Skyfaring Summary

A poetic and nuanced exploration of the human experience of flight that reminds us of the full imaginative weight of our most ordinary journeys—and reawakens our capacity to be amazed. 

The twenty-first century has relegated airplane flight—a once remarkable feat of human ingenuity—to the realm of the mundane. Mark Vanhoenacker, a 747 pilot who left academia and a career in the business world to pursue his childhood dream of flight, asks us to reimagine what we—both as pilots and as passengers—are actually doing when we enter the world between departure and discovery. In a seamless fusion of history, politics, geography, meteorology, ecology, family, and physics, Vanhoenacker vaults across geographical and cultural boundaries; above mountains, oceans, and deserts; through snow, wind, and rain, renewing a simultaneously humbling and almost superhuman activity that affords us unparalleled perspectives on the planet we inhabit and the communities we form.

Book Reviews

David - Birmingham

Excellent and informative read5 star

Awesome read.55


Beautifully crafted writing.5 star

Capt Vanhoenacker puts to words something that I have tried over a lifetime to convey to others about the experience of air travel, but could never do as skillfully as he has done. For me - his writing has brought back so many memories - and given me context regarding so many flights, places, and reasons to be where-ever I was.. Thank you Captain55


Prose for the soul aloft5 star

Every decade or so, a book comes along that captures the imagination so profoundly, I insist everyone I know reads it at once. ‘Skyfaring’ is that book. Mark Vanhoenacker has a gift with words that is unparalleled in recent memory - it is poetry at its finest. He describes aviation with majesty and wonder right from the opening sentence, and through the final acknowledgments. I have never read a book quite like this one, and I can’t wait to read many more by Vanhoenacker.55

J.B. Denson

Skyfaring5 star

Mark May be a pilot but he is a poet at heart. I've never read or seen anything that comes so close to what flying an airplane does to and for you. He paints word pictures that encompass feelings as well as sights, place and time! This is a rare and beautifully written book which will, no doubt, change how you travel in and look at the world. All for the better!55


Poetic4 star

Beautifully written by a pilot who loves what he does, and can explain it to lay passengers.45

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