BROKEN WINGS reveals the tragedy of Alaska civil aviation from early bush pilots to modern jetliners, providing a unique perspective on the technology and human factors involved in aircraft mishaps. Written with expert analysis of aircraft operations, pilot procedures, weather phenomenon and aviation systems, the thirty stories detail major flying disasters in the Last Frontier, including some of the deadliest air crashes in United States history.
One hundred-one people perished when a four-engine propliner disintegrated in flight over the North Pacific. A passenger jetliner crashed on approach in the mountains, nineteen miles from its destination, fatally injuring all 101 occupants. The pilots of a large cargo jet mistakenly veered off course into high terrain, killing everyone aboard. Seconds after accelerating for departure, a charter flight carrying 229 people was completely destroyed by fire, killing or injuring most of the passengers and crew. These are only a few of the catastrophic events spanning eight decades of flight, including all accidents involving ten or more fatalities. Several involved extraordinary feats of survival. Many resulted in a complete loss of life.
Nowhere have civil aircraft disasters been as prevalent as in Alaska. The progression of unfortunate accidents and often unforeseen consequences told in BROKEN WINGS offers a historical perspective on the development of aviation, and serves as an instructive example of failures with even the finest technology, modern aircraft and experienced pilots. The plethora of information not only provides a rare glimpse of aviation history, but serves as a valuable reference for what can and will go wrong, even in the best of circumstances.
BROKEN WINGS includes over 150 photograph and map illustrations, showing the aircraft, crash sites and flight routes. Many of the illustrations, like the stories themselves, have never before been published.
About the Author: Gregory Liefer is a former paratrooper and retired military and civilian pilot. Broken Wings is the author's first book, re-released in June 2014. His second book, Aviation Mysteries of the North, was released in 2011. Greg holds an FAA Airline Transport Pilot certificate and has flown more than 11,000 hours in various aircraft. Twenty-three of his thirty-two year flying career was in Alaska.