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The Black Box: All-New Cockpit Voice Recorder Accounts Of In-flight Accidents Paperback – July 22, 1998
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Top Customer Reviews
First, the transcripts seem arbitrarily edited. Some transcripts have a long amount of dialogue included before things go wrong that have no relation to what follows. Others are incomplete and leave out a lot. For example, PSA Flight 182 is cut off right after the midair and leaves out the entire sequence of the crew heroically attempting to get their aircraft under control If you've heard the whole thing, you wonder if they had had more altitude or weren't in landing configuration, if they might not have been able to pull it off. The final "Goodbye, Mother" tears you apart. It seems these transcripts were just thrown together.
The other problem is that while the Editior may be a fine reporter, he doesn't know much about aviation, and some of his attempts to explain what is going on are misleading or inaccurate. For example, his explanation of what "Break" means in a radio transmission when he's attempting to interpret what's going on at that moment is wrong.
This is an interesting book, but it could have been a lot better with a little work.
What I came away with in the book was a feeling that it was just an average attempt. The author did present some interesting and not very well reported on incidents as well as some of the more famous. It was just that he did not put in a lot more effort past the editing. The comments he did make about the crashes or near crashes were somewhat shallow. The book did not promise a full blow investigation on each crash, but I would have liked a bit more then just a three sentence explanation and the death toll. And given that there were so many different aircraft involved I would have liked some consistent basic info on each of the aircraft involved in the reported events. And would I be considered greedy if I would ask for a few photos?
Overall I found the book to be average. The cockpit voice recordings are at times dramatic and the actual events are interesting to read about. It was just that so much more could have been done to make the book a more complete account of these accidents that I finished the book a bit disappointed. IF this is your first book on the topic then it is probably a nice starting point.
It's almost cliche to say so, but the reactions of the pilots encompass the range of human emotion--from panicked to noble to unbelievably calm. The accidents themselves run the gamut from abrupt and unexpected to shockingly inevitable. While all are disturbing to some degree, the transcript from the Soviet shootdown of Korean Airlines flight 007 is particularly wrenching, and never fails to elicit a tear. "The Black Box" is, in a word, fascinating.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book, but kind of sad, as well. This book points to the fact that sometimes events happen which you cannot predict. "Unknown-unknowns". Read morePublished 5 months ago by kenneth cranford
Love knowing what the black boxes say about air disasters. A good look at the inside of terrible mishaps.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Thought this would be better than it was. Unenjoyable! Mostly boring drool that gets suddenly cut off. Crash!
Best book ever to read on a plane. Great book with lots of lessons of what not to do.Published 24 months ago by C. W. Garrison
Scarier than Stephen King sometimes. Collection of transcripts from cockpit voice recorders prefaced with description of what was later determined to be what the crew was up... Read morePublished on April 19, 2014 by Charles Darwin
This is required reading for pilots at our charter jet company. A series of short, just the "interesting parts," black box transcripts. Read morePublished on December 28, 2012 by Jason