Flight 232

Flight 232

A Story of Disaster and Survival

Book - 2014 | First edition.
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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.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2014]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780393240023
Branch Call Number: 363.1246 GONZALES
Characteristics: viii, 415 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: Flight two hundred thirty two


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Jul 08, 2019

I was blessed to have heard Captain Al Haynes recap his experiences at the Seattle Museum of Flight. I left the auditorium shaking and had to sit and reflect quietly for about 15 minutes before I could start the car for my drive home. This is an amazing story of the overwhelming odds against anyone surviving, yet many did. If you ever see his name as a speaker you owe it to yourself to hear him speak. He is very inspirational and I guarantee it will be quite the experience for you.

Haynes is retired and still lives in the Seattle area. He was active (over 40 years now) as a youth baseball umpire and still announces the games locally.

Mar 15, 2016

One of the most gripping accounts of an airline disaster I've ever read. Suspenseful even after having seen all the news accounts and TV disaster docs about this event. Highly recommended.

Mar 14, 2015

Flight 232: a Story of Disaster and Survival. --- by --- Laurence Gonzales. Riveting. Because this is a true story. Because you know almost how it will end. Because you want to know why it happened. Flight 232 is the story of a United Airlines DC 10 flying Denver to Chicago on July 19th 1989. It had 296 passengers aboard. Late in its flight the giant jet lost all hydraulic control: essentially it couldn't be steered, it couldn't be landed. And yet, the cockpit crew managed to wrestle the plane to the ground where it broke open and burned. Yet amazingly, 184 of the passengers survived. Gonzales takes of number of elements of what events transpired to mould that fateful event: the manufacture of the plane’s huge GE engine; pilots' actions on the flight deck; the experiences of individual passengers before, during and after the crash; the rescue efforts. All these strands are twined together to relate the whole story. A story such as this is intrinsically riveting in a macabre sort of way. But it is also a story that must be told. It is a story of grief and suffering. It is a story of the hand of fate or the work of God. It is a story of survivors who lived while others died. It is a story of heroes. It is a story worth reading.

Oct 27, 2014

While it give accounts of the disaster, it is poorly written; the account jumps around chronologically and gives individual accounts in widely separated chapters, making the stories hard to follow. The author is also obviously not a pilot, and some of the terminology he uses is wrong. There are many better accounts of airplane crashes, and even though this crash is inherently interesting, the author succeeds is making it confusing and even boring in spots. The author should have spoken to more knowledgeable people. He also doesn't seem to have any knowledge of the accident investigation process; Gonzales account is unbalanced and inaccurate. If you read this book, I hope you will pay more attention to the safety briefings when you fly, and be prepared for an accident.

Aug 04, 2014

One of the best books I have read on an aviation disaster!

The author gives many first hand accounts from the 184 survivors. He also gives background information on those who did not survive. The dept of research is astonishing.

The books is nicely written with survivor accounts, those who perished and the technical information all intertwined in a tight narrative.

A must read!


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Aug 04, 2014

noluckboston thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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