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4,2 von 5 Sternen
4,2 von 5 Sternen
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am 21. Juni 2000
Having flown more in the last two and a half years than I ever did in my whole life previously, I've become an accustomed but nervous flyer, and I have to say that I find this book sort of...creepy. Once you've picked it up, it's next to impossible to put down, but you also wish you hadn't picked it up in the first place.
For a start, those who want access (for professional or other reasons) to cockpit voice recorder transcripts can get them over the internet where they're available, and I'm sure there's nothing in this book that isn't available elsewhere. Plus, other reviewers are correct in observing that NTSB transcripts are generally more accurate and specific and less Edited than the ones in this book.
Secondly, I don't know if I like the idea of being charged money for this kind of thing. I wouldn't mind so much if the money were going to the survivors, or the families of the dead, but isn't there something grisly and voyeuristic about paying money to read what are more often than not the last words of desperate men? "More often than not" because most of the accidents in this book involve fatalities. It's the same kind of gruesome curiosity that led to the notorious faked transcript of the Challenger shuttle's last moments (the authentic transcript lasts up until the point of the explosion; the detachment of the cabin from the rest of the airframe would have cut the power to the CVR, so anything you've read that purports to be from beyond that point is very likely inauthentic.)
Having said all that, I'm not immune to the fascination exercised by this stuff. I have nothing but respect for the courage and skill of airline crews. It's just that for some reason, I wish this book had never been published. I think that a more appropriate tribute to the dead would be higher standards of safety and maintenance. Anyway, it's too late now; but why do I feel sort of _soiled_ whenever I've been reading this stuff?
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am 25. Juni 1999
Es hat mich schon immer interessiert, was im Cockpit einer Maschine vor sich geht, wenn diese abstürzt - ob der drohende Absturz erkannt wird, ob dort Panik herrscht oder Mut. Diese Fragen beantwortet das Buch. Der Verfasser gibt die Voice-Recorder-Aufzeichnungen von 28 Abstürzen wieder, darunter auch von so spektakulären Unglücksflügen wie dem der Birgen Air vor der Dominikanischen Republik, der El-Al-Maschine über Amsterdam oder des Space Shuttle Challenger. Vor den Transkripten erklärt der Autor anschaulich und auch für Laien nachvollziehbar, warum es zum Absturz kam. Fachkennntisse sind nicht erforderlich (obwohl die Lektüre von Crichton's AIRFRAME eine gute Vorbereitung darstellt), wohl aber gute Englisch-Kenntnisse. Die Gespräche im Cockpit waren ganz anders, als ich sie mir vorgestellt hatte. Von Panik gab es keine Spur, jedenfalls nicht in den vom Verfasser vorgelegten Texten. Dagegen war ich tief beeindruckt von der Besonnenheit und Professionalität der Teams, die oft buchstäblich bis zum Aufschlag versuchten, den Absturz zu verhindern. Stark beeindruckt war ich auch von den oftmals eher banalen Ursachen für den Crash. Insgesamt sehr spannend und sehr aufschlussreich!
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am 15. Mai 2000
Some of these transcripts are truly gripping, but the book suffers from two fatal flaws:
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.
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am 8. Dezember 1999
The Black Box: All-New Cockpit Voice Recorder Accounts of In-Flight Accidents was an incredible book that dealt with human tragedy, heroism in the face of death, the frailty of human life and the sad reminder of human fallability. I read this book sometimes with a heavy heart, sometimes with a sense of relief and always with the knowledge that anyone can experience an aviation disaster; not just "someone else". The stories related in this book were explicit, and I think that is the only way they should be represented since this lends to a feel of 'being there' in the cockpit with the crew. On an emotional level, this book literally made me cry. I thought of all the people who lost their life in these disasters, and I wondered what they were thinking when they knew the plane was in trouble or going down. It was a sadness for them; for what could have been. For plans and hopes and dreams that literally and metaphorically went up in flames. I finished this book with a heavy heart and an undefineable sadness that still haunts me even now. Read this book, but be prepared to be emotionally drained and to spend some time contemplating your own mortality.
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am 15. November 1999
Frankly, I was disappointed. The idea behind the book - to publish the content of the CVR tapes of major aircraft accidents - is a good one. However, this is a specialized topic, and MacPherson simply does not have the specialist knowledge to properly edit the recordings. As a result, there are errors. Some are minor - e.g., the fuel quantity for ValuJet 592 is given as 2.300 pounds for the 1000 kilometer flight from Miami to Atlanta. Others are not - e.g., the crash of Delta 1141, which is generally accepted to have been caused by the crew failing to set the flaps, is attributed to fuel imbalance. As a result, much of the crucial tape sequence of the crew making their final preparations for takeoff is edited out by MacPherson. On the plus side, editing is necessary to make the book accessible to the general reader, and it certainly does that. MacPherson thus succeeds in making the drama - and quite often the heroism - of flight crews suddenly caught in terrifying circumstances accessible for everyone. I rate the book as recommendable for the general reader, but unsatisfactory for aviators.
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am 24. August 1998
The transcripts have all the pilot and air traffic control jargon which requires frequent trips for the aviation novice to the large glossary. The author has thoughfully provided annotations within the transcript describing the meaning of some of the conversations. Acknowledgements by the author are made to a deputy director of the NTSB and a First Officer with American Airlines. The transcripts are not as detailed as those included in the NTSB Aircraft Accident Reports. The transcripts in the book do NOT include the hour and minute each statement was made as the NTSB report do. Subscribers to the NTSB reports will find little of value in this book.
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am 27. Dezember 1998
Mr. Macpherson's compilation of the final few minutes onboard airline flights "from hell" is a terrifying and at times inspirational book. The credit is due largely to the souls on board who can display courage but more often sheer panic. If truth is stranger than fiction, you just can't write this stuff. The situations are as insurmountable as possible, like the loss of control of a giant 747 at 35000 feet. Beautiful and pityful, the stories of these peoples' terryifying last few moments and how they dealt with them will hypnotize you to the last page.
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am 7. März 2000
When this book arrived, I read the story of the first incident to get a flavor for the book, then ended up reading the entire thing. The book was chilling, but there were some relatively happy endings and a lot of courageous acts by pilots and flight crews. The thing I'll remember most, though, is the automated message that repeats in the cabin as a plane is going down "This is an emergency descent. Please put on your oxygen mask. Please put out your cigarettes"
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am 13. Januar 1999
This book is a great insight for those who wonder about aviation. It is a book I hope ALL captains get to read so they know what and what not to do. In this book, there are causes of crashes from hydraulic failure (United 232) to flirting flaws. It teaches a lot, but can also be scary, and I definatly do not recomend it for those people who hate to fly anyway. Also, if you want to know more about the UAL 232 crash, this is you book!
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am 19. Juli 1999
Ich interessiere mich sehr für die Luftfahrt und bestellte somit auch dieses Buch. Es ist erschreckend zu lesen was in den letzten Minuten eines Absturzes vorgeht. Der Autor beschreibt explizit die Auswertungen der "Black Box", u.a. auch die des Absturzes der Birgen Air vor der Dominikanischen Küste. Das Buch selber ist sehr gut vom Englischen zu lesen, jedoch sind einige Grundkenntnisse der Fliegersprache Voraussetzung.
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