When Bob Buck’s book Weather Flying was released in 1970, it became an instant classic. Wolfgang Langewiesche said of it, “Other books explain how weather is made; this book explains how weather is flown.” Truer words were never spoken.
Bob Buck died in 2007 at 93. His son, Rob, picked up the torch and brought everything up to date in the fifth edition, now available.
Bob started out in 1930, set records as a teenager and flew for TWA in an airline career that saw him fly everything from the DC-2 to the 747. Along the way, during World War Two, he flew a B-17 and other airplanes while doing some of the most remarkable weather research flying ever done. He probably knew more about airplanes and weather than anybody.
Rob, his son, worked in general aviation, including a time at Business & Commercial Aviation, from the same publisher as FLYING. Like his father, he went on to an airline career and retired from Delta as an international captain.
So, what you have in “Weather Flying” is a compilation of weather wisdom that was amassed over an 83-year period. There is nothing else like that available and there never will be. So, calling it a unique book is absolutely factual.
There is a lot of detail in the book and I doubt if every reader will read it from cover to cover in one sitting. There is just too much there to savor and when you later become curious about some aspect of flying weather, the book is well indexed with an answer to most any possible question.
Bob Buck wrote a lot about weather in the original AIR FACTS and we have picked up some of that in this publication so if you are not familiar with Bob’s writing you can go back through the older posts here and have a sample.
I will admit to a bias, too. Bob was one of my father’s oldest friends and “Weather Flying” is indeed dedicated to Leighton Collins. I knew Bob for a long time, too, and when he was retired in Vermont and in his late 80s and early 90s, I would fly up for lunch and a visit. I never failed to learn something from him. Rob would often be there, too, and we were in touch as he labored over this new version of the book.
I have written aviation weather books, too, and will share with you the thought that Weather Flying is the most complete book available on the subject. Do read my books but don’t fail to read the Buck boys’ book. “Weather Flying,” by Robert N. Buck and Robert O. Buck. It is $29.95 and available from Sporty’s.
- From the archives: how valuable are check rides? - July 30, 2019
- From the archives: the 1968 Reading Show - July 2, 2019
- From the archives: Richard Collins goes behind the scenes at Center - June 4, 2019
I was always amazed by Bob Buck. The vast knowledge he shared with the aviation world is a real gift.
Nobody quite like him.
I am thankful to Richard Collins for mentioning the new edition of the book. My Dad, the original aviator in our family gave me, then a brand new pilot, a used copy of the second edition over 30 years ago and I’ve bought every new edition since – and given some copies away too. A quick skim of the 5th edition reflects the original author’s son’s desire to maintain the core of the earlier edition(s) while updating it to the take in the world of satellite weather delivered to the cockpit, technically advanced aircraft and the amazing amounts of weather data that we can now obtain online. Between Buck and Collins, I’ve learned so much about weather flying. I suspect that I’ll be able to add the younger Buck to that short list. I can’t wait to dig into it deeper.
Darn! Here I thought my aviation library had enough stuff in it, which included the first edition of Weather Flying. Time to update, right?
Congratulations Rob…..YOU DID IT! Best wishes, Jim
Weather Flying was the pivotal aviation book for me. As a relatively new IFR pilot at the time, it seemed to answer the questions I could not get answered anywhere else.
It has been the standard for many years now. I look forward to seeing what Rob has added, and if it is possible for an already exceptional book to actually get better.