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How to Land a Plane

By Mark Vanhoenacker

Take a seat—the captain’s seat, that is—and relax. You’re about to land a Boeing 747.

The mystery of flight is magical; the reality, still more so—from the physics that keeps a 450-ton vehicle aloft, to the symphony of technology and teamwork that safely sets it down again. Take it from Mark Vanhoenacker—British Airways pilot, internationally bestselling author, and your new flight instructor. This is How to Land a Plane.

Vanhoenacker covers every step—from approach to touchdown— with precision, wit, and infectious enthusiasm. Aided by dozens of illustrations, you’ll learn all the tools and rules of his craft: altimeters, glidepaths, alignment, and more. Before you know it, you’ll be on the ground, exiting the aircraft with a whole new appreciation for the art and science of flying.

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Mark Vanhoenacker

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Review quotes
The Daily Mail and The Spectator Book of the Year, 2017
A Points Guy Best Travel Book of 2019

“A good choice for anyone who's fantasized about suddenly having to get an aircraft safely down on the ground . . . walks you through some of the basics of flight and landing, from how to recognize a cluster of instruments known as the ‘six pack’ to knowing what purpose the PAPI lights near the runway serve.”—Popular Science

“A work of humorous and outright poetic travel geekery.”—National Geographic Traveler
“Charming and chuckle-filled, this little primer explains much of what goes into the act of flying—from takeoff to touchdown.”—Air & Space Smithsonian
“Simple, enjoyable and the book makes for a quick read. Who knows? Maybe you’ll inspire a future pilot with this gift.”—The Points Guy

“With a unique wit and immense expertise, Vanhoenacker illuminates the mysteries of flight in a straightforward manner that even beginners can enjoy. . . . Readers will feel like they are in the captain’s seat as the author . . . does an excellent job of making air-travel accessible and enjoyable.”—Hook magazine

“A remarkably good idea . . . illuminates the practical reality of piloting in a concise and useful manner.”Times Literary Supplement
“Perfect inflight reading . . . brilliant.”—The Sunday Times
“Explains simply and clearly the abiding mysteries of flight.”—Daily Mail
Product Details
Number of pages
Publication date
April 30, 2019