- Age Range: 12 and up
- Hardcover: 188 pages
- Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (February 17, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 163220729X
- ISBN-13: 978-1632207296
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 7.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 37 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #873,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: Why It Disappearedand Why Its Only a Matter of Time Before This Happens Again Hardcover – February 17, 2015
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As a crash investigator and aviator, Soucie brings the wayward observer’s eye to the events and news sound bites as they emerged to the world on that fateful day in March, 2014. The reader learns a lot about the parallels of this air tragedy and the Air France flight 447 accident in 2009 and other air crashes. Using the Bayesian formula for giving weight to pieces of evidence, Soucie maps out an accident algorithm for taking the information, organizing and weighing the validity and the source. The author weaves his own experiences as an air crash investigator as he absorbs the unlikely fact that this airplane, may be lost forever. Along the way he explains the whys and wherefores of safety implementations with the FAA and makes his own points for safety recommendations for future flights. Armed with what facts we know, Soucie does bring his very specific idea of what could have happened to the flight, in his detailed time line, very much his own hypothesis, backed up by explanations of other similar airline catastrophes. A good book that brings the process of investigating an air crash forward as well as the the investigation itself.
Secondly, there is a limited amount of evidence and speculative theory you can explore with any book about an aircraft investigation that not only is incomplete, but where the aircraft and its passengers have not even been found. The hardback edition runs to just 158 pages and is a pretty quick read - I doubt there are much more than 30k words in here. Ten pages alone are taken up with a reproduction of the passenger manifest and another 16 colour pages of general photographs.
The book also doesn't start too well considering there is a glaring factual error in the very first sentence:
"It was 1:19 a.m. in Malaysia on March 8, 2014, when the captain of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, said good night to the air traffic controller in Ho Chi Minh City."
What?? The cockpit crew of MH370 never once spoke to ATC in Vietnam, nor was the aircraft ever picked up by them. The captain signed off to Malaysia ATC! Ironically, the sentence is from the opening chapter called: "Early Mistakes". I suspect David Soucie and his editor read that line a hundred times over and missed it.
That said, Soucie barely puts a foot wrong after that and offers methodical examination of all possible scenarios, discounting most and honing in on a couple of most likely possibilities. He doesn't over dazzle readers with too much technical stuff (just the right amount), avoids the scrutiny of the Inmarsat satellite data because he is no expert in this area, and he provides a refreshing and insightful read based on his experience in the FAA and his role as an aviation safety expert.
The book provides a reliable go-to guide to most of what we know about the investigation into MH370. A few minor quibbles about references towards the end of the book, which reference the TV network he does work for - CNN. If you are going to reference critical and factual information, then citing CNN as a source or the rather general 'Australian Report' instead of the preliminary report itself or primary sources is a little sloppy. He goes into detail about his 'Accident Algorithm' and how he devised it, but I was pretty disappointed with the visual graphic on P155 (tiny and unreadable) which adds nothing to the printed edition of the book.
Overall, this was an enjoyable but a very brief read.
Most recent customer reviews
1) The author, David Soucie, was an FAA Safety Inspector, which is the perspective he seems to write the book in.Read more