|Tony Blackman, former chief test pilot, aviation electronic expert and past member of the Board of the UK Civil Aviation Authority has written an amazing story of the world's largest and newest airliner flying non-stop from Sydney to London, carrying 510 passengers, how it was hijacked and then crashed, trying to land at Heathrow in freezing fog. The aircraft was certificated by the European Aviation Safety Agency using the latest European Satellite System for landing but the accident inspector felt that, despite the hijacking, the cause was an error by the pilots and clearly felt that a party on the beach in Sydney the night before the flight was a contributory factor. |
Unusually there were leaks of the the flight recorder crew conversation to the press. Peter Talbert, safety expert and consultant on the interface between the flight crew and the aircraft’s automatic flight controls controls, was retained by an insurance firm to determine if the cause of the accident was really due to the pilots making a mistake and Peter soon became convinced that the situation was far more complex technically than the inspector thought.
The Government launched a Court of Inquiry and Peter decided he must go to Sydney to talk to the airline that had serviced the aircraft before departure and to find out what had actually happened at the party. On a beach in the middle of the night with one of the girls at the party he learnt that the situation was a lot more complicated than was first thought. Slowly Peter started to find out what had actually occurred and, much to his UK girl friend's reservations, he returned to Sydney to sail with the girl and try to persuade her to come to England and give evidence. Only at the last minute was Peter able to find the true reason for the crash and explain the situation to the Inquiry.
The story that is told is entirely credible. The aircraft uses the latest flight deck technology and the scenes on the flight deck are completely realistic. There is an epilogue to the book entitled 'Could it ever happen' where the safety issues in the book are discussed and what needs to be done to try to ensure that A Flight Too Far remains a flight of fancy.
This book is the first book in a series of five books featuring Peter Talbert. Other titles are The Final Flight, The Right Choice, Flight to St Antony and Now You See It. They will appeal to anyone who flies as well as to the aviation enthusiast.
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