FLIGHT 902 IS DOWN! by Hal & Barry Schiff Fishman


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Eric Lockhart, of Lockhart Aerospace, has developed the super-fast, undetectable XB-3A aircraft--""the ultimate in military technology""--but Congress votes against a US commitment to this new ultra-weapon. How, then, can Lockhart (a sincerely maniacal hawk) convince the country that WW III is coming, that America needs the XB-3A? Well, in a plot screaming with implausibility, Lockhart convinces his test-pilot son Michael to go to the Arctic, blow up commercial Flight 902 headed for Stockholm (with hawkish Senator Walsh on board) . . . and then to use the XB-3 A technology to make it seem as if the 902 has been shot down by the Russians over Norway! And the scheme is a success--except for the fact that Flight 902 isn't destroyed, only damaged and forced to land on an ice floe. So, while America goes wild with hawkishness and searches for the supposed wreckage near Norway, the real Flight 902 is stranded in the Arctic: there are survival ordeals; an ingenious plan to convert the ice-floe into a plane-powered sailing ship; a slow-growing romance between miserably divorced pilot MacLeod (""a male chauvinist dinosaur"") and co-pilot Karen; plus the usual stereotype-passenger vignettes in the Airport manner. Meanwhile, too, Russia is understandably puzzled--and Michael Lockhart is suicidally plagued by guilt. And finally, when the Flight 902 survivors (now in life-rafts) manage to reach Greenland, the mad Lockhart scheme is exposed and WW III is averted. Sheer nonsense, shamelessly padded (with aviation minutiae as well as mini-soap-operas)--but the hectic plot does become daffily lively towards the end, and aeronautical-technology buffs may be sporadically diverted . . . if far from steadily convinced.

Pub Date: Nov. 24th, 1982
Publisher: St. Martin's