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Cockpit Confidential by Patrick Smith: A Must-Read for Travelers


Cockpit Confidential is a can’t-put-it-down book, perfect for summer beach reading, inflight entertainment or as a gift for travelers.  Author Patrick Smith’s conversational tone is quick witted and comfortable.  You get an education, but it also feels like you’re having coffee with an old friend.  He explains complicated technical things in a way everyone can understand, and he knows when not to.  He answers question after question and you find yourself thinking, “Oh yeah, I always wondered about that.”  Even the most seasoned travelers will get something out of it, as well a sense of camaraderie.

Smith is a passenger too, just like us.  He can relate to air travel on many different levels and offers his thoughts on things like airports, security, aesthetics, and environmental impact. He shares how he became interested in airplanes as a boy.  Summers at Revere beach where planes flew super low as they descended into nearby Logan airport helped to fuel his interest in aviation. He used to hang out at the airport and record information about each plane coming in, and even as a kid he was interested in the industry as a whole.  Smith still possess enthusiasm and awe at the miracle and science of flight.

He’s romantic and nostalgic about aviation, but also a practical and forward thinking authority that I wish had more authority.  How much more comfortable we’d all be if he were in charge of air travel.  He hates tedious bureaucracy as much as we do.  I find him to be spot on in his observations.  He just gets it.

Cockpit Confidential is a book I’ll revisit and I’m glad it’s on my kindle because it will be even more fun to read on the plane.  Find it on Amazon in a hard copy, Kindle version, or get it through Patrick Smith’s website (which I frequent because it’s always engaging) HERE.