No Highway by Nevil Shute
Theodore Honey is a shy, inconspicuous engineer whose eccentric interests are frowned upon in aviation circles. When a passenger plane crashes in Newfoundland under unexplained circumstances, Honey is determined to prove his unorthodox theory about what went wrong to his superiors, before more lives are lost. But while flying to the crash scene to investigate, Honey discovers to his horror that he is on board one of the defective planes and that he and his fellow passengers, including a friendly young stewardess and an aging movie actress, are in imminent peril.
Nevil Shute Norway was a British novelist and aeronautical engineer. His novels are written in a simple, highly readable style, with clearly delineated plot lines. Where there is a romantic element, sex is referred to only obliquely. Many of the stories are introduced by a narrator who is not a character in the story. The most common theme in his novels is the dignity of work, spanning all classes, whether an Eastern European bar "hostess" (Ruined City) or brilliant boffin (No Highway).