We hope you enjoy this book review by Cy Hilterman.

A twin-engine commercial jet airliner is supposed to fly on one engine in the event one engine fails. Tell that to the passengers and crew of Worldwide Airlines flight 442 flying from Londonís Gatwick Airport to the Barbados, carrying passengers and crew of 245. When one engine sputters and has to be shut down the crew felt confident that they could fly on one-engine easily and make their destination. When strange things occur on board the Independent Transport Aircraft Company 831 airplane, the crew still felt they could successfully land the plane. Helen Partridge and Linda Sutcliffe were crew members assigned to the rear area of the airplane. They prepared the passengers as well as possible in case they would have to ditch in the ocean.

When this disastrous ditching occurred, Helen and Linda got the escape shoots down and rushed to get the frightened passengers out of the rapidly sinking body of the airplane. Only 69 had survived in very harrowing conditions. Those in the front area of the airplane had no chance with the water filling fast causing the angle of the inside to be far too steep for anyone in the front to get out. Helen and Linda remembered their emergency training steps very well and were very heroic assisting passengers before they themselves could escape. They didnít feel like heroes since so many died.

Peter Talbert was a private insurance investigator who was asked by the hull manufacturer to investigate the accident. He was asked to go to St. Antony to find out what actually occurred that caused the flight to have to ditch. Peter dug deep and didnít care how many he might have offended. He was much more than an insurance investigator; he was interested in finding out what did happen during the flight that caused this grievous wreck.

Peter discovered that Helen, who had survived the crash despite being hurt, was still on the island recuperating. He found her and started questioning her in all aspects of the flight. In addition, he became personally very interested in Helen. She was very beautiful and smart, which didnít deter Peter at all. Helen sometimes assisted Peter in his investigation.

As Peter dug deeper, at first trying to find out what was on the flight recorders (orange boxes) to tell him why this plane had to ditch so close to shore. When one of the boxes disappeared, he got more inquisitive and contacted more and more of those that had anything to do with the airplane itself, the mechanics, the crew of this flight and past flights, and of course Helen and Linda.

Any aviation buff will love this story. Even if you donít understand all of the authorís abbreviations, which are listed for your information, the story itself is a terrific mystery that grows and grows to the very end. Tony Blackman is very educated in all particulars of aviation. Being a pilot for years, he became an electronics expert and helped develop some of the in-plane displays and avionic systems in use in various areas of the world.

Tony, you amazed me with your knowledge and especially your way of weaving a mystery that doesnít give the plot away until the very end. Keep these coming. Your writing is great.



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