Skyfaring : A Journey with Mark Vanhoenacker is a book that eloquently describes the life of a pilot and how the author came to become a pilot and who now flies 747s on long routes and previously flew Airbuses around Europe.
The book is quite autobiographic with Vanhoenacker describing being the son of a father who was a Belgian missionary before meeting an American who had also travelled widely. Vanhoenacker grew up in New England, became a management consultant but then decided that his love of flying led him to become a commercial pilot.
The book has a strong voice that describes the technological wonder of flying, the strange world of working on international aircraft and seeing so many places all the time and the natural wonders seen from the air.
The writing in the book is reminiscent of Alan de Botton’s popular philosophy books. It’s got a definite thoughtful tone but in this book it becomes a bit self-indulgent. However, the book definitely has something to say and for anyone who finds that flying is an incredible experience should find that it holds their attention. If the book had been edited a bit more tightly it could have been better. Still, the book does succeed in describing the wonder of flight and the author’s love of his job that he clearly feels is a calling.