Book Reviews

Book Review: Flight 111


The crush of Swissair flight 111 remains one of the largest aviation accidents ever recorded.

229 people died, but there were many more individuals whose lives changed forever.

Author Stephen Kimber has collected their stories, starting with the seemingly innocent events leading up to the fatal crash in   Nova Scotia on September 2, 1998, the search efforts of Canadian officials, and individuals, and the aftermath of families whose loved ones perished in this tragedy.

The journalistic effort expended in the research was certainly time consuming, laudable, and heart wrenching to listen to as told by family members.

Stories of some families, how events compelled them to give consent to family members to fly, then after the disaster, are compelling and beautifully written.

In all these tumultuous times the behaviour of Swissair officials was exemplary in communicating with the public, and their co-operation with officials to shed light on the event.

The portrayals of mothers who lost off springs in this tragic event are well described, and display how some people behave in their grief. From this perspective alone the book is worth reading, and maybe, re-reading.

The narrative flows beautifully describing the agony some families of some passengers who perished.

Also, it deals with the lives of flight attendants and pilots, their constant time-zone changes and how these influence a regular life pattern including negative repercussions, how much attention is paid to prepare for take off.

Another interesting aspect of the book tells the reader how airlines schedule their aircrafts to maximize revenues.

An excellent read for anyone who flies a lot and for those who suffer from flying phobias.

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