Synopses & Reviews
“Relive the story of an ill-fated commercial flight that was doomed before it was ever airborne; and find out how it may one day save your life—if it hasn’t already.” — Chris Mendenhall, Air Traffic Controller, Tinker AFB
On a cold winter night, a passenger jet with 189 aboard crash landed, out of fuel, in a suburban neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. Ten people died. The pilot was blamed and stripped of his career, and a sweeping transformation of flight crew training took place that made United Flight 173 (in)famous worldwide as the model for failure and change.
That was only the half of it.
Hiding in plain sight for years in an attorney’s file boxes, the forgotten truths of the landmark air disaster reveal much more: an emotional journey tethered to the disgraced pilot and a three-year-old girl who survived the crash and became an unlikely hero for justice and public safety in the dramatic legal battle that followed.
Crash Course, by award-winning journalist Julie Whipple, is the long-overdue, true story of a misunderstood airline tragedy that changed more about our daily lives than most people know. Here is why we’re safer today, how we’re not and what we can do about it.
"Crash Course is a compelling moment-by-moment recounting of a startling modern air disaster. But above all, it's a vital account of the bruising fight to make aviation safer and to hold a corporation accountable for its actions." Paul Collins, author of Duel With the Devil
"Human drama, aviation operations, corporate intrigue, government bureaucracy, legal machination are all here. If you are looking for a great read, you will enjoy Crash Course. I could not put it down when I read it — either time!" Tom Cordell
FAA Designated Pilot Examiner, Retired United Airlines Captain
About the Author
Julie Whipple is a writer and educator living in Portland, Oregon. She holds an MFA in creative writing with an emphasis on nonfiction, and has worked as a journalist in Kenya and Tanzania where she was the East Africa correspondent for the London-based, weekly news magazine Africa Economic Digest. She also filed stories for the London Observer, South Magazine, Radio France International and Deutsche Welle among others. In the United States, her work has been published in the Christian Science Monitor, The Oregonian, the Portland Business Journal, and Portland Monthly Magazine. She is the recipient of a Kellogg Award for Reporting and holds professional memberships in the Authors Guild and PEN America.