying a Westwind and I still jump when you have a new book come out.  I am in the middle of reading your new Instrument Manual and realize that I still have a lot to learn. [...holding pattern question...]  Help me Obi Won, your my only hope! I appreciate your time and would love to see you come out with a book about flying more advanced aircraft (preferably jets).  I have learned so much from your writings through my career and encouraged my students to buy your books when I was an instructor. Take care. JA

I just purchased Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook. What a wonderful book. Even though I received my PPL last year, I can't stop poring over it. The difference between my [Brand X] Manual and Rod's is that his is not only entertaining but it has so many neat tips. "A picture is worth a thousand words" Rod hit the nail right on the nose. I added a gem to my resource library.  
B.A. Carmichael, CA

Dear Rod,
A retired engineer named Jack S------ contacted me regarding taking flying lessons.  Jack informed me that he had earned his private pilot's license in 1969, accumulated about 100 hours before having to give up flying due to the demands of 5 children, moving for new jobs, etc.  He contacted me after being away from flying for over 30 years. Considering his low time and 30 year absence I felt that we would have to start from scratch with his training. 
   I suggested that he purchase Rod Machado's "Private Pilot Handbook" to help him refresh his knowledge of all the things that have changed since 1969. In the back of my mind I was concerned that perhaps a talented engineer [Jack] wouldn't like all the simple explanations, cartoons, and illustrations depicted in Rod's book.  But to my delight Jack absolutely loved the book.  "I can't put it down", said Jack with great excitement. 
   "Thanks so much for recommending this book!"  Jack went on to explain that his wife Judy [a non-pilot] also likes the book and the colorful humor.  "In fact we're fighting over who gets to read the book, so I purchased her own book as well as three more to give to my 3 oldest children as Christmas presents". 
   I can't tell you how something as simple as a book as given me so much enthusiasm and energy for my flight instructing!  When I saw Rod's book at Sun 'n Fun 2 years ago for the first time I was blown out of the water! What a great and entertaining training and reference manual.  Thanks to you both for your time and effort producing this!
   I look forward to seeing you guys at Oshkosh this summer.  My student Jack will be attending so I'll make sure he comes by your booth and introduces himself.   Your truly, DM, CFII


The best single source of primary aviation material I've seen anywhere. A.S.
I ordered this book before I started training for my PPL to get some background information. Rod writes with humor in a way that makes everything easy to remember. By the time I started ground training, I found that I knew just about everything that they covered and this book is much easier to read and much more interesting than the materials that came with the private pilot kit that I bought for ground training. A.C.A. Bremerton, WA
This is aero knowledge distilled into one amazing book - just about everything covered and easily readable... excellent. I.M. Penkridge, UK
He has captured the essence of learning with humor. I am working on my CFI ticket and this is an excellent book to help with putting the essentials of aviation technology in an easy format to understand and use for the new student. His humor greatly aids retention! It deserves more than 5 stars!
As an aspiring IFR pilot, I found this book a good refresher to general flying. For those pilots who share the passion and like insider trading secrets on how to fly, this is a great primer. It has fantastic ideas covering cross-country flying.  J. T. Houston
Simply a must for those seeking a PPL, It never ceases to amaze me how much has been written about aviation and how confusing it can be to the initial student. I read this book cover to cover when learning to fly. I also read many others but found this to be the most complete and certainly the most readable. Moving on though my flight ratings I found myself using it often as a resource as we tend to forget such things. I have had my students use it thought the years and the feedback is uniformly highly favorable. I would encourage all to read it. Machado is very good and a legend in flight instruction. This book should be THE book for all student pilots. S.S.S. Chicago
Rod Machado = funny and relevant. Rod Machado is easily the best author in the aviation field. His work is always right on target and valuable to new pilots and veterans alike. He presents his material in a humorous fashion that makes it very quick reading and keeps you learning all the time. C.C.N. Snohomish, WA
Many private pilot manuals place all their emphasis on passing the "written" only. Therefore they offer only enough dry material, without any explanations -- just to pass the test. This is a shame, especially for someone becoming an entry-level pilot. This book is different. It's written in a refreshing conversation-like style. It has all the required data one needs to pass the test, but goes one or two steps further in actually EXPLAINING the why's and what-fors. (What a concept!) I found I could actually sit and read about FAA regulations, and NOT begin to get brain fade after 10 minutes. The pages are interspersed with side bars, accident reports, and hangar-talk to give the gray matter a bit of a breather; and there are more than enough graphics to help you to understand a rule or concept. Oh yes, the humor -- well some of it is corny, but not any more so than one would have during a chat with a friend. Hey, flying is supposed to be FUN. The humor is there to make a particular point, and to help you assimilate the fact easier. I welcomed it.
If you don't learn it with this book, you won't learn it. K. T. Navarre, FL
A wonderful reference and learning guide. I've been flying for over twenty years, and teaching for over three. As Rod suggests, I offer my students the choice between the --------- and Machado texts. Not only do my students enjoy the Machado flight manual, I find that they understand the material better. If any material is interesting to the student, they will learn it more easily and remember it. Without hesitation, I let my students learn from Rod. I find his explanations to be more accurate and understandable than the FAA's own manuals. I highly recommend this book based on the content, and the impact I've seen this book have on my students. N. W. CFII Hopkinton, MA
Finally, someone explains WHY. Machado takes the time to explain the "why" behind so many aspects of learning to fly, and all the strange rules and regulations, which makes it all easier to understand.
Absolute must for anyone seeking PPL rating. Machado provides the student with all of the necessary information required for flight training and more in an entertaining and informative fashion. Not nearly as boring as FAA or ICAO publications and most definitely a much easier read. If you're looking to become a private pilot and are shopping for textbooks, look no further. Great book, plenty of info, a must have for PP's and aspiring PP's everywhere. N.T.H. Indianapolis
If you are learning to fly, as I am, this book will really help you. I've used software and video, and this book is much clearer, entertaining, and memorable.
I'm getting the knowledge I need for the test, in addition to other stuff that I would probably not have learned had I focused exclusively on test prep. I'm looking forward to getting more stuff from Machado, like the instrument book. It's next on my list!
Used this book as my main resource book as I worked toward my private license. I had the ---- CDs, but when I needed clarification or real insight, I picked up Machado's handbook. His ability to take the complex and explain it in simple concepts makes this book worth its weight in aviation fuel.
This book is great! It has in-depth and accurate explanations of pretty much everything that is covered in private pilot training. It is fun to read as well, with Rod's excellent humor. This book is a good resource to me even after I get my license. E.G. Tustin, CA
Entertaining Education. This book was excellent in many ways. I read it cover to cover once but used it as a reference many more times throughout my training. It helped me make a 93 on the PPL written, but more importantly it allowed me to thoroughly understand the concepts and ultimately pass the oral and practical tests. Illustrations are EXCELLENT, and there are a lot of them. Highly recommended. J.H.M. Austin, TX
A very, very, excellent book for students, or pilots of yesterday, and flight simulator enthusiasts. Having difficulty understanding some subjects such as VOR, ADF's, DME's, Radio Comm, Gyros/instruments, Flight Planning, the flight calculator [better than the manufacturer's instructions], understanding flight charts, Air Space maneuvering, etc.? This is a book you cannot afford to miss. It contains good color photographs of flight charts which are a poor display as photocopies in other manuals allowing you to really see and catch on to details. R.H.M. Panama, Central America
Well done! I'm still working on getting myself prepared to take the written test. I tried reading other books on the subject before but gave up because I got bored and my brain blanked out. Not so with this book - Rod has a very entertaining way of explaining technically complex things. A.K. Javea, Spain
Great all-in-one book. This is an excellent book. Mainly the diagrams, and pictures taken from actual flight manuals and charts, make it very easy to learn and comprehend. A large book it is, it is nicely organized as well as very good in summarizing key points that the FAA will ask on the exam. Brett, Riverside, CA

Absolutely fabulous book. Covers in immense detail the topics covered in ground school, while at the same time very interesting to read. Full of humor and tons of illustrations. It is almost possible, I've found to gather all information covered in text by looking entirely only at the illustrations. This book is never tedious or dry. You will learn a whole lot more from in than what is covered in the Jeppesen's "Private Pilot Manual", and it is a far, far more interesting read. Airspace will make a lot more sense too. Should definitely be read in lieu of or in conjunction with Jeppesen's Private Pilot Manual.
This book is unique. It explains complex topics to newcomers in a clear and fun manner. Rod starts with the basics of flight principles and takes you all the way to advanced flight planning, avionics, etc. He uses numerous visual aides to reinforce his points as well as add humor. This book also instructs through examples and stories  - doing an excellent job of conveying both the concept and its application. I highly recommend this book to anyone learning how to fly. M.D. Bellevue, WA
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is considering studying for the Private Pilot Certificate. I have spent the last thirty years working in aviation-related jobs. There is a lot of technical knowledge to be learned in several different fields, and Mr. Machado did a very good job of helping me to learn new material in an entertaining way. I also gained a better understanding of some material that I already knew a bit about. The book is good at explaining the subject matter in a humorous way that makes it easier to understand and remember. The subjects are well organized and there are plenty of illustrations to go with the text. W.E.R. Pasadena, CA
Children, can you say "Well done?" I'm an avid reader and a student pilot with 40 hours in a Cessna 172. I've known about Rod Machado's books for some time but never really took the many opportunities presented to actually crack them open, I'm sorry to say. The fact that most of my pilot friends had this book should have clued me in but... Before now, there have been relatively few books dealing with aviation that I have found to rave about. This is one of those rare books. The author outlines principles and concepts in a clear and easy-to-understand format, loaded with illustrations to help the pilot better understand what is being written. One can tell that Machado deeply understands the subject matter.
Excellent book, better than any FAA Reprint. This is an excellent book, good explanations for difficult subjects. Nice depth of coverage, more than one needs to know just to pass the FAA Knowledge Test. I studied FAA Reprints inn ASA before I read this and still learned a lot.
A must-have addition to your aviation library. Whether you're learning this stuff for the first time, or brushing up on material that didn't quite stick the first time around, this book is a must-have. It covers everything, with easy to understand explanations (not regurgitations, but explanations), terrific illustrations (original graphics that compliment the great explanations), and some corny humor and funny stories that may actually make you chuckle out loud. I did. Adam, Sherman Oaks, CA
I have to agree with the other reviews on this book. Rod Machado's use of humor and numerous illustrations keeps your studying lively. I especially liked how he can use more than one analogy to explain a topic. If he can't get through to you one way, he has another and possibly a third way to attack the topic.
This book is an extraordinary handbook, the best yet written. Rod Machado, a brilliant pilot and aviation author writes ALL the essentials for becoming a private pilot in a humorous, interesting way. After reading the book, I was STUNNED on how much I learned and while having fun too!
The easiest MOST complete written aviation book or manual. The BEST book for really understanding the concepts and facts of aviation. It is written in a manner you will remember and retain!
Great to read even BEFORE you begin your flight training! I paged through several introductory private pilot manuals. None of the manuals conveyed the necessary information so thoroughly and in such an easily digestible form. I know I'll re-read this book as I begin logging hours in the sky. Thanks to this book, everything about flying an airplane is now one thousand percent clearer to me (including that fearful ATC interaction stuff).
Aeronautical knowledge beaten into you with a funny bone. I have read a lot of books on flying an airplane, it wasn't, however, until I read Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook that I understood what the others were saying. So, does that make Rod's book a flying dictionary? Heck no. Just makes it the next to only book you'll ever have to read on flying. Certainly the first one to read. I wish I'd known about it when I was a student. I could have impressed my instructor all the time instead just half of it. Rod Machado's powerful (how many people do you know who can turn electricity to water), funny, down-to-earth style makes you shout out loud: "So that's how it works!" And then cackle with glee.
As textbooks go, this is a wonder. Even the illustrations are funny. Great way to transmit information, especially to a reader who's been afflicted by the more traditional flight instruction manuals. The book you turn to when others are putting you to sleep. D.F.
As a private pilot I am always looking for new books to read regarding general aviation. I live in Argentina and this book has helped me to polish my skills. It's a must read for pilots all over the world. This book can save your life when you are up there. M.B. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Rod's book is great! Provides good coverage of all the basics, yet injected with a sense of humor, which definitely helps you through the mass of material. It's easy to read over time, in one-chapter increments, as your flight training progresses. Rick, New York, NY
This book is a must for experts and dummies. I guess Mr. Machado realized there are a few of us dummies out here who find it difficult to understand technical manuals that he wrote this excellent book with us in mind. Mr. Machado's humor, the easy to read text and the follow up step-by-step diagrams make this book a breeze to understand. I certainly give this book a *****+ rating. R.L. Redmond, WA
I had been out of aviation for a couple of years and bought this book. It not only reviewed me, but also taught me things I had never known. Excellent. This book is what you need to stay alive in the sky.
Excellent! I think Rod Machado is a genius. His book simplifies without leaving out the most complicated aspects of aviation. He seems to understand the doubts that arise in you while studying and answers them promptly. His humour is also very pleasant when studying some subjects which can be quite boring such as airspace. The book has thousands of diagrams, which will simplify your understanding. D.A. Rome, Italy

Must reading for pilots in training! The author takes extremely complicated issues and describes them thoroughly, but in a way a 5-year-old could understand. He has a great sense of humor and a firm grasp of technical issues and an ability to explain some of the more mundane or boring information with respect to flying. Also, after reading his book I never see these issues as boring or mundane - I keep remembering his explanations. Full of illustrations and anecdotes on the side. He can help anyone understand the basics of piloting. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to get a pilots license. I wish he would write more. I give this book 5 stars. C.K. NY, NY)

A must have. I have read through quite a few other books before I got this one, and this is the only book you need. Great explanations, and humor. M.V.
I purchased a copy of Rod's book before I even started my flight lessons. I quickly decided that even if I did not pursue my certificate that I would read this all the way through. It is that well written. Many introductory aviation books are little more than a list of test questions. While being able to pass the multiple choice test is important, being a better pilot as the result of your studies is even more important. If you actually want to understand the concepts then buy this book. Years ago I took a Private Pilot Ground school. The text and the instructor both offered all the excitement of eating dry shredded wheat. I never finished the course. Rod's text enables you to actually enjoy reading about seemingly mundane topics such as airfield operations. I only wish he had written some of the Statistics texts we used when I was an undergrad. If nothing else buy the book for the diagrams and illustrations. Then, when you are stumped about a particular subject you will have a reference that will make the concept readily understandable. I consider this book a MUST HAVE for any aspiring pilot or even for anyone just curious about aviation. It will give you everything you need to pass the written AND it will make you a better pilot at the same time. M.I. Pennsylvania
Starting at ground zero, I feel this book is a great place to start!
I am a published writer, and recently became a pilot. In my zeal to learn all I could about flying I went about buying almost any good books I could find. The book is absolutely the best investment you can make in a combined tool that covers the fundamentals of flight, the theory and issues related to the knowledge required, actual flying and aeronautical knowledge, nuggets of information, advice, yes, corny (but fitting, explaining) humor, and more illustrations and color images than you could expect to get for such a reasonably priced book. Page upon page of well-written text, great images and illustrations, and photos are what make the book a winner. The pleasant surprise is that I believe he made the pictures and illustrations himself and they are actually very good (simple, clear, and very effective), so he is a man of many talents. So, if you buy ONE book related to flying, this should be it. I.A. Heron Pointe, NY
Excellent reference. I found this book to be helpful and entertaining. I can nearly always find exactly what I am looking for when it comes to basic flying questions. Highly recommended. D.S. CA