Malcolm MacPherson has collected and edited the actual black box recordings of air disasters. It’s incredibly dramatic, rather ghoulish and, at times very sad. But it is gripping and his introduction sheds light on the safety of air travel and how these recordings have helped to make flying the safest, even if the least comfortable, mode of transport today.
He has taken the recordings of 21 examples, which illustrate the global nature of air flight and their crews. We are not made cognisant of the crew as individuals – their likes their families, although some of the recordings do show some of their interests, especially in other aircraft. But the suddenness with which life can be cut off is brought home, and the escapes documented tell their own amazing stories.
The layout of the book is clear and easy to follow. It’s almost like listening in to the captain and crew talking. While the transcripts are terrifying, they are accessible. We can only admire the skill and training the flight crews have.
This is not a book to scare you, in fact, it could be oddly reassuring to know that the black box recordings are carefully studied and analyzed, to make air travel safe for us.
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