Sorry, we missed the runway

I am sure that you have lived awkward situations in a flight. Miscommunications between the crew and passengers or funny messages received from the cockpit. That is precisely the topic of a book I read some months ago.

Sorry, we missed the runway

The book originated after a collection of anecdotes posted by readers of the online version of Der Spiegel. Seeing the success of the initiative, the authors, Stephan Orth and Antje Blinda, decided to launch the book with the original German title “Sorry, wir haben die Landebahn verfehlt” (in French “Désolé, nous avons raté la piste”, which is the version I read).

To be honest, what I was looking for it was more a book about serious incidents or accidents, in order to learn about things not to do as a learning activity towards my private pilot licence. Once I started and saw what it was really about I went on for the fun of it (plus the French learning component).

Among the anecdotes, curiosities and messages accounted:

  • the 747 City of Edinburgh which temporarily lost all 4 engines over Indonesia due to volcano smoke (“We have a small problem. The 4 engines of our aircraft have stopped. We’ll do everything possible to regain control. We hope you’re not very nervous” – they recovered control of 3 engines),
  • “if you forget anything aboard the airplane you’ll be able to find it tomorrow on eBay” (on a flight Orlando-Sacramento),
  • despite intuition: chances of surviving an aircraft accident are 70% (in fact, my economy and business administration teacher at the aerospace engineering school had survived 2 accidents!),
  • (after a heavy landing) “dear Sirs and Madams, please be seated until the captain finishes bringing what is left from the airplane to parking position”,
  • the following near crash of a A320 in Hamburg due to heavy cross wind and a sudden gust,

I guess that you can get a grasp of the book, though you can read the same stories in the link of Der Spiegel above. Finally, the book includes several sources and proposal further readings, among them:, which I guess it is more the kind of reading I was originally looking for.

1 Comment

Filed under Aerospace & Defence, Books

One response to “Sorry, we missed the runway

  1. Pingback: My 2012 reading list | The Blog by Javier

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