REVIEW: How to Land a Plane by Mark Vanhoenacker
From the bestselling author of Skyfaring (125,500+ copies sold in the US and UK alone), a witty guide on how to land a jetliner—in 60 pages!
British Airways pilot and internationally bestselling author Mark Vanhoenacker invites readers to take a seat—the captain’s seat, that is—and relax, to learn the ins and outs of landing a plane. This funny, easy-reading guide covers every step from approach to touchdown, explaining complex topics with the help of illustrations, bolded terms, and clear language. Vanhoenacker demystifies the magic of flight and lets anyone become a pilot (at least on the ground)!
Dear Captain Vanhoenacker,
Last year I read and enjoyed reading “Uplift – A Pilot’s Journey.” He humorously recalled his training and time up on the flight deck. Then later last year, I watched one of those documentaries on how things can go wrong on a plane. I don’t seem to be able to resist those. When I saw your book, something clicked and I thought, “Self, we need to read this — just in case we’re ever at the controls with no inflatable autopilot doll to help us and we have to get this baby down.”
Yeah so that documentary … this time it involved an older gentleman in England who was a passenger on a small plane with his pilot friend at the controls. Tragically the pilot suffered a heart attack – in flight. It took the combined efforts of several controllers on the ground to safely talk the poor passenger through how to land. If he’d had your book with him, it might have been a little less terrifying.
Watching youtube videos which show the controls in plane cockpits, I go into (slight) shock over the sheer number of them. Ye Gods how on earth can pilots keep them straight? Ha! Now I know the main players – the “quick and dirty” ones to keep scanning. Right, got to remember to scan, scan, scan … And release the transmit button (important!) after issuing my “Mayday” on the universal emergency frequency 121.500.
I also know what to tell my friendly air traffic controller I want in a potential airport: a loooooong runway, a lighting system (which I now know how to use) and (also important!) hopefully no mountains I need to avoid although a field of cows could serve as a reference for using the control column.
If I ever find myself on a plane again (doubtful but you never know) I’ll be sure to know three things: that my pilot has had and passed a recent medical checkup, that fish isn’t being served for dinner, and that I have your book on my ereader. As Grant Corriveau said “Landing is mandatory” and “Crashing is what’s dangerous.” Thanks for the friendly, concise directions which will help me land instead of crash back on terra firma. B