perfect inflight reading…brilliant
The Sunday Times
explains simply and clearly the abiding mysteries of flight
The Daily Mail
a work of humorous and outright poetic travel geekery
National Geographic Traveller
a remarkably good idea…illuminates the practical reality of piloting in a concise and useful manner
The Times Literary Supplement

A Book of the Year

The Daily Mail

The Spectator


Published in the UK, September 2017

At Amazon (UK & worldwide)

At Amazon (USA)

At Waterstones

At Daunt Books


Hello! Welcome! Wow, you look surprisingly relaxed. That's great to see. Have a seat on the left side of the cockpit - that's the captain's seat. Yes, you're now the captain. And yes, that's the runway down there. So fasten your seat belt, order yourself a cup of tea, and let's get cracking…


Mark Vanhoenacker, the airline pilot who makes poetry out of the science of flight, turns the steely-eyed reality of guiding a plane down to the runway into a practical but also meaningful experience, in this fascinating guide to the magical art of flying. Flight is one of the most extraordinary experiences we can have. When we fly we see the true scale of the sky and the Earth, and the small, perfect beauty of the places we each come from. Flying puts us in our proper relationship to the infinite, and yet even as it makes us feel so tiny, it uplifts us. Flight is transformative, eye-opening, and simply inspiring.

But flying also comes with a whole lot of rather tedious manuals. In this short, humorous and spiritual book, the bestselling author of Skyfaring transforms all these dry and dusty manuals into an accessible and fun guide to one of the most challenging and liminal phases of flight: the transition from air to ground. 

You'll understand the difference between 'controls' and 'instruments', you'll know what 'roll', 'pitch' and 'yaw' signify, and you'll also learn to notice the breathtaking beauty of amazing cloudscapes and stunning sunsets. You just needed someone to show you how.


'How to Land a Plane' is just one of the books in the Little Ways to Live a Big Life series.

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