Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge – “PHAK”

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FAA Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge:

I was studying the FAA Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge downloaded from the FAA website in PDF format onto my iPad. But, since I work on the computer all day I get tired of staring at a screen. I had downloaded the 2008 version from the FAA website, but this has since been updated to the 2016 version. I decided to order the new version in print to motivate me to study more.

So, what’s the difference?

Are there significant differences between the 2008 and 2016 editions? Well, the first difference I noticed was the color of the cover. 2008 is blue, 2016, orange. The second thing I noticed was that the chapters are in a different order and some have been renamed. As I just got the book in the mail two days ago and am only reading chapter 2 I can’t give a full review, but here’s what I’ve got so far, and I’ll update as I keep reading.

Chapter 1 seems to be the same in both editions, whereas chapter 2 is different. In the 2008 edition we have Chapter 2 “Aircraft Structure,” but in the 2016 edition it’s “Aeronautical Decision Making.” I think that Chapter 2 in the 2008 edition has been renamed Aircraft Construction and moved to Chapter 3 in the 2016 edition. 2016’s Chapter 2 “Aeronautical Decision-Making” was Chapter 17 in the 2008 edition.

I ordered the ASA version of PHAK which is paperback and has color illustrations. In reading reviews on Amazon it seems some companies publish this book with black and white illustrations which I think would be less helpful. I also glanced at the Kindle edition while thinking “Why pay when you can get it for free?” electronically and noticed that the picture shown was from an earlier edition, so be careful what you buy. Again, why buy the Kindle edition when you can download it FOR FREE from the FAA? See the links at the bottom of the page for where to download the 2016 version for free, and the Amazon.com link to the one that I bought.

My conclusion thus far is that you’re probably fine reading the 2008, just make sure you know the differences about the student license and 3rd class medicals.

FAA Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge Chapter Comparison

Chapter 2008 2016
1 Introduction to Flying Introduction to Flying
2 Aircraft Structure Aeronautical Decision-Making
3 Principles of Flight Aircraft Construction
4 Aerodynamics of Flight Principles of Flight
5 Flight Controls Aerodynamics of Flight
6 Aircraft Systems Flight Controls
7 Flight Instruments Aircraft Systems
8 Flight Manuals and Other Documents Flight Instruments
9 Weight and Balance Flight Manuals and Other Documents
10 Aircraft Performance Weight and Balance
11 Weather Theory Aircraft Performance
12 Aviation Weather Services Weather Theory
13 Airport Operations Aviation Weather Services
14 Airspace Airport Operations
15 Navigation Airspace
16 Aeromedical Factors Navigation
17 Aeronautical Decision-Making Aeromedical Factors
Appendix Appendices
Glossary Glossary
Index Index

PHAK on FAA Website, FREE to download

ASA PHAK that I ordered