Mark Vanhoenacker left academia to work as a management consultant, a position that afforded him regular opportunities to stare out of aeroplane windows and recall childhood dreams of becoming a pilot. He began his flight training in 2001. Today, as a Senior First Officer for British Airways, Mark flies Boeing 747s to major cities around the world. He is also a regular contributor to the New York Times and Slate. When his head is not in the clouds,he divides his time between London and New York.