While some may joke the only information a pilot needs to know is which way is up and which way is down, the information needs of the aviator are easily equal to the most advanced scholar, doctor, or lawyer. Much has been written about communication between pilots, crew, and air traffic control but little has been written about information needs once the pilot is on the ground. Professional organizations, government entities, and corporate vendors have a wealth of information to share with aviators, just as in any other professional field and keeping up with a highly evolving industry is important through product reviews, news briefs, and government regulation updates. Pilots may obtain information from six general categories; (a) publishers; (b) textbooks, handbooks and manuals; (c) scholarly journals; (d) databases and indexes; (e) websites and listservs; and (c) air shows and conferences. With a variety of information sources to choose from, making it simple for aviation instructors and students to find the resources they need to produce scholarship is important, especially since most of the information they are familiar with come from online sources. Subject guides offering links to government and professional websites, as well as professional journals, bridge the information gap from trade magazines to scholarly sources for aviation professors and students. Academic librarians often create such subject guides as quick starting points as a way to align the pilot with the research runway before he takes off, so to speak. Heidi Blackburn, undergraduate services librarian, prepared the following aviation resources guide with the consultation services of Capt. Mitchell Edwards, Civil Air Patrol, Air Force Auxiliary and Thomas Karcz, Assistant Professor, Department of Aviation, Kansas State University.
Scholarly Commons Citation
Prepped for Departure: Sources of Information for Aviators.
Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research, 21(2).