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on December 17, 1999
John Nance continues to impress me, and "Final Approach" only solidifies that. The book kept me picking it up and reading it when I should have been doing other things. His insight into the avaiation industry is amazing, and his ability to bring that insight out in a fictional novel is superb. People interested in the "behind the scenes" of airlines, the NTSB, FAA, and Washington will enjoy the plot.
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on December 30, 1997
Author Nance is a well-seasoned commercial aviator. He also writes a good yarn in Final Approach. Though not as captivating as Trevanian and Ludlum, he does do an outstanding job in capturing the mind-set of a pilot, the main character (his own Jack Ryan?). Much better than Pandora's Clock (one of his other novels). Technically on-target and accurate with virtually all aspects to aviation and NTSB accident investigations: other authors shouldn't even try to dignify this sacred realm as well as Nance respects it and writes of it. Forget the Dinosaurs and Hollywood, put yourself on a real flight deck for a night or two with Final Approach.
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on February 14, 2016
Originally published in 1990, Final Approach is a thriller about an A360 Airbus flying into a 737 filled with passengers waiting for takeoff. The protagonist is Joe Wallingford, an investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Wallingford is assigned as chief investigator when a horrific crash occurs between two jumbo passenger jets at Kansas City International Airport, leaving almost everyone aboard both planes dead. Survivors include each pilot.

The first third of the book of the riveting. Nance’s description of the crash itself covers a few pages and is absolutely stunning in detailing the horror of the accident and its aftermath. It is Wallingford and his team’s responsibility to determine what went wrong. Immediately, things don’t seem to add up.

Because the story is set in 1990, the characters do not have instant communication as we do now. It was actually fun to turn back the clock and go back to the days when mobile phones were huge and the car rental companies who had them available with certain models of vehicles were few in number. Pay phones were still everywhere. The fastest way to communicate anything written on paper was via FedEx overnight delivery. At that time, FedEx seemed like the Jetsons’ era.

But, do not think the story slows down without cell phones, instant messenger and e-mail. There are multiple storylines going here, as Wallingford and his people track down various theories and some tips on what happened. Because a congressman was on board one of the planes, they have to rule political assassination. There was an Air Force jet with a prototype of a self-contained radar unit onboard which took off just yards from the 737 before it was impacted by the A320. Did the radar emit magnetic waves that interfered with the landing gear on the A320? Was it pilot error?

Nance addresses the tragedy from all perspectives – professionally, personally and politically. NTSB, FAA, the airlines and airplane manufacturers all have professional stakes in the investigation and its outcomes. In addition to the congressman onboard who was killed, there was a US senator on the ground at the airport, inside what was supposed to be a secured area, who hightailed it out of there after both planes burst into flames. Was he there to make sure the hit on the congressman was carried out? Who was he?

Although Nance keeps the pace of the novel moving along, he could have tightened the story up. The reader could do without the two clandestine love affairs. They really add nothing to the story, particularly since each female half of the affair is a perfect woman even through the males involved are kind of schleppy. Why do male authors go so overboard in the perfection of the females they give their protagonists? The other threads that we follow through the book were interesting but even some of them could have been shortened and tightened a bit.

Still, a good read. Lots of technical stuff about jets and how accident investigations are carried out. I found it interesting and I don’t even fly very much.
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on January 24, 2016
On a stormy night at Kansas City International Airport, Flight 170 waits for take-off to avoid the thunderstorms rolling through. Flight 255 is landing on the same runway. Due to wind-shear it misses the first approach and comes back to try again resulting in a horrific crash involving both flights.

NTSB, National Transportation Safety Board, investigator, Joe Wallingford, is assigned to investigate the crash. He arrives in Kansas City with his team to sift through the wreckage for clues to the accident, but in this case it's no easy task, and the pressure on Joe, both political and technical, is tremendous.

The first chapters of “Final Approach” are the best. The crash scene keeps you on the edge of your seat. The rest of the novel is more mundane, understandably, because it involves the technical investigation into the reason for the crash. I enjoyed the detail of how an NTSB investigation is conducted, but it's slow going at times.

Joe Wallingford is a good character. He loves his job and responds to the pressure in a very human way. Some of the other characters are good, but Joe is clearly the standout. I found the women in the novel more stereotypical than the men, and the love affairs, although they aren't a major part of the action, seem forced.

If you enjoy books with an aviation theme, this is a good one, but be prepared for technical detail and some repetition as the investigators work to solve the mystery.

I received this book from Open Road for this review.
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on January 19, 2016
"Final Approach" is a true thriller. The first chapter sucked me in and kept me there until the very end. When an author opens a story the way John Nance did with "Final Approach" a reader knows that this is going to be a read that will keep them up all night long.

Joe Wallingford, Go Team IIC, with NTSB is a well developed and interesting charater. He just loves his job of investigating crashes, whether it is a plane, a boat or a train. He wants to be there and wants to find out the why and how.

On a stormy night at the Kansas City airport an incoming flight crashes into a flight waiting for take off. Hundreds of people are killed including the wife and children of Dr. Mark Weiss. Dr. Weiss, a clinical psychologist, is watching from an airport window and sees the crash and is determined to find out why and how it happened.

Joe Wallingford and the Chairman of the NTSB do not have the best working relationship and the Chairman seems to want to prevent Joe from discovering what happened. Making Joe more determined to find out the why. There are so many hidden agendas throughout this story and make for a very interesting read.

I would recommend this title to anyone looking for a thriller that has great political intrigue that is also very believable. I may actually feel a little anxious the next time I fly wondering how well the plane I am on is maintained.
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on June 20, 2016
This book is a combination of exciting, suspenseful, and thrilling from beginning to end. The characters are well-drawn and believable. You care about what happens to them. The investigation of the crash really shows what the NSTB is all about. If you watch TV shows like "Air Disasters" you will be just as intrigued by this book. Highly recommended.
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on April 14, 2016
Kansas City International Airport.... an aircraft collides with another plane on the runway. It's one of the worst aviation disasters in many years.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Joe Wallingford arrives on the scene. There are many thoughts running through his head ... there were thunderstorms in the area this a climate caused problem? Severe cuts to the program have been made recently ...was the airplane in perfect condition to fly? Is pilot error a possibility?

As Wallingford sifts through the wreckage, he comes to believe this was for more than he originally thought and he will have to risk his career .. or his life ... to expose a deadly cover-up.

This author has written several aviation-thriller books; this was his debut novel in 1990. As interesting as this reading was, it seemed a bit outdated. It did serve to show what happens behind the scenes .. who does what when. I enjoyed seeing what an investigator first looks at and how he goes about putting all the pieces together.

Many thanks to the author / Open Road Integrated Media / NetGalley who provided a digital copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
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on April 18, 2016
Open Road Integrated Media and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of Final Approach, in exchange for an honest review.

John J. Nance, best selling author, has again brought his readers back to the skies. When two airplanes crash on a Kansas City runway, it is up to NTSB investigator Joe Wallingford and his team to study the wreckage and piece together the facts of the case. He soon realizes that this was no ordinary accident and is complicated by the fact that one of the passengers was a high profile government employee. With the public and the NTSB board breathing down his neck, will Joe be able to find out the truth?

Author John J, Nance has the great ability of being able to delve into the complicated inner workings of the aviation industry, but explaining it in a way that is both interesting and easy to understand. There was never a dull moment in Final Approach, as there was plenty of intrigue to go around. Main character Joe Wallingford has the kind of integrity and intelligence that makes him interesting. My only word of caution when reading this book: do not read while flying or right before a trip. The behind the scenes look at the airline industry will keep both feel firmly planted on the ground.
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on February 6, 2016
WARNING: This is NOT the book to read during a long airline flight - especially if you are a nervous flyer like I am! The book scared me, while I was reading it sitting on my couch, can't imagine how I'd have felt if I was on a plane while I was reading parts of it!

On a stormy night in Kansas City, an Airbus plane coming in for a landing, shears the top off of a Boeing 737 that is waiting to take off. There is a fire and most of the people in both planes are killed by either the crash or the fire. The NTSB is called in to investigate but as with all government agencies, there is the investigation and then there are the politics surrounding the investigation. While the NTSB is trying to figure out if the crash was caused by system failure, pilot error or some other reason, the media gets involved and starts talking about possible sabotage. The book is very relevant to today and is a very good political intrigue novel. I recommend it!
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on February 8, 2016
Wow, does this book take you for a ride! I used to be a very frequent flyer and always loved it. But I have to say that what this book reveals is pretty scary.

An Airbus A320 crashes into a 737 one night in Kansas City MO. An NTSB team, led by Joe Wallingford, is dispatched to investigate. Then the circus begins. Numerous government bodies come out of the woodworks trying to interfere with the investigation. They all seem to have some shady dealings they do not want exposed. There could be so many causes for the accident – equipment failure, air traffic control error, pilot error. There is even suspicion of sabotage. Just when it seems they have a grasp on what the cause was, something else creeps into the picture. This book kept me guessing all the way to the end. It is suspenseful yet realistic.

Many thanks to Paola Crespo at Open Road Media for sending me an advance copy to review.
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