Rod Machado's Instrument Pilot's "e"Survival Manual (PDF eBook)
Comments on Rod Machado’s IFR Survival Manual
Mr. Machado's instrument book has been a key resource in our IFR training programs since its first publishing in 1991. Our students delight in the author's writing style combining humor with substance. In operating our school, I depend on authors like Rod to help equip our students with the highest possible level of aeronautical knowledge which in turn enables them to make sound inflight decisions. I particularly appreciate the exceptional manner in which Rod teaches the proper use of approach lighting systems pursuant to FAR 91.175.
Owner, IFR Flight Training School,
A great IFR refresher with information not found in other books. A must for students. When it comes to teaching, Rod is the best.
CFII, Dayton, OH
Machado’s “laugh and learn” method of instruction has made him a popular speaker at hundreds of aviation seminars and it serves the reader well here. This book helps you learn how to think differently in the cockpit and how to acquire the IFR decision-making skills of a professional pilot. If you give this manual the read it deserves, you will find yourself well on the way to being a better IFR pilot -- no kidding.
Managing Editor, Private Pilot
Of all the expenses I incurred in getting my instrument rating, the money I spent on this book was the most valuable investment. After about 35 hours of hood work in the airspace around PAO, I felt I had learnt everything to pass the checkride. However, I wasn't consistent-- sometimes I would overshoot the localizer, or bust an altitude. I had no idea what I was doing wrong, and it was inexplicable that I could do something correctly one day, but not the other. My hood time went up and I was making no discernible progress to finishing up. I was desperately looking for a solution out of my seeming lack of consistency. Finally, I stumbled on to this book at the airport shop. Chapter 3 (Cockpit Conversations) saved the day. I follow the advice religiously now and my flying has improved significantly. My checkride went flawlessly largely due to this advice. The chapters on thunderstorm avoidance (9 and 21) are also proving invaluable as I plan my trip to Oshkosh. I own IFR manuals by both (X) and (X), but this books covers some aspects of IFR flying that neither of those books do.
Best damn book I have ever read on instrument flying.
Ross A. Heller,
I have had this book for a while and have read other books from this author and must say that Rod Machado makes learning fun. It is relatively easy to read and is filled with many tips and ways to help you organize yourself in the cockpit during IFR situations. Not to mention he includes first hand experiences from students that he has taught to try to "show you" what not to do. This book is a must read for anyone up to getting IFR certified. I helped me and I am sure that it will help you in the air as well.
All IFR students and pilots should read this book! As a newly rated IFR pilot, I highly recommend Rod's IFR book. Unlike textbooks that tend to write about a subject 'a mile wide and an inch deep', Rod takes each procedure or approach and treats it as if the reader were truly flying from beginning to end. Rod's flying and instructing experience, as well as his humor and humility, come through in an easy to read, meaningful, and enjoyable book. Included are some great tips to become a more proficient and safe IFR pilot, also. This is a book that will not gather dust on your shelf. It's a terrific reference to keep your IFR skills and knowledge sharp.
San Francisco Bay Area Pilot
With over 30,000 hours of flying, I’ve read dozens of books on instrument flying. Rod’s IFR book is an exceptional text.
Capt. Ed Shaffer,
Retired Pan Am Check Captain, CFII, Saluda, NC
We all know that Rod Machado is one of the sharpest and most entertaining aviation writers around. Well, he's outdone himself this time with the Instrument Pilot's Survival Manual. Not only does Rod clearly detail everything you need to know about instrument flying in his usual thorough and entertaining way, but he digs into things you won't find anywhere else—like how to fly GPS approaches using the latest electronic displays, and the fine points of using weather avoidance technology like lightning detectors and radar. Best of all, Rod delivers straight talk and clear guidance on the really tough challenges we pilots occasionally face—like what should you do when encountering airframe icing, for example? Plenty of books explain the hazards, but only Rod gives you an action plan explaining exactly what to do. Even as a 26-year instrument pilot and a 24-year instrument instructor, I've learned all kinds of great stuff from this book and you will too. Every instrument pilot should read it and keep it handy for reference. Good going, Rod -- you've written another classic!
2000 CFI of the Year, Columnist, Flight Training magazine
Rod has again proved that he is one of the best writers of fly instruction manuals around. This manual is not a complete instruction manual for instrument flight however it is a vital supplement to anyone getting an instrument rating or preparing for their flight review. It is extremely well written, with numerous, anecdotal, but relevant real life situations. I would highly recommend this manual to anyone who is an instrument rated pilot or intends on achieving the rating.
Leonard A. Clark Jr.,
This book is a combination of valuable information and keen insight made easy to read and understand with the use of humor. I recommend this book and the companion, Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook: The Ultimate Private Pilot Book, as an excellent resource for those interested in either real world ground school or even flight simulation such as Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Fort Bliss, TX
Machado's done it again. There are only a few authors in this industry that are fun to read... and fewer still who research their topic in depth. Unfortunately for the instrument student, these two kinds of authors rarely are the same people. Rod Machado is (mercifully) the shining exception.
Rod has managed to make the impenetrable subject of instrument flying not only readable, but enjoyable. Most texts on this subject are far to dry, and are brutally torturous for the non-technical reader. Rod's talent as a lecturer and humorist shine through again; anybody can read this book, and (while having a great time) learn the principles of instrument flying.
Rod has done a particularly good job of researching and communicating the principles of utilizing Air Traffic Control as an in-flight weather resource, and how to make peace with the new 'glass-cockpit' GPS machines that are finding their way into more general aviation cockpits today. There just isn't any other source on the market today that tackles these topics in the depth Rod has done.
While you should not expect that this will be the only book you need to read to get your instrument rating, it is certainly a 'must have.' No serious student of instrument flying should go without including this title in their course of study. While you certainly could acquire your instrument knowledge without it--why would you want to? Anything else is literally 'doing it the hard way.'
I am an active, 10,000-hour instrument instructor, FAA Aviation Safety Counselor, and NAFI-designated Master Instructor. I am also an FAA-designated Remedial Instruction Program Instructor (traffic school for pilots). My specialty is instrument training. It is from that perspective that I give this book my strongest recommendation, not only for pilots new to instrument flying, but also as an excellent review/update for the old hands that have been flying in the system for years.
Master CFI and 2006 National Aviation Safety Councilor
Like a Master Class with the best IFR Instructor around.
There are two kinds of instrument pilots: those that fly in the system because they have to, and those that fly in the system because they love to. Rod Machado LOVES instrument flying. I've met him many times, and I can tell you that he loves thinking about instrument flying, talking about instrument flying, writing about instrument flying, and teaching instrument flying. Rod's the type of guy who you can imagine counting holding pattern laps instead of sheep in order to fall asleep at night. He's fascinated by the smallest detail on an enroute chart, by the challenges of tracking an ADF course in a strong wind, by the deep hidden meaning to be found in a K Index on a Composite Moisture Stability Chart. He's the type of guy you'd want for your "Phone a Friend" friend if you were ever on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" and the big question was about takeoff minimums. The type of guy you'd want to be your instrument instructor.
Rod speaks a lot at aviation events around the country. But if you've never made the trek to Oshkosh, no worries. Buy his book. Hell, buy his book even if you're going to Oshkosh... because the information in it will help you get there in the safest, most efficient manner possible.
Way back in high school, no matter what the class, I always hated the assigned textbook. So I always went to the library or to a bookstore and found a book that explained the same things in a better way. Had I been studying instrument flying, Rod's book would have been my bible. Today, when it comes to all things IFR, it is. It's true, there are many books that explain everything you need to know to pass your IFR written or oral exam, or to brush up for an instrument proficiency check. But most of them are like those high school textbooks...boring and devoid of passion.
Most of us learned to fly, and add new ratings, because we're passionate about aviation. Rod knows this, and his book is in part a celebration of all the fun to be had flying on instruments. Sure, instrument flying is ultimately about getting from point A to point B. But if you've ever tapped the glass over motionless centered ILS needles to see if 1) they're broken, or 2) you're really THAT good...you know that flying IFR with precision is thrilling. It's an admittedly odd thrill, but we all have our passions. Some people get it, some don't.
For less than the cost of an hour of instruction at a flight school these days, Rod will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about flying in the system...and lots of things you didn't even know you didn't know. Whereas most IFR books tell you what you NEED to know to pass the test, Rod tells you what you WANT to know if you plan to actually use that rating. But wait...that's not all! The book is also chock (!) full of bad jokes you'll roll your eyes at...then repeat to all your pilot friends down at the FBO. You'll also find hundreds of helpful illustrations in the book that Rod drew himself. He's a one-man educating machine!
In closing, let me put it this way. Owning both his "Instrument Pilot's Survival Manual" and his "Private Pilot Handbook" (also highly recommended)...I can state with complete confidence that if I was trying to learn a new skill, ANYTHING AT ALL...from auto mechanics to gourmet cooking, astronomy to rock climbing...and I had to choose someone to write the book from which I'd learn this skill...it would be Rod Machado. Buy this book!
Instrument Pilot's Survival Manual--Real-World IFR
I'm an instrument flight instructor, and I often see IFR students or pilots coming in for recurrent training who don't know how to use the real-world IFR system. I recommend Rod Machado's book to all of them. It's one book that takes the arcane knowledge required to earn an IFR rating and explains how that information applies to real-world IFR flying.
Rod's encyclopedic knowledge of flying and his vast experience as a hands-on instructor and speaker makes this book a must-have for every aspiring IFR pilot, rated pilot, and CFII.
CFII, Seattle, WA
The Best Book About IFR Flying Out There!
Rod Machado's Instrument Pilot's Survival Manual is packed with everything a competent instrument pilot should know. Over 1000 of my flight hours were spent teaching instrument flying. I have taught a course called "Instrument Flying for the Real World" at Long Beach Community College, was a chief flight instructor for two FAR Part 141 flight schools and taught FAA written test preparation courses for national and local southern California companies. In addition I spent 10 years as a controller including 6 military and 4 in southern California. I haven't flown in a few years and while IFR basics haven't changed, technology has. The section on GPS really switched on the light bulb for me.
Kenny Rogers had a hit song back in the 70's called "The Gambler" and the lyrics said, "you've got to know when to hold 'em and know when to fold them; know when to walk away and when to run." Communication is like that. Rod helps us understand both sides of the microphone and provides many tips on how to deal with controllers while getting your way most of the time. The key is... well you have to buy the book to learn the key!
The information about self-talk echoes the technique I have used with my own students. I taught them to talk out loud, if necessary. One student told me, "you're with me on every final approach, in my head." This meshes with current psychological principles and will improve every area of a student's life.
So many students are hopelessly disorganized in the cockpit. Rod provides many ideas that will help everyone. Organization includes what you look at and pay attention to. His 3-step instrument scan is what most experienced instrument pilots eventually figure out for themselves. It is like when you were first learning how to land. Your instructor kept giving you the same information over and over again. When you finally "got it" you could not tell him/her what you were doing differently. How nice that Rod accelerates this learning curve for us!
As always, Rod writes with humor that hits the mark because of the grains of truth that are behind the jokes. I found myself laughing out loud several times. I work for the US Government (yes, people who work for the government DO have a sense of humor!) in an agency that creates instrument flying charts used by military pilots to fly worldwide. We have 15 copies of his VFR book that we use to help train new employees. Many analysts have purchased personal copies to have on their desks. I predict even more of our employees will purchase this book.
I highly recommend The Instrument Pilot's Survival Manual to everyone even thinking about flying on instruments. I know that when I return to active flying, it will be the first resource I turn to.
St. Louis, MO
This is one book that is full of information of vast importance, it revels a colossal amount of information needed to be on the cutting edge of IFR knowledge. One could spend thousands of hours reading through various books, articles and other publications and try to pull all this information together. Rod has accomplished all the hard work for you. I not only recommend you buy this book, you should also buy this book as a gift for your friends you care about who fly IFR from a private pilot up to and including ATP types.
Tim C. Peterson,
CFII, Boise, Idaho
CFII's Guide to Practical Teaching
Trying to provide as realistic an environment for the instrument student is a constant challenge for the flight instructor. Placing the onus of decision and responsibility on the student is necessary to ensure survival in the IFR world of practical application. Through Rod Machado's Instrument Pilot's Survival Manual, the experience of pilots with many hours of actual IFR flying is delivered to the student, CFII, and the concerned pilot seeking answers to their IFR questions. From the psychological aspect of thinking like a pro, through the physical side of aircraft control, and on to the mental challenge of managing cockpit resources, Rod guides the instrument pilot to recognize relationships that will improve skill and proficiency. He divulges "Secrets" of the front side, procedure turn, and enroute charts that make one say, "Ah! Why didn't I think of that?!" This usable, reliable manual is a valuable source of ready information and not to be missed. Read, laugh, learn, apply and enjoy!
CFII, Santa Ana, CA
I'd highly recommend this book to VFR pilots that are working on the instrument rating, and I'd also recommend it to instrument-rated pilots that need an occasional refresher. That's what I use it for. In southern California, our "actual" is often a tenth here and there as we bust up through the marine layer or shoot an approach. There's a lot to remember, and Rod's examples and explanations help me get my head back in the clouds. BTW, this second edition adds a chapter on GPS approaches and a weather chapter with lots of cool color illustrations.
One of the best!,
For the pilot who wants to keep his or her skills fresh, reduce the workload in the cockpit and gain a better understanding of the IFR system this book is a must have. The book speaks to the beginning instrument pilot, the pilot who wants to keep his or her skills fresh as well as to the CFII candidate who wants a better understanding of the nuances of instrument flight. Well written and easy to read. Excellent illustrations.
CFI, Seattle, WA
I was really struggling with all of the information that I needed to pass the instrument test. I saw Rod Machado at Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland and was really impressed with his grasp of the difficult.
I bought his Instrument Pilot's Survival Manual and found that everything in it was clear and easy to understand as promised. The author has a way of explaining things that I had never found in any other source. There were facts and ways to understand them here that no other book had bothered to go through.
I was amazed that I was laughing and learning at the same time. Machado has a way of expressing things that make them easy to remember and fun at the same time. The chapter on Thunderstorm Avoidance was worth the price of the book alone. The only down side to the book is that is too short. I wanted to keep reading to keep learning. If you have to buy one book to pass your instrument test, THIS IS THE ONE!
P.S.- I passed my instrument ticket with 'flying' colors!
Fort Myers, Florida
Learning is Fun and Effective With Rod Machado
I own several of Rod Machado's books and some tapes. As I now prepare for my instrument rating, I am pleased he has updated his "Survival" guide and I thus replaced my older version which was handed down to me by another student (The new one has incorporated the glass panel technologies while maintaining its "to the point" elegance.
While Machado is known for his humor, it is his clarity of instruction that I most value. It seems like he is my CFII in the right seat and I appreciate having his practical and friendly instruction. The key is, that while I read everything aviation I can get my hands on, it is Rod Machado's lessons with laughter that help me to remember what I need to fly safely and have fun.
I really use this book (as the dog-eared coffee stained pages will attest) and I am not sure there is a better instructional aviation writer as he slices to the stuff that is actually used in the plane.
Daniel S. Cornell,
Silicon Valley, CA
Instrument Flight Instructor Praises Machado Offering
CFIIs are always looking for help in preparing their students for actual IFR/IMC conditions and Rod Machado has done it with his latest offering. I have used his Private Pilot Manual exclusively for years with my students and now have another great book from him to offer my Instrument students. He makes my job easier and my students better prepared. His being an instructor makes his material readable and the information quick and easy to digest. Money well spent! Thanks Rod!
ATP/CFII (FAA National Flight Instructor 1997)
I have Rod Machado’s Instrument Pilot’s Survival Manual. It is very very well prepared. The depth of it reflects Rod’s passion for flying.
Rod’s IFR and flying skill books are just the best. I truly loved Rod’s IFR Survival Manual, and use it often even now, and lend it to others as well. Rod’s writings, his approach to teaching and flying, and his common sense are great, and keep flying fresh and fun for all of his faithful readers.
Rod Machado’s Instrument Pilot's Survival Manual gave me everything I needed to pass my Instrument checkride. I love humor and I've done my best to look for instructors who can provide humor combined with very good instructional skills (they're not that easy to find believe me). I will never throw your books away.
I am a freight dog, with an ATP and 2600 hours flying. I always thought that my Instrument training had been a little lacking in covering all the fine points like instrument scans and workload management, etc. I was allowed/forced to come up with my own scans and learn by seeing what didn't work. It wasn't that I had a bad instructor; he just thought that I was doing OK. I managed to get my rating and eventually an ATP, but felt like I didn't have everything I needed. I decided to try a few books on the fine art of instrument flying. I chose Brand X and Rod Machado’s Instrument Pilot's Survival Manual. Brand X arrived first so I read it first. Lots of good points and stories, but not what I really needed. It seemed to be mostly opinions and, "there I was" stories. It was as dry as Death Valley in July. Luckily, as soon as I'd finished it, Rod’s book arrived. I am happy to say that I got more out of the first three chapters in Rod’s book, than in all of the other book. Rod’s manual turned out to be just what I was looking for. It has the information that I want and it is presented with just the right amount of humor. You better believe that whenever anyone asks me about how to learn about instrument flying, I recommend Rod’s manual.
Rod Machado Instrument Pilot's Survival Manual is an even better book if that's possible. I read that one first, knowing NOTHING about instrument flying, and having only 26 student hours from 20 years ago. It taught me so much I started flying my husband's IFR simulator all over virtual space. So now I'm an expert IFR flyer and I can't even pilot a real plane VFR yet. But studying the IFR stuff got me interested in taking up lessons again and going for my Private. The PPSEL is kind of a little obstacle in the way of my instrument rating. My pilot buddies are laughing at me and telling me I'm doing it all backwards. But my husband had the Rod’s Instrument Survival Manual lying around, and there was no way I could resist diving into it once I saw all those cute drawings. Now, instrument study is REALLY dry, and Rod did a super job with it! What a fabulous book. So Rod had a hand in getting me back to flying!
I am currently working on my single engine commercial license. I have read both Rod’s private pilot and instrument book and I have to say that they helped me out a lot and I would like to thank you for the knowledge that he has shared with everyone in the aviation community especially myself. Those books actually made flying both easier and more fun for me especially with that holding pattern aid in your instrument book.
I started my flight training four months ago when a good friend bought me Rod Machado’s Private Pilot Handbook. I passed my check ride this Monday and I am still flying! Rod’s sense of humor kept me going and pulled me through the troughs of pre test and pre flight nerves. I am now starting instrument training and am REALLY enjoying Rod’s Instrument Pilot’s Survival Manual. I had no expectation of ever actually making it, and sitting here writing this makes me feel terribly proud of myself! I should add that I am the 36 year old mother of 6 children, three of them triplets all of them under the age of 10 (at least now I have a new distraction). I did it, and Rod helped!
Rod Machado’s Instrument Pilot’s Survival Manual was the most beneficial guide I had when studying for the IFR oral. I'm happy to say that I took and passed my instrument checkride on Monday. I got a kick out of studying from Rod’s book, knowing that the Examiner would be asking me about a lot of the same approaches and chart features that are mentioned.
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