Learning to Fly Helicopters by R. Randall Padfield
Learning to Fly Helicopters by R. Randall Padfield

BJT's Former Editor Demystifies Helicopter Flying

Ever wonder what it would be like to pilot a helicopter? Then pick up the new second edition of a book from former BJT editor-in-chief R. Randall Padfield, which employs a conversational style to demystify the art and science of helicopter flying. Called Learning to Fly Helicopters, the work has been completely updated and expanded for this new edition to offer the experiences of 17 pilots, tips on how to choose a flight school and more. McGraw-Hill Education published the 520-page volume, which includes dozens of photos and a comprehensive glossary.
“While I explain how one learns to fly helicopters, one can’t really learn how to fly a helicopter from any book,” says Padfield. “One has to do it. My hope is that Learning to Fly Helicopters will help the reader better understand what the experience of flying a helicopter is like—the joys as well as the risks involved and how to mitigate them. I wrote it as if the reader and I were casually talking together in a coffee shop.” He added that the book provides valuable information for anyone who is considering flying helicopters, whether privately or professionally, student pilots who are already in flight training and people who just want to know what it’s like to fly a helicopter.  
Padfield, who now serves as COO of BJT parent company AIN Publications, has accumulated some 9,000 hours of flight time, most of it in helicopters. He has flown U.S. Air Force rescue helicopters in Iceland and Alaska, offshore helicopters to North Sea oil platforms and civil helicopters in passenger operations in the Northeast.