Ernest K. Gann?s classic memoir is an up-close and thrilling account of the treacherous early days of commercial aviation. In his inimitable style, Gann brings you right into the cockpit, recounting both the triumphs and terrors of pilots who flew when flying was anything but routine.
When Peter took charge of the flight deck of the 777 and took off from Beijing airport, there was nothing to suggest that this trip would be anything other than a routine flight of the sort he had made so many times before. It was not until moments before landing that anything went wrong. Coming in to Heathrow Airport, the plane suffered inexplicable loss of power to both engines, and it was suddenly likely that the plane would plough into a built-up area outside the airport, with the loss of all lives on board.
Heroics take a backseat to analysis in this account of the January 2009 Hudson River ditching by an airliner disabled by a collision with birds. Without diminishing the flying feat of pilot Chesley Sullenberger, Langewiesche accentuates the attributes of the plane he flew, the Airbus A320.
The first fly-by-wire passenger airliner, so called because the plane?s control surfaces move by electronic command, not by direct mechanical or hydraulic linkages, the A320 also had a stall-proof design feature that Langewiesche says contributed to the successful outcome of the accident.