Mark Vanhoenacker left academia to work as a management consultant, a position that afforded him regular opportunities to stare out of airplane windows and recall childhood dreams of becoming a pilot. In 2001 he decided to follow his dream and began flight training. Today, as a Senior First Officer for British Airways, Mark flies Boeing 747s to major cities around the world.
In Skyfaring, Mark shares his irrepressible love of flying, on a journey from day to night, from new ways of mapmaking and the poetry of physics to the names of winds and the nature of clouds. Here, anew, is the simple wonder that remains at the heart of an experience that modern travellers, armchair and otherwise, all too easily take for granted: the transcendent joy of motion, and the remarkable new perspectives that height and distance bestow on everything we love.
Mark Vanhoenacker aged 40, was born in western Massachusetts and is a dual citizen of Belgium and the United States. After graduating from Cambridge University, where he was a Keasbey Scholar, Mark worked as a management consultant. In 2001, he was accepted by the British Airways Trainee Pilot Programme. Mark operated his first commercial flight in 2003, from London to Glasgow. When his head is not in the clouds, Mark divides his time between London and New York.
Mark is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and a regular columnist for Slate. Mark has also been published in The Times, Independent, Financial Times and Wired. More information can be found at www.markvr.com