Calm in the cockpit

“Is publication of this book timely or unfortunate?” That was a question considered by Geoff Dyer in his Guardian review at the weekend of Skyfaring: A Journey With a Pilot by Mark Vanhoenacker (Chatto & Windus), which has come out so soon after Andreas Lubitz flew his plane into a mountain. It could, says Dyer, be just what’s needed “to restore public faith in the commercial pilot as contented, calm and controlled”.

Vanhoenacker flew in business class as a management consultant before retraining to enter the cockpit with British Airways. His book was due to be Radio 4’s Book of the Week from March 30, but was postponed after the Germanwings crash and is now due to be featured from Monday April 20. It combines, says Dyer, both “the primal delight of flight” and the reassurance of routines.

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