Skyfaring by Mark Vanhoehacker


I first heard of Mr. Vanhoenacker when The New York Times published an excerpt of his book Skyfaring (and, by giving it the "Snowfall" treatment, I bet you may have seen it, or had it forwarded to you, too). I thought at first that this was another somewhat autobiographical aircraft book, probably a very technical look into flying and aircraft systems. This book does contain technical terms specific to aviation, but, surprisingly, it's really more of a tribute to the majesty and mystery of flying. Like most pilots, his life always pointed to flying, but he took a route involving working in the world of finance before he got there. Now? He occupies the right seat of a 747-400, and his book is filled with well-written philosophical observations about flying, and how it affects him and passengers in general. I'm not sure I'm qualified to say what writing is good and what is bad, but I will say, after reading his book, he has put into words what I'm thinking but can't articulate: On the surface, flying is about getting from point A to point B, but it's so much more than that. See the recent review from The Times for a much fuller description of this engaging and fascinating book.