“Kerosene in the Blood”

An interview with aviation management graduate and book author Aaron Püttmann

IUBH: Aaron, you are 23 years old, have just finished your bachelor’s degree in aviation management at IUBH and recently published your first book “101 Things You Need to Know about Aviation”. This is not only impressive, but also unusual for someone your age. What gave you the idea to write a book?

Püttmann: It all really started with photography. For several years, I have been a passionate “Plane Spotter”, a person who loves to photograph airplanes. As an extension of this passion, I set out to develop and operate a blog about aviation. My goal was to share both my knowledge about aviation and my passion for photography with readers, by giving them, for example, simple and entertaining explanations of unusual aviation issues, or reports about my own travels, some of them from the cockpit perspective. This blog then caught the attention of the GeraMond publishing house. They liked my articles and suggested that I write a book. Of course, I couldn’t say no.

IUBH: What is your book about?

Püttmann: Overall, in the “101 topics” I try to give a comprehensive overview of the entire aviation system. I begin with pioneers and milestones in aviation history, with special historic icons:  from the Wright Brothers and Chuck Yeager to Howard Hughes’ “Spruce Goose” and the Boeing 747. And of course I look at specific aviation topics: “Is an airplane allowed to simply fly wherever it wants?” or “How does air traffic control work?” or “Why do airplane tickets get so expensive shortly before departure?” The book also covers technical topics, for example “How do commercial pilots navigate in the air?”

IUBH: That sounds a bit like the book is geared for proper aviation enthusiasts….

Püttmann: I think my book is interesting for both those who have not yet been very involved with aviation as well as for “aviation experts” because I also cover more abstract systems, for example lateral navigation, rotating radio beacons and navaids. In my opinion, there is something in it for everyone.

IUBH: Have you already had feedback about your first publication?

Püttmann: Yes, in fact from a number of sources. On my social media channels, of course, I have had feedback from followers who bought the book. On Amazon, there have also already been some reviews with an average rating of 4.9 stars out of 5. I also frequently get emails from readers. However, I was particularly pleased about feedback from several pilots who said they had learned something new about the aviation system or aviation history. Overall, the feedback so far is very positive and the publishing house seems to be satisfied with the book.

IUBH: You describe aviation as your passion – how did that develop?

Püttmann: I have been a huge fan of aviation since my childhood. It started with my mother who was a flight assistant for a long time, most recently at Lufthansa CityLine. As a child, she often took me along with her and sometimes I was allowed to sit in the cockpit. At that time I discovered my passion, and since then, I have kerosene in my blood and simply know that I have to do something in the field of aviation. In the future, I plan to get my pilot’s license or, at the very least, to learn how to fly a glider. I definitely want to be in the air.

IUBH: …that is of course the perfect fit for a degree in aviation management at IUBH. Did your degree programme change you? What did you gain?

Püttmann: In general, I can say that the study programme at IUBH gave me a great foundation for working in the industry. One literally learns the processes from the bottom up and in the context of a solid business education. During my studies, my workstyle became more structured and I feel better prepared for my future professional life. 

IUBH: Do you already have a job prospect? What are your plans for the future?

Püttmann: My immediate plan is to complete a master’s degree with an emphasis on business so that I can expand my options and position myself better on the job market. My long-term goal is to become a commercial pilot – I have not given up on that dream yet. Some airlines currently offer training programmes again, so I would like to apply.

IUBH: We will keep our fingers crossed for you. All the best for a successful start in your career and thank-you for the interview!

The interview was conducted by Sabrina Knauf.

Aaron Püttmann is 23 years old and comes from Neuss, a city near Dusseldorf. He finished his bachelor’s degree in aviation management at IUBH in 2017 and in the same year published his first book “101 Things You Need to Know about Aviation” with the GeraMond publishing house. He is also a passionate Plane Spotter and runs the www.pilotstories.de blog.

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