Knowledge base index
List of backcountry aircraft
Products & gear
Training and instruction
Bush flying library
Shortfield.com airstrip database
Safety & Survival
Intro to survival
Survival gear guide
USAF Survival - Illustrated series
Events and Fly-ins
All Events and Fly-ins
Search for groups
Latest forum topics
Recreational Aviation Foundation
Why airstrip advocacy?
Adventures on the Fly
CubCrafters to Alaska
Featured bush planes
Featured trip reports
Live to Tell
Tales from yesteryear
Photo & Video
A Thousand Words
Latest user photos
Do it Yourself
How to shoot photos
How to shoot video
Ohio Bush Planes
Bush flying library
Our bush flying library is a collection of mostly non-fiction bush flying books by various authors. Be sure to check out the other libraries for
Bound for the Backcountry
The Idaho backcountry has the most unique mountain and canyon flying found in the lower forty-eight states. For the first time a comprehensive history of nearly one hundred of the state's isolated airstrips has been compiled, detailing the construction and historical events of each. The most southerly airstrips included are those at the headwaters of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River and northward through the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. Combined with the history of each individual location are fascinating stories related to homesteaders, runway owners, boaters, hikers, pilots, and airplanes. Highlighting the incredible amount of information are maps and over 1,000 black and white photographs.
Bush and Arctic Pilot
Bush and Arctic Pilot tells the story of Al Williams' life in aviation. Winging through the Canadian bush and in the North, Williams piloted thirty-five different aircraft types from Piper Cubs to DC-3s. Though he spent less time in the cockpit than many other pilots, few have shared their experiences so vividly. Originally intended as recollections for his grandchildren and subsequent generations, Williams has created an interesting volume that adds to Canadian flying history. This book will be enjoyed by aviation buffs everywhere.
Wager with the Wind
Don Sheldon has been called ""Alaska's bush pilot among bush pilots", but he was also just one man in a fragile airplane who, in the end, was solely responsible for each mission he flew, be it a high-risk landing to the rescue of others from certain death in the mountains of Alaska or the routine delivery of supplies to a lonely homesteader.
Arctic Bush Pilot: From Navy Combat to Flying Alaska's Northern Wilderness- A Memoir
James "Andy" Anderson and James Rearden
Backed by Wien Airlines, former Navy combat pilot "Andy" Anderson pioneered post-World War II bush service to Alaska's vast Koyokuk River region serving miners, Natives, sportsmen, geologists, adventurers, and assorted bush rats. He flew mining equipment, gold, live wolves and sled dogs, you name it -- anything needed for life in the bush. He sweated out dozens of dangerous medical-emergency flights, always at night and in terrible storms.
In the Shadow of Eagles
Rudy Billberg / Jim Rearden
Aviation Hall of Famer Rudy Billberg's story takes you through the great age of aviation, from his first airplane ride in Minnesota in 1927 to his bush flying career in Alaska beginning in 1941. Filled with drama, history and insight, Billberg's narrative chronicles the lives of fellow Alaskan airmen like Joe Crosson, Harold Gillam, Noel Wien, and Sam White, and tells of the early aircraft they all flew Travel Airs, Fairchilds, Pilgrims, Bellancas.
Wings of the North
by Dick Turner
From beside a fleecy cloud where the icy mountain top hides a rising sun that will in moments bathe the little emerald lade with warmth and splendour, I dedicate this book to the 'esprit de corps' that exists among the bush pilots of the north. Knowing that I am not competent to do justice to all aspects of bush flying, I ask forgiveness from all the bush pilots who are my friends for the errors and omissions in this chronicle. I do not pretend that this is a complete treatise on the history of northern aviation. That must be left to others who are more capable than I. If this poor effort of mine brings back nostalgic memories of the north to those of you who have experienced the thrills, the terrors, the delight and exhilaration of being with the eagle of the sky; if there are any words in this book that will enable the young men and women now entering the world of aviation to become better and safer pilots; if it brings interest and excitement to others, then I will be well satisfied and content that I have not failed in my objective.
Heroes of the Horizon
Bruder, a commercial floatplane pilot, presents vignettes based on interviews with surviving Alaskan bush pilots who flew from the 1930s through the 1950s. Some of the "pioneers" proved to be reticent about their experiences, but there are enough accidents, forced landings, narrow escapes, and wilderness survival sagas to please most adventure readers. Bruder, to his credit, pretty much allows the veterans to tell their own stories. While several books about Alaska's bush pilots are available (e.g., The Bush Pilots , Time-Life Bks., 1983), this is a particularly valuable collection of reminiscences of a bygone era. For aviation buffs and true adventure readers.
Noel Wien: Pioneer Bush Pilot
From his days as one of Alaska's earliest bush pilots through the years spent developing Wien Air Alaska with his brothers, Noel Wien built up a long list of firsts: he was first to fly commercially from Fairbanks to Nome and from Fairbanks to Seattle, first to fly from Anchorage to Fairbanks, first to fly and land beyond the Arctic Circle, and first to make a round-trip flight between Alaska and Asia.
This is the story of Bob Reeve, Alaska's first, most daring and most accomplished bush pilot. In 1932 he arrived in Valdez with no money, no plane and ill health. He soon made a career of doing the kind of flying that no one else wanted to do and earned the description of the "the greatest rough-terrain pilot of our continent." He developed a successful commercial airline operating in "the worst weather in the world" along the fog-shrouded Aleutian chain, perfected the art of landing on glaciers, and engineered special devices for his plane that enabled him to achieve unheard-of performance at high altitudes.
Flying the Alaska Wild: The Adventures and Misadventures of an Alaska Bush Pilot
Mort D. Mason
Imagine flying through wildly unpredictable weather conditions and over the unforgiving terrain of the Big Empty, with only yourself to rely on in life and death situations. This type of true grit adventure was a common occurrence for Alaska bush pilot Mort Mason, who encountered numerous white-knuckle situations while honing his skill--and his luck--in a profession that only a handful of pilots have had the stamina to endure. Flying the Alaska Wild is a heart-pounding, edge-of-the-chair collection of fascinating stories about the rough-and-tumble life of an Alaska bush pilot--straight from the pilot’s seat. Recounting thirty years of adventures, skilled storyteller Mason presents tales of his own experiences, and also tells the legendary stories of other old-time bush pilots.
Jack Jefford shares stories of his gripping rescues, white-knuckle crackups, and wild adventures that come from flying the not always friendly skies of Alaska. Arriving in the Territory of Alaska in 1937, he started flying from the gold rush town of Nome for Hans Mirow. Jack’s stories are some of the most fascinating and interesting to come out of Alaska. At the urging of his daughter, this great, early Alaska pilot decided to share these incredible flying stories with aviation fans the world over.
Alaska's Sky Follies
Joe Rychetnik's laugh-a-line book reveals the not-so-glamorous truth about an earlier era of aviation in Alaska when breaking the rules was the rule.
Bush Flying : The Romance of the North
Robert S. Grant
Bush Flying : The Romance of the North offers readers a kaleidoscope of aviation stories from former bush pilot Robert Grant. Having logged more than 12,000 hours of flight time in the wilds of Canada, Grant takes the reader with him on his travels from coast to coast to coast. From adventures in the high arctic to near misses in the western mountain ranges, Grant shows that life behind the controls of a bush plane is not all fun and glamour.
Tales from the Lakeview
Robert S. Grant
This captivating collection of aviation short stories by Robert S. Grant offers the reader an intimate view inside the world of Canadian wilderness flying, along with vignettes from his own 45-year career as a commercial pilot.
14 Days to Alaska: Two Brothers in a 57-Year-Old Airplane Fly the Ultimate Cross Country Flight Training Adventure
Flying a small plane to Alaska is an adventure many pilots only dream of. In 2008, the author, a student pilot, and his brother, a flight instructor, embarked on this adventure in an airplane old enough to be their mother. On their journey, they examined how to fit twelve feet eight inches worth of grown men into one of the smallest cockpits on earth--for as many as eight hours a day. They visited places they had planned on going, to see friends and relatives, and made unintended stops in places they hadn’t ever heard of. They waited out weather, waited on maintenance, and wrapped the whirlwind of learning to fly into one of the grandest cross-country trips imaginable. In the end, they covered in two weeks what takes commercial air carriers only a few hours to accomplish--but they had a lot more fun--and a much better view.
Knowledge base home
Safety and Survival
Products and gear
Bush flying library