Pilot’s book can get you into the air
A full size model of a Piper J3 Cub hung above the main staircase in the outdoor sporting goods store. John Craparo, an experienced pilot and flight instructor, wondered if the store had any books on exploring bush country in such a plane.
“The store didn’t carry any books about aviation or about how to fly the airplane,” John says. “Other displays in the store seemed to have books and literature about how to participate in hunting, fishing, building rustic furniture, rock climbing, collecting guns, but nothing about flying.”
This experience planted the idea for his future book, You Can Fly Now—Your Keys to a Sky Full of Opportunity.
“After retiring,” John says, “I started writing for a number of popular aviation magazines. This caused me to start looking into facts about flying in the United States. I found that in 1975 there were about 800,000 pilots in the country. By 2010, the number was 600,000. I intentionally began writing [about aviation] with a bias toward advocacy, hoping to convey the fun and joy of flying to the general public.”
As John worked on his book, everything came together. “At the time I retired, my nephew wanted to learn to fly,” John says. “He took a lesson in a helicopter, but it was expensive, over $250 an hour. I told him how he could learn to fly airplanes under the new Sport Pilot rules for much less.”
John explains that in 2004 the United States Federal Aviation Administration made a revolutionary change to help people obtain certain certifications. The Sport Pilot Rules reduced the minimum amount of training time to obtain a pilot’s license (properly, certificate) by fifty percent.
“I realized there was a need for a book to show how the Sport Pilot rules could act as a springboard to flying and related careers, from commercial pilot to aircraft repairman. I began outlining You Can Fly Now,” John says.
He used his nephew’s experience to create a book that “takes readers through fifteen steps from the introductory flight, to arranging finances, through the final test.” John also includes examples of safe and exciting forms of flying that enhance the pilot experience, such as flying seaplanes and gliders and using powered parachutes. Appendices include information about where to get efficient but rigorous training, the newest aircraft available, and supplies needed. For those who want to do more research, the book also includes helpful websites.
For readers who’ve long thought about taking to the air, and for those who are just considering learning to fly, You Can Fly Now can provide “keys” to the sky.