As The Prop Turns: The Soul of an Old Airplane

Book Review by taildragger pilot and Waco owner, Marla Boone.


When Marla Boone contacted me recently about the possibility of posting an aviation book review on LadiesLoveTaildraggers, I couldn’t have been happier.  She explained that a long time WACO owner had written a delightful book about his airplane and she had been asked by the author to write a review.  Knowing Marla’s own passion for flying and restoring WACOs, she’s the ideal person for the topic.

Adding periodic aviation Book Reviews to this website has been on my ‘To Do’ list for quite a while. Hoping this will be the first of many!

As The Prop Turns: The Soul of an Old Airplane by John Wood

UPF-7 NC 29923 is a lucky airplane for several reasons. Many airplanes born in 1940 no longer enjoy the euphoria of flight. Having been badly damaged in multiple accidents over the years, 923 somehow always ended up with someone who was willing to invest the time, money, and effort in returning her to the sky.

Also, many airplanes spend their lives in complete anonymity. They fly, they haul, they dust, they leave the earth, they come back. It’s all in a day’s work. Or play. NC 29923 is fortunate in that she is having her story told. She is particularly lucky to have it told by John Wood.

John’s abiding affection for this airplane is evident on every page of his utterly compelling and obviously painstakingly researched book “As The Prop Turns: The Soul of an Old Airplane.” Filled with scores of anecdotes about the people who have flown—frequently successfully— the airplane and punctuated throughout with photo after photo, the book is captivating.

Devotees of vintage airplanes have their voice in this book and they use it to every advantage. If you have a WACO, this book will make you want to hold on to it. If you don’t have a WACO, it will make you want to become a caretaker or at least a pilot of one.

If it does neither of these two things, check yourself for a pulse.

John Wood, Author

John Wood graduated from Louisiana Tech University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He studied engineering, retired as a public company CEO, and now serves as a corporate board member. Wood was company spokesman with high-profile exposure in print, television, and radio during investigations of the Pan Am 103 and TWA 800 crashes. On two occasions, he testified before the US Congress about improved airport security.

Rated as an airline transport pilot and certified flight instructor, Wood has logged seven thousand flight hours and has experience piloting over one hundred aircraft makes and models, including jets, turboprops, seaplanes, helicopters, gliders and balloons. Wood is a veteran public speaker and lives with his wife in Concord, Massachusetts.



360-Degree images. Open the link. press full screen upper right, then left click and hold to move around the scene.,-32.40,70.0

The book with black and white photos is available from Amazon. If you would like a signed copy with color photographs, email the author at

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