Synopses & Reviews
On January 15, 2009, a US Airways Airbus A320 had just taken off from LaGuardia Airport in New York when a flock of Canada geese collided with it, destroying both of its engines. Over the next three minutes, the planes pilot, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, managed to glide it to a safe landing in the Hudson River. It was an instant media sensation, the “Miracle on the Hudson,” and Captain Sully was the hero. But how much of the success of this dramatic landing can actually be credited to the genius of the pilot? To what extent is the “miracle” on the Hudson the result of extraordinarybut not widely known, and in some cases quite controversialadvances in aviation and computer technology over the past twenty years?
In Fly by Wire, one of Americas greatest journalists takes us on a strange and unexpected journey into the fascinating world of advanced aviation. From the testing laboratories where engineers struggle to build a jet engine that can systematically resist bird attacks, through the creation of the A320 in France, to the political and social forces that have sought to minimize the impact of the revolutionary fly-by-wire technology, William Langewiesche assembles the untold stories necessary to truly understand the
“miracle” on the Hudson, and makes us question our assumptions about human beings in
In Fly by Wire, one of Americas greatest journalists takes us on a "fascinating" (The New York Times) and sometimes humorous journey into the rapidly changing aviation industry. Langewiesche concisely and artfully renders forty years of history in the field by examining the financial problems, the unions, and ultimately the recent advances in technology. And he finds that aviation safety is field in which machine has now surpassed man, but man still manages to find ways -- hubris, ineptitude -- to cause accidents. Advances such as fly by wire suggest that in some cases it may prove best to cede authority to the machines, even if it means questioning our assumptions about human beings and heroism in the process.
About the Author
William Langewiesche is the author of six previous books: Cutting for Sign, Sahara Unveiled, Inside the Sky, American Ground (North Point Press, 2002), The Outlaw Sea (North Point Press, 2004), and, most recently, The Atomic Bazaar (FSG, 2007). He is the international editor for Vanity Fair.