BOOKS & MOVIES



Hardcover
Published in 1995
by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Paperback
Published in 1996
by Ballantine Books
eBook
Published in 2001
by Random House





Three pasengers are dead. Fifty-six are injured. But the pilot manages to land the plane ...

Plot Summary
In the early hours on Monday morning, TransPacific Airlines Flight 545, enroute from Hong Kong to Denver, experiences a horrifying event. Three people are killed and countless others are injured as their plane ascends and descends in a terrifying roller-coaster ride reportedly due to turbulence.

The plane's manufacturer, Norton Aircraft dispatches an in-house Quality Assurance Vice President, Casey Singleton, to discern what exactly occurred—and most importantly, who is to blame.

Over the next five days, Casey must sift through literally thousands of systems to determine what went wrong. The task is complex enough, but the added stress of an as-yet-unsigned sales deal of this N-22 plane to the Chinese scheduled to happen by week's end, intense media scrutiny, union difficulties and a saboteur all but make her task impossible.

Casey finally unravels the mystery of Flight 545 but needs physical proof to substantiate her theory. She decides to recreate the in-air event and take along a pushy reporter to help dispel any thoughts that the N-22 is unsafe.

Following the demonstration, which proves that it was pilot error, Casey keeps her job, the Chinese deal goes through and Norton Aircraft is saved. The most complex part of the aircraft—the wing—is also, unfortunately, part of the Chinese deal. This is the very thing the unions feared the most. The other key players in the unfolding drama do not fare so well—including the media.




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