TABLE OF CONTENTS

Air Crashes and Miracle Landings

An asterisk (*) denotes
a clickable link to an EXTRACT.

Chapter 1 LOSS OF POWER OVER WATER 1  
The Amelia Earhart Mystery (Howland Island, 1937) 1 *
Captain Coolly Announces No Engines Working (Jakarta, 1982) 11 *
Pilot Struggling with Hijacker Ditches off Beach (Comoros, 1996) 15 *
A330 Glides Eighty Miles Over Atlantic to an Island (Azores, 2001) 17 *
Where Did The “Miracle” on The Hudson Lie? (NYC, 2009) 21 *

Chapter 2 LOSS OF POWER OVER LAND 31
Conscientious Crew Forget How Much Fuel Left (Portland, 1978) 31 *
Miscalculation Meant Only Half the Fuel Loaded (Gimli, 1983) 37 *
TACA Deadstick Landing on Grass Levee (New Orleans, 1988) 43 *
Avianca 52 Copilot Failed to Say “Emergency” (New York, 1990) 45 *
BA 777 from Beijing Loses Thrust on Late Final (Heathrow, 2008) 53 *

Chapter 3 RUNWAY OVERRUNS 57 
“Safest Airline’s” 100 mph Overrun (Bangkok, 1999) 57 *
Air France A340 Overruns, Catches Fire in Gully (Toronto, 2005) 67 *

Chapter 4 MIDAIR COLLISIONS AND TCAS 69
Midair Collisions at Grand Canyon and New York City (1956, 1960) 69*
PSA 182 727 Collides with Cessna (San Diego, 1978) 75 *
Worst-ever Midair Collision (New Delhi, 1996) 77 *
Two Japan Airlines Jumbos in Near Miss (Japan, 2001) 79 *
Distraught Father Assassinates Controller (Lake Constance, 2002) 81 *

Chapter 5 GROUND COLLISIONS 85
Worst-ever Multi-Aircraft Disaster (Tenerife, 1977) 85 *
747 Takes Off on Blocked Runway in Heavy Rain (Taipei, 2000) 95
UK Skyvan Pilots Unable to Follow French ATC (CDG, 2000) 101
Cessna Crosses Runway in Path of SAS MD-11 (Milan, 2001) 103

Chapter 6 CONTROL SYSTEMS COMPROMISED 109
DC-10 Cargo Door Opens Inflight (Windsor-Detroit, 1972) 109
DC-10 Cargo Door Opens Fatally Inflight (Paris, 1974) 115
DC-10’s Textbook Speed Seals Fate of AA191 (Chicago, 1979) 119
Worst-ever Single-aircraft Disaster (Japan, 1985) 123 *
Boeing 737 Rudder Quirk Took Years to Demonstrate (1991/1994) 133
Northwest 747 Lower Rudder Hardover (Anchorage, 2002) 141
DHL Airbus Maneuvered by Engine Power Alone (Baghdad, 2003) 143

Chapter 7 FIRE AND SMOKE 147
Fire in Varig 707 Toilet on Approach to Orly (Paris, 1973) 147
Did Captain Fatally Delay Evacuation for King? (Riyadh, 1980) 149
737 Stops with Fire Upwind (Manchester, UK, 1985) 153 *
737 Pilots Shut Down Wrong Engine (Kegworth, UK, 1989) 155 *
Fierce O2-fed Fire in ValuJet Cargo Hold (Everglades, 1996) 163
The TWA-800 Controversy (JFK Outbound, 1996) 169 *
Swissair 111 Cockpit Fire (JFK Outbound, 1998) 171
Fragmenting Tire Dooms Supersonic Concorde (Paris-CDG, 2000) 175 *
China Airlines 737 Catches Fire at Stand (Okinawa, 2007) 181

Chapter 8 PILOT ISSUES 183
Uptight BEA Trident Captain’s Heart Attack (Staines, 1972) 183
Colonel on Korean Air Cargo Flight Banks Too Far (Gatwick, 1999) 188
Overcontrolling Copilot Swishes off Airbus Tail (NYC, 2001) 189
Weary Colgan Air Pilots Gossip Before Stall (Buffalo, NY, 2009) 197 *

Chapter 9 PILOT CRASHES AIRCRAFT INTENTIONALLY? 203
SilkAir Flight 185 in Near-Vertical Dive (Indonesia, 1997) 203
Was EgyptAir Flight 990 a Matter of Revenge? (JFK Outbound, 1999) 207
Suicidal Germanwings Pilot Locks Out Captain (French Alps, 2015) 213

Chapter 10 UNCONTAINED ENGINE DISINTEGRATION 215
“Uncontrollable” DC-10’s Miracle Landing (Sioux City, 1989) 215
Masterful Handling of Stricken A380 (Singapore, 2010) 221

Chapter 11 METAL FATIGUE 229
The Hidden Flaw of the World’s First Jetliner (1952 to 1954) 229
Flexing Aloha 737 Lands with Passengers Exposed (Hawaii, 1988) 235

Chapter 12 TURBULENCE, ICE, AND WIND SHEAR 243
Sightseeing BOAC 707 Breaks Up (Mount Fuji, Japan, 1966) 243
Wind Shear, Microbursts, and Wake Turbulence (1982 and 1985) 247
Ice Builds Up Behind De-Icing Boots of Turboprop (Chicago, 1994) 251
Moment of Turbulence Results in a Death (off Japan, 1997) 253

Chapter 13 CONTROLLED FLIGHT INTO TERRAIN (CFIT) 255
Autopilot Disengages as Pilots Fiddle with Bulb (Everglades, 1972) 255
Preprogrammed to Hit Mount Erebus (Antarctica, 1979) 257
Air Inter Airbus A320 Plows into Mountain (Sainte-Odile, 1992) 265
757 Captain Selects Wrong Beacon, Loses Way (Cali, 1995) 269
757 Hits Sea as ATC Confirms Altitude 9,700 Feet (Lima, 1996) 273
On Taking Over the Aircraft, Captain Forgets Timer (Busan, 2002) 279

Chapter 14 UNIQUE CASES 281
Pilots Experiment and Underinflated Tires 281
Taxiing with Brakes on to Clear Fog (Zurich, 1963) 281
Air Florida Flight 90 (Potomac River, Washington DC, 1982) 281
Nigeria Airways Flight 2120’s Underinflated Tires (Jeddah, July 1991) 282
Teen Survives Two-Mile Free Fall in Just Her Seat (Peru, 1971) 283 *
Rogue Controller Deletes Data (JFK, 1979 or 1980) 287
747’s Terrifying 30,000-Foot Plunge (Pacific, 1985) 289
747 Cargo Hold Door Opens Midflight (Honolulu, 1989) 293
China Airlines and El Al 747F Engine Mounts (1991 and 1992) 297
In-Flight Deployment of Thrust Reversers (Lauda Air and TAM) 299
Captain’s Son Disengages A310 Autopilot (Russia, 1994) 301
Autopilot Takes Unconscious Pilots to Destination (Greece, 2005) 305

Chapter 15 MILITARY ACTION 311
Korean Airlines Flight 902 Off Course (Kola, Russia, 1978) 311
Korean Airlines Flight 007 Off Course (Sakhalin Island, 1983) 313
US Warship Downs Iranian Airliner (Persian Gulf, 1988) 315
MH17 777 Shot Down by SAM Missile (Ukraine, 2014) 323

Chapter 16 TERRORISM 325
Air India 747—Deadliest Bomb on a Plane (North Atlantic, 1985) 325
Failed Precursor to 9/11 (Marseille, 1994) 327
Bomb under Seat Was Trial for Bojinka Plot (Okinawa, 1994) 331
9/11—World Trade Center and Pentagon (USA, 2001) 333
Liquid Bomb Plot Changed Flying Forever (UK to US, 2006) 341
“Shoe Bomber” and “Underpants Bomber” 343

Chapter 17 “COMPUTERS WORK IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS” 345
Preening A320 Crashes at Local Air Show (Habsheim, 1988) 345
Indian Airlines A320 in Wrong Descent Mode (Bangalore, 1990) 353
In-flight Upset of Qantas QF72 A330 (off North Australia, 2008) 355
AF447 Pilots Turned Glitch into Disaster (South Atlantic, 2009) 359 *
By “Pull Down!” Captain Did Not Mean Pull Stick (Java Sea, 2014) 379

Chapter 18 SINGULAR CASES 383
Plane Fell from the Sky, with Pilots’ Reputation (Saginaw, 1979) 383
Landing Without Monitoring Airspeed (San Francisco, 2013) 389
Was Disappearance of MH370 Almost the Perfect Crime? (2014) 393 *

 INDEX 407
Acknowledgments 413

Author 415

MULTIPLE COPIES for organizations 415