Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival

Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival

by Laurence Gonzales


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Twenty-five years after the catastrophe, a dramatic and extraordinarily rare 360-degree view of the crash of a fully loaded jumbo jet.

As hundreds of rescue workers waited on the ground, United Airlines Flight 232 wallowed drunkenly over the bluffs northwest of Sioux City. The plane slammed onto the runway and burst into a vast fireball. The rescuers didn't move at first: nobody could possibly survive that crash. And then people began emerging from the summer corn that lined the runways. Miraculously, 184 of 296 passengers lived.

No one has ever attempted the complete reconstruction of a crash of this magnitude. Drawing on interviews with hundreds of survivors, crew, and airport and rescue personnel, Laurence Gonzales, a commercial pilot himself, captures, minute by minute, the harrowing journey of pilots flying a plane with no controls and flight attendants keeping their calm in the face of certain death. He plumbs the hearts and minds of passengers as they pray, bargain with God, plot their strategies for survival, and sacrifice themselves to save others.

Ultimately he takes us, step by step, through the gripping scientific detective work in super-secret labs to dive into the heart of a flaw smaller than a grain of rice that shows what brought the aircraft down.

An unforgettable drama of the triumph of heroism over tragedy and human ingenuity over technological breakdown, Flight 232 is a masterpiece in the tradition of the greatest aviation stories ever told.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393351262
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 07/13/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 369,582
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Laurence Gonzales is the author of Surviving Survival, Flight 232, and the bestseller Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why. He has won two National Magazine Awards and is a scholar at the Sante Fe Institute. He divides his time between Evanston,
Illinois, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Suzanne_L More than 1 year ago
Highly recommend. Taut yet descriptive, alternating between the compelling human elements of the story and the technical details that led to the cause of the crash. Outstanding writing on every level.
Yamsi1912 More than 1 year ago
I was in Iowa that day - heard about the crash on the radio. Lots about the disaster in this book that I was not aware of. Good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Warning, the details can be gruesome and quite descriptive. Overall great read. Covers all aspects of the tragedy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was very goof and interesting. Ss an Iowa myself, i found this book very interesting
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was an awesome read. Very thorough, very well written from the point of view of the crew, passengers, and staff on the ground. 
JGBN More than 1 year ago
The book interweaves human stories of the passengers and crew on the doomed flight -- they knew the plane was headed for a crash long before it came to earth -- with detailed discussions of how DC-10s were constructed and why this one failed. The author is obviously an expert on his subjects, and the book is both well researched and well worth reading.
MistyWilliams More than 1 year ago
This book is a well-written gripping account of the crash of Flight 232. Everything was going as well as could be expected until the wing dropped and hit the ground. This was disasterous but providentially many people survived. This book provides an interesting and rivetting story of many survivors' experiences, which are quite amazing. It also tells the story of what happened to cause the crash, which makes the book hard to put down. The only thing I didn't like was that there was a lot of detail about technical details of the failure of the engine, and interspersed even within the same chapters were stories from survivors, so I felt the back and forth was a bit distracting. There are photos and a few illustrations. A thick book, I'm glad I bought it. It is a good story, and I found the survivors' accounts very gripping and interesting - why did some die and some live? Even seated next to each other. Prayers to both the survivors and deceased.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very sad.Had some problems reading the technical info.
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