How to Land a Plane

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 14 May 2019

Member Reviews

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
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Sophie isn’t a great flyer, although she does adore commercial aircraft and is a regular plane spotter; it’s just the whole actual being in the air bit that makes her a little nervous. That’s why she found the concept of Mark Vanhoenacker’s short book How to Land a Plane so interesting. It begins with the premise that you have suddenly found yourself in sole charge of landing the aircraft you are currently on board and attempts to talk you through the process.

Mark starts out by introducing you to the cabin, explaining the controls and instruments you’re going to see and which ones are the most important to use in this situation. He then talks you through simple, easy to follow procedures used by real pilots to assess difficult or unusual situations, getting you in touch with the people who will be able to help you, then guiding you through what crucial information to relay to them and where to find it. Sophie found the guide to understanding runway lights and markings particularly fascinating and has been watching videos shot from airplane cockpits to see them in action.

The whole book is written in a chatty, relaxed style. It’s almost like Bob Ross is talking you through the landing process. And, even though it’s obvious that the premise of this book is somewhat tongue-in-cheek (the likelihood of it ever being used by a real passenger suddenly needing to pilot down a 747 singlehandedly is almost nil) Sophie felt that by the end of it, she could actually enter a cockpit and have a reasonable idea of what she was looking at, how to make some basic corrections, and how to get help. Not bad for a 64-page book she read in its entirety during a single train journey.
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What a Strange book, i Don't know why i chose this book, but I did, and could not finish it. I have been reading son many amazing novels, I thought the absurdity of this one did not attract my attention. I did try very hard tought
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This was an interesting and a short easy read. The author approaches the subject in a light hearted manner which I enjoyed.
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As suggested this short book gives a great overview of the things involved in landing a plane, which I felt was pitched well for someone who's never really thought much about what's involved.  The writing is relaxed, funny and explains technical details really well in an easy to understand way without being patronising.
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Yes, I nailed it.  You know the feeling when you approach a book thinking what it will be like – and getting it exactly correct?  I thought this would be a finely balanced mixture of sincere and light-hearted; an appreciation that you will never need to land a Boeing 747, but at the same time a book that gives you an appreciation for those that do, and some inkling as to what it might be like.  I was expecting a book that proves the adult non-fiction market really doesn't have to limit itself to the 600pp doorstopper, as brief things like this (the audio book would barely have needed a second CD) can be just as appealing, engaging the average reader with a distinctly non-average subject.

But forget all that about me nailing it.  The author and colleagues here have nailed it too – it's one thing for me to assume beforehand I have the book I intend to read in front of me; it's far harder actually producing it.  But they get it right on every front.  So if you intend to read a book that delivers what I expected, then rest assured it delivered just that.
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After enjoying Vanhoenacker's Skyfaring, I was looking forward to more. How to Land a Plane is a short (about 60 pages) book that describes in detail how to land a plane. He goes into the aerodynamics, the flight controls, the things that should happen, and the things that might go wrong. He does this in a clear, easy to understand way, occasionally with humor. It's a good book for anyne who is curious about the mechanics of flying, but who isn't going to be going to flight school right away. Who doesn't like to find out how things work and how people do their jobs? A nice book for all ages. (Thanks to The Experiment and NetGalley for a digital review copy.)
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My eleven year old really loved reading this one aloud with me.....he loves planes!  I liked how it was written in an engaging manner and appropriate for the layman.  It does get technical at times, and is hard to visualize without some sort of simulator in front of you (or it was for me), but he really enjoyed pretending right along with the book.  It was a little disconcerting, however, to think of this book in terms of....would I really want someone landing my plane who had only learned to do it here?  Could the information in this book be used for harm?  I don't know.  The author has done a good job of walking folks through the steps...
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A small book with a light tone and very easy to understand technical descriptions. I'm going to download it to my smartphone (just in case).
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