Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival [NOOK Book]

Overview

Twenty-five years after the catastrophe, a dramatic and extraordinarily rare 360-degree view of the crash of a fully loaded jumbo jet.


As hundreds of rescue workers waited on the ground, United Airlines Flight 232 wallowed drunkenly over the bluffs northwest of Sioux City. The plane slammed onto the runway and burst into a vast fireball. The rescuers didn't move at first: nobody could possibly survive that ...
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Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival

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Overview

Twenty-five years after the catastrophe, a dramatic and extraordinarily rare 360-degree view of the crash of a fully loaded jumbo jet.


As hundreds of rescue workers waited on the ground, United Airlines Flight 232 wallowed drunkenly over the bluffs northwest of Sioux City. The plane slammed onto the runway and burst into a vast fireball. The rescuers didn't move at first: nobody could possibly survive that crash. And then people began emerging from the summer corn that lined the runways. Miraculously, 184 of 296 passengers lived.

No one has ever attempted the complete reconstruction of a crash of this magnitude. Drawing on interviews with hundreds of survivors, crew, and airport and rescue personnel, Laurence Gonzales, a commercial pilot himself, captures, minute by minute, the harrowing journey of pilots flying a plane with no controls and flight attendants keeping their calm in the face of certain death. He plumbs the hearts and minds of passengers as they pray, bargain with God, plot their strategies for survival, and sacrifice themselves to save others.


Ultimately he takes us, step by step, through the gripping scientific detective work in super-secret labs to dive into the heart of a flaw smaller than a grain of rice that shows what brought the aircraft down.


An unforgettable drama of the triumph of heroism over tragedy and human ingenuity over technological breakdown, Flight 232 is a masterpiece in the tradition of the greatest aviation stories ever told.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

By every forecast, United Airlines Flight 232 was expected to be uneventful, a short July afternoon jaunt from Denver to Chicago; but just an hour into the flight, a chain reaction mechanical failure left the experienced pilots flying helpless with no controls. "Too busy to be scared," the crew and air traffic control searched for any way to avert total disaster. When the passenger-packed plane finally slammed into the Sioux City, Iowa runway, few on the ground thought that anyone could have survived, but 184 of the 296 passengers did exactly that. Laurence Gonzales' minute-by-minute reconstruction of this piercing human story benefits from extensive interviews with those who, then or later, would walk away from the crash.

Publishers Weekly
04/14/2014
Journalist Gonzalez (Deep Survival) finds grace amid tragedy in his searing study of the fiery 1989 crash of United Airlines Flight 232: 184 of the 296 passengers survived, and the drama unfolded over 44 nerve-wracking minutes while the pilots wrestled the plane towards an airport after an explosion destroyed the hydraulic controls, a catastrophe that should have rendered the huge DC-10 jet unflyable. Working from extensive interviews with survivors and rescue workers, Gonzalez presents a engrossing, cinematic account of the crash and the ordeal that preceded it as crew and passengers prepared themselves for almost certain death. There’s heroism here, and dumbfounding twists of fate that allowed the lucky to step straight from flame and carnage into a sunlit Iowa cornfield with barely a scratch. Along the way, Gonzalez presents an absorbing account of the delicate machinery of flight—and the titanic forces it must withstand—and of the investigation that traced the disaster to a tiny flaw therein. Gonzalez’s gripping narrative shows us people at their most vulnerable, and admirable. Photos. (July)
Booklist
“A powerful, unforgettable look at a devastating accident.”
Richard Rhodes
“Intense, gripping, alive with knowledge and compassion, Flight 232 is a new masterpiece of calamity and courage.”
Michael Korda
“A kind of miracle. Gonzales combines meticulous research, intense and even agonizing drama, and a soaring intensity of emotion. Flight 232 leaves one feeling exalted, not depressed, at the end of a book about a grisly air crash that spares no details. The instances of heroism and self-sacrifice in the face of unimaginable horror are countless, and rendered with a spare dignity that rises above the macabre.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393244144
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/1/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 29,796
  • File size: 8 MB

Meet the Author

Laurence Gonzales is the author of Surviving Survival and the bestseller Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why. He has won two National Magazine Awards. His essays are collected in the book House of Pain.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 2, 2014

    Highly recommend. Taut yet descriptive, alternating between the

    Highly recommend. Taut yet descriptive, alternating between the compelling human elements of the story and the technical details that led to the cause of the crash. Outstanding writing on every level.

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