The gripping record of a ""routine"" Federal Express fast-freight flight between Memphis and San Jose in April 1994 that went horribly wrong. There were three crewmen on the DC-10 that night: David Sanders, the captain, a cool, 49-year-old pilot from west Texas; Jim Tucker, the copilot, a tall, powerful athlete; and Andy Anderson, a flight engineer from Mississippi. They had one passenger, Auburn Calloway, also a FedEx pilot, and a man with serious problems. An African-American, Calloway believed that he had been the object of racist harassment in the navy and at FedEx. The divorced Calloway, a karate expert, suspected that he was about to be fired and would thus be unable to provide for his two children. He drafted a will and, acting coolly and with caution, managed to hide hammers, a speargun, and a knife on the plane. He intended to kill the crew and crash the plane into a residential area, believing that the crash would be treated as an accident. Striking swiftly, he managed to assault Tucker and Anderson, fracturing their skulls. But they didn't lose consciousness and began fighting back. Tucker put the plane through a series of dizzying maneuvers, tossing the rest of the crew and Calloway about the cabin, causing Calloway to drop the speargun with which he had been attempting to kill Sanders. Hirschman, a reporter for the Memphis Commercial Appeal, provides a moment-by-moment reconstruction of the crew's long, bloody battle with Calloway. Bleeding, disoriented, weakening quickly, Tucker and Anderson nonetheless managed to restrain their assailant. Sanders, in great pain (Calloway had almost severed one of his ears in the initial attack) miraculously brought the plane into Memphis for a safe landing. Hirschman provides a summary of Calloway's trial. Convicted, he was sentenced to life in prison. A moving portrait of three quiet heroes.