Publications & References


  • The FAA provides a variety of important reference material for the student, as well as the advanced civil aviation pilot
  • In addition to the regulations provided online by the FAA, several other publications are available to the user
  • Almost all reference material is available online at in downloadable format
  • Commercial aviation publishers also provide published and online reference material to further aid the aviation pilot


  • Handbooks are developed to provide specific information about a particular topic that enhances training or understanding
  • The FAA publishes a variety of handbooks that generally fall into three categories: aircraft, aviation, and examiners and inspectors
  • Aircraft flight manuals commonly called Pilot Operating Handbooks (POH) are documents developed by the airplane manufacturer, approved by the FAA, and are specific to a particular make and model aircraft by serial number
  • These handbooks are published by the United States Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, Airman Testing Standards Branch, AFS-630, P.O. Box 25082, Oklahoma City, OK 73125
  • Comments regarding this publication should be sent, in email form, to the following address
  • Student Pilot Guide:

  • Airplane Flying Handbook:

    • The Aircraft Flying Handbooks are designed as technical manuals to introduce basic pilot skills and knowledge that are essential for piloting aircraft. They provide information on transition to other aircraft and the operation of various aircraft systems
    • It is available for download online or purchase in paperback/eBook
  • Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge:

    • The Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (PHAK) provides basic knowledge that is essential for pilots
    • It introduces pilots to the broad spectrum of knowledge that will be needed as they progress in their pilot training
    • Most of the knowledge areas applicable to pilot certification are presented
    • The PHAK is useful to beginning pilots, as well as those pursuing more advanced pilot certificates
    • It is available for download online or purchase in paperback/eBook
  • Instrument Flying Handbook:

    • The Instrument Flying Handbook is designed for use by instrument flight instructors and pilots preparing for instrument rating tests
    • Instructors find this handbook a valuable training aid as it includes basic reference material for knowledge testing and instrument flight training
    • It is available for download online or purchase in paperback/eBook
  • Instrument Procedures Handbook:

    • The Instrument Procedures Handbook is designed as a technical reference for professional pilots who operate under IFR in the NAS and expands on information contained in the Instrument Flying Handbook
    • It is available for download online or purchase in paperback/eBook
  • Aircraft Weight and Balance Handbook:

  • Helicopter Flying Handbook:

  • Glider Flying Handbook:

    • The Glider Flying Handbook is designed as a technical manual for applicants who are preparing for glider category rating and for currently certificated glider pilots who wish to improve their knowledge
    • It is available for download online or purchase in paperback/eBook
  • Aviation Instructor Handbook:

    • The Aviation Instructor's Handbook provides the foundation for beginning instructors to understand and apply the fundamentals of instructing
    • This handbook also provides aviation instructors with up-to-date information on learning and teaching, and how to relate this information to the task of conveying aeronautical knowledge and skills to students
    • Experienced aviation instructors also find the new and updated information useful for improving their effectiveness in training activities
    • It is available for download online or purchase in paperback/eBook
  • Seaplane/Skiplane and Float Ski Equipped Helicopter Ops Handbook:

  • Balloon Flying Handbook:

  • Aviation Weather Services:

Advisory Circulars:

  • An Advisory Circular (AC) is an informational document (non-regulatory) that the FAA wants to distribute to the aviation community
  • Some ACs are free while others cost money
  • The FAA website circulars/ provides a database that is a searchable repository of all aviation safety ACs. All ACs, current and historical, are provided and can be viewed as a portable document format (PDF) copy

Other Publications:

Flight Publications:

Operating Handbooks:


  • Publications come from a variety of sources but they all have one thing in common, they go out of date
  • Always ensure you are referencing the most current publications!