Favorite Stories from Above

“When I was young, I read all the issues of the IAF Magazine that I could get my hands on” Favorite Stories from Above

What are the pilots’ favorite stories? We each have an all-time favorite, one you would take to a desert island and one that is waiting bedside right now: Books. In honor of Israel’s annual book week we looked for the books that made dozens of children want to become pilots

Tal Michael

Every time you read a book, you always reach that turning point that changes the entire plot. Sometimes we discover that everything we’ve read was nothing but a lie, sometimes the truth comes out and the heroic characters “live happily ever after…”, until when? Usually, we don’t get the answer to that question–and that’s when imagination comes into the picture, changing our entire prospective. Within the IAF, many have proved that dreams can come true and that the sky isn’t the limit.

“I’ve been reading aviation books since I could remember myself”, says Captain Ori, an F-16 pilot. “I knew that I wanted to be a pilot since childhood when I began reading the IAF magazine and any other book about aviation or missiles that I could get my hands on. The older the book, the better”, he smiles. Nowadays, due to his busy schedule, he lacks the time to read, maybe only the brief instruction manual.

Can the magic of flight ever be carried out by words?

Ori made his dreams come true and has earned a pilot wings pin. That said, you don’t have to love aviation books in order to enlist in the IAF (but it could give you some sort of advantage). Captain Roy for example, is a combat pilot who used to think about completely different things: “It’s embarrassing to say–but I used to love the Chipopo in Tibet (a children’s book). I remember that once in the second grade I read that book in bed and it made me laugh so hard my parent didn’t know what to do”, he says as he laughs out loud. “You have to read it, it’s one of the best books I ever read”, he states and promises that even his closest friends can testify of the unconditional love they have for that series. “These days, I barely have time to read books. The last one I read was “Catch 22″. It gave me many thinking points and I enjoyed it’ but there is no doubt that Chipopo is still the best book in the world”.

Whether they dreamt of becoming pilots or not, each of the book-lovers serving in the IAF has encountered the book “Pressure Suit”, which tells the story of the IAF through the 60’s and early 80’s. “This book is filled with thrilling stories about knock-downs that we will probably never have the chance of performing”, says Captain Roy. “There is nothing we can do about it. Every pilot dreams of dropping an airplane but when it doesn’t happen, you can be satisfied with a good thriller”.
It’s time to let the truth out: What book changed your life?