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Cockpit Confidential


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About the Author

Patrick Smith is a New York Times bestselling author, airline pilot, air travel writer, and the host of He has visited more than seventy countries and always asks for a window seat. He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.


"Cockpit Confidential is the document that belongs in the seat-back pocket in front of you." - David Pogue - The New York Times
"Brilliant is the word that applies. A book to be savored and passed to friends." - William Langewiesche, Vanity Fair
"Nobody covers the airline experience like Patrick Smith. He brings balance and clarity to a subject all too often over-hyped. And, he's a damned good writer." - Clive Irving, Conde Nast Traveler
"I wish I could fold Patrick Smith and put him in my suitcase." - Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of Freakonomics
"Patrick Smith is extraordinarily knowledgeable about modern aviation and communicates beautifully in English, not in pilot-ese. The ideal seatmate, a companion, writer, and explorer." - Alex Beam, Boston Globe
"A brilliant writer, Patrick Smith provides a laugh-a-page tour of a misunderstood industry -- a journey into the world of aviation, stripped of the mumbo-jumbo and filled with humor and insight." - Christine Negroni, aviation writer and author of Flying Lessons
""Patrick Smith is one of the best writers around, period, which certainly makes him by far the best writer ever to have earned a commercial pilot's license .... A soaring accomplishment, indispensable for anyone who travels by air, which means everyone."" - James Kaplan
"If you're a white-knuckle flyer, this informative, comprehensive book on air travel is for you...Smith paints an unflinching portrait of modern air travel with several fresh and unexpected insights. " - Publishers Weekly
"No matter how much you've read or how much you know, I guarantee you, you haven't heard this perspective on piloting, airline livery, history or security before. - Christine Negroni" - Seattle PI Online
"Cockpit Confidential offers a series of discussions and essays by Patrick Smith, a commercial airline pilot and travel writer...Smith covers all aspects of air travel, from airport security to airline identity...He provides answers to questions many of us have wondered about...He also offers words of encouragement to those who are terrified of flying." - June Sawyers-Chicago Tribune
"Smith provides a very thorough and sensationalism-free explanation, mostly in layman's terms... Readers will definitely get their frequent flyer miles out of this one." - Campus Circle
"Nearly every question I had about the aviation part of flying was answered in this book...A great, fun read for everyone who flies." - Boarding Area
"Neither an industry apologist nor a cheerleader, Mr. Smith says his book is intended to let frequent fliers and fearful fliers know that "everything you think you know about flying is wrong..".He also explains, in plain English, what causes turbulence, how the world's worst plane crashes happened and the intricacies of our antiquated air-traffic control system. " - Wall Street Journal
"Patrick Smith manages to demystify the experience and remind us of the magic of aviation. Also he has a great sense of humor - which is critical when you are wedged into seat 14D on a regional jet" - Chris Bohjalian, author of The Night Strangers and The Double Bind
"With so many insights gained from a long career in aviation and a genuine ability to write - captain Smith has written "the" go to book on air travel. " - Dave's Travel Corner
"Patrick Smith doesn't just know everything about air travel, he possesses a rare knack for explaining it in lucid and witty prose." - Barbara Peterson, Cond Nast Traveler
"I picked up a copy of Cockpit Confidential by airline pilot Patrick Smith, which I would recommend to fellow nervous fliers. It's an excellent book. " - Daily Times
"The book, Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel, is a mix of questions and answers about air travel plus personal essays that give the reader an insight into the aviation industry and the realities of being a pilot." - Smarter Travel
"Anyone who wants to know more about airline safety, airline dangers, airline realities, and overall how the world looks to people who know aviation from the inside should read, now, Patrick Smith's Cockpit Confidential. " - The Atlantic
"Patrick Smith thinks there's plenty he can tell us. And he's patient enough to guide us through it. Smith makes a terrific seatmate. The pilot can write." - FlyerTalk
"Looking for a good book to take along on your next flight? Cockpit Confidential is bound to reopen your eyes to an industry that most of us take for granted." - Ventura County Star

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