Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn't open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To download from the iTunes Store, get iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download


A Journey with a Pilot

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


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.

From Publishers Weekly

Apr 06, 2015 – In this intimate, often illuminating piece, Slate columnist Vanhoenacker takes readers on a personal tour of his world as an airline pilot. His manner is leisurely, poetic, and prone to philosophical musings as he shares his decade's experiences as the pilot of Airbus A320 and Boeing 747 planes. He explains technical jargon and the secret language of the airline industry, discusses "place lag" and in-jokes, and grants a view of the world as seen from 30,000 feet. "Air crews come to know a life of motion, of transiting the physical miles between our memories or ideas of places," he writes. When discussing our fascination with flight, he claims, "while airplanes have overturned many of our older sensibilities, a deeper part of our imagination lingers and still sparks in the former realm, among ancient, even atavistic, ideas of distance and place, migrations and the sky." Vanhoenacker conveys that sense of freedom, wanderlust, and traversing a large world made small by travel, while at the same time demystifying the inside of the cockpit and humanizing the all-powerful pilots within. Readers who can withstand bouts of existential navel-gazing will find Vanhoenacker's memoir packed with eloquent insight into a high-flying world.

Customer Reviews


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


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!

Prose for the soul aloft

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.

View in iTunes
  • $14.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Transportation
  • Published: Jun 02, 2015
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

More by Mark Vanhoenacker