JET ROULETTE: Flying Is a Game of Chance by Fred McClement

JET ROULETTE: Flying Is a Game of Chance

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Gathering speed since 1969 when he produced his first dire warning on air travel, It Doesn't Matter Where You Sit, McClement has revved up another alarm about the hazardous skyways. This time he includes grim little accounts of the latest air disasters including the mid-air collision near Zagreb between a British Trident and a Yugoslav DC-9, and the runway collision betwen Pan Am and KLM jets in the fog at Tenerife ha the Canary Islands. Both disasters involved confusion at Ak Traffic Control, a leading cause of accidents. But McClement's own earlier projection of 10,000 annual air deaths by the mid-1970s has already been disproved--which seems to make him more anxious than ever. He complains about bad weather flying, jammed landing facilities, tired and overaged crews as well as equipment lags--there are no automated conflict alert systems that can warn a pilot of converging aircraft flying below 12,500 ft., where most accidents occur. Another target is the FAA which failed to heed the warnings of the Safety Board that the malfunctioning cargo doors on the DC-10 would cause fatalities long before the Orly crash that killed 347. Unfortunately, none of this material gets the kind of coverage it deserves, partly because McClement pumps the book full of one-second-from-eternity conversations between pilots and ground control. And the whole suffers from the shrill tone of someone who is sure that the worst will always happen.

Pub Date: March 10th, 1978
Publisher: Doubleday