Make Better Landings


252 pages
Contains Illustrations, Index
ISBN 0-471-79817-7





Reviewed by William Andrews

William Andrews was a librarian at Runnymede Public Library, Toronto.


A passenger making an Atlantic crossing aboard an ocean-liner had the pleasure of sitting at the Captain’s table. Throughout most of the passage the passenger observed that the Captain was genial and relaxed and made a good dinner companion. During the final days of the crossing, however, the passenger noticed that the Captain became increasingly restless, alert, and worried. On being asked why he was worried, the Captain replied: “The worst thing about a sea voyage is the land at the end of it.” This is equally true of a voyage into the air. The land for both the seaman and the airman is the most dangerous element. Statistics show that there are as many accidents during the landing phase of flying as there are for all other phases combined.

Alan Bramson is eminently qualified to write a book on flying. He first learned to fly during World War II in the RAF, where he earned the “highest qualifying marks.” He is a flight instructor and is chairman of the Flying Training Safety Committee in the UK and chairman of the Panel of Examiners, a body authorized by the UK Civil Aviation Authority. In addition, he has flown some 200 types of aircraft and has written for many of the best flying magazines in the world — including Pilot, Canadian Aviation, World Air News, and many others.

This book is Mr. Bramson’s second solo effort (he has co-authored several other books on flying and navigation); the first, Be a Better Pilot, was a general treatment of flying. The present book is an exhaustive (but not exhausting!) treatment of the subject of landing with many different types of aircraft ranging from tail-draggers to jets, under many different conditions: in snow, in cross-winds, short-field landings, with and without engine power, etc. It is well illustrated with clear drawings and graphs, and well and entertainingly written. No pilot, no matter how experienced — and certainly no trainee — should feel that he knows enough about making landings that he will not profit from reading this book. The deadly toll of accidents in landings proves otherwise, as the book’s appendix on landing accident statistics well shows.


Bramson, Alan, “Make Better Landings,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 26, 2024,