Praise for Fly by Wire
"If you think you know the story of Chesley Sullenberger’s miraculous ditching of US Airways flight 1549 from the major media coverage, think again. In this short, tightly written yet expansive book, Vanity Fair correspondent Langewiesche (The Atomic Bazaar) weaves a page-turning narrative of the ill-fated, three-minute flight, crippled by a bird strike, with several finely honed elements of backstory (the day-to-day lives of airline personnel including Capt. “Sully” Sullenberger and his crew, an errant flock of geese, and a controversial French-built airplane) into a masterpiece of modern journalism. While most media coverage of the event has focused on Sullenberger’s heroic actions, dubbing it the “Miracle on the Hudson,” Langewiesche eschews such hyperbole and explores every detail of the day’s fateful events. Sullenberger and his copilot, Jeffrey Skiles, do come off as heroic, but more for what they did not do—they did not panic, and they did not interfere with the Airbus A320’s remarkable computer system controlling the airplane’s glide into the Hudson. Just before impact, however, Sullenberger raised the airplanes nose gently, an action that bought time for all the passengers to escape the frigid waters. The sections of the book dealing with the flight itself are soberly rendered, yet gripping. But it is the backstory—including the economic, political, and engineering stories behind the airplane itself—that make this book a true achievement. In this expertly researched book, rendered in spare, pitch-perfect prose, Langewiesche has turned a feel-good tabloid story into an enduring work of literature." —Publishers Weekly
Praise for The Atomic Bazaar
“A gripping, frightening and essential story.” —John Freeman, The Denver Post
“One need read only the first three pages of The Atomic Bazaar to be reminded of William Langewiesche’s formidable talent as a journalist whose cool, precise and economical reporting is harnessed to an invigorating moral and intellectual perspective on the world he describes . . . An important book.” —Jonathan Raban, The New York Times Book Review
Praise for The Outlaw Sea
“Astonishing . . . As [Langewiesche] demonstrates time and time again in this brave, often electrifying book, [the sea] is a world that is both new and very old, and we ignore it at our peril.” —Nathaniel Philbrick, The New York Times Book Review
“William Langewiesche’s enthralling study of the epidemic disorder of our oceans is hard to put down. His prose flows seamlessly and elegantly, effortlessly integrating investigative reporting, political analysis, travel writing and even film criticism.” —Jesse Berrett, San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
Praise for American Ground
“Slim but powerful . . . One of the gifts of American Ground [is] truth, unclouded by sentiment. This book’s other gift is its capacity to surprise: it is a work of original reporting, and its pages are filled with astonishing observations.” —Jeffrey Goldberg, The New York Times Book Review
“Extraordinary . . . An amazing piece of journalism, full of colorful characters and astonishing scenes.” —Peter Carlson, The Washington Post
On January 15, 2009, a US Airways Airbus A320 had just taken off from LaGuardia Airport in New York, when a flock of Canada geese collided with it, destroying both of its engines. Over the next three minutes, the plane's pilot Chelsey "Sully" Sullenberger, managed to glide to a safe landing in the Hudson River. It was an instant media sensation, the "The Miracle on the Hudson", and Captain Sully was the hero. But, how much of the success of this dramatic landing can actually be credited to the genius of the pilot? To what extent is the "Miracle on the Hudson" the result of extraordinary - but not widely known, and in some cases quite controversial - advances in aviation and computer technology over the last twenty years?
From the testing laboratories where engineers struggle to build a jet engine that can systematically resist bird attacks, through the creation of the A320 in France, to the political and social forces that have sought to minimize the impact of the revolutionary fly-by-wire technology, William Langewiesche assembles the untold stories necessary to truly understand "The Miracle on the Hudson", and makes us question our assumptions about human beings in modern aviation.