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Brace for Impact

Why do planes disappear or fall out of the sky? Brace for Impact traces the evolution of accident investigation and explains why flying is the safest form of travel.

The history of air accidents is a harrowing one. Yet today flying is the safest mode of transportation, thanks in no small part to the work of crash detectives. Whenever a plane falls from the sky, the investigators pick through the wreckage for the clues they need to decipher what happened to that flight. Before the invention of the black box and the evolution of forensic accident investigation, the causes often remained a mystery.

Since the Wright brothers first took flight, aircraft design, pilot training, aircraft maintenance, and air traffic control have all evolved to current standards of safety. Because of lessons learned from tragedies such as what befell the Comets in the 1950s, the Douglas DC-10s in the 1970s, and ill-fated Air India, TWA, and Swissair flights, flight safety continues to improve. In many ways, the history of aviation is the history of air crash investigation."
Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction 1 Flying Too Close to the Sun 2 Knights of the Air and the Great War 3 Barnstormers, Flaming Coffins, and Death Mockers 4 Lindbergh, Leo the Lion, and Air Mail Aces 5 Celebrity Deaths and the Rise of Commercial Passenger Flight 6 Lancasters, LORAN, and the Second World War 7 Make Way for Tomorrow: The Comet Crashes 8 A False Start for the Black Box 9 Kicking Tin and Coping with Disaster 10 No Longer Deaf and Mute: FDRs and CVRs Become Law 11 Douglas Death Cruisers and Mourning Becomes Electra 12 Terror in Tenerife, Pilot Error, and Air Traffic Chaos 13 Deregulation and Fighting Fire with Decrees 14 Aviation's Annus Horribilis 15 Regional Air Tragedy: The Kegworth and Dryden Perfect Storms 16 Watchdogs of Air Travel and Accidents 17 Nationair and ValuJet: Folly upon Folly 18 Swissair One-Eleven Heavy 19 Complex Systems Failing in Complex Ways Notes Acknowledgements Index

About the Author

Peter Pigott is Canada's foremost aviation author. Among his accomplishments are the histories of Air Canada, Trans-Canada Airlines, and Canadian Airlines. He is the author of From Far and Wide, Sailing Seven Seas, Canada in Sudan, and many more books. He lives in Ottawa.


What a cool book. * Inside Toronto * Well-researched and presents a definitive history of Canadian aviation. * Winnipeg Free Press *

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