QF32 – Saving an A380

On 21-10-2012, in Bookshelf, by steve

By Capt. Richard De Crespigny
Publisher: Macmillan Australia
Text-to-Speech: Activated
X-ray: Not activated

We have brought you reviews of several books over the years and in each case we were talking about flesh and blood, sorry, paper and printing ink volumes, that is to say, traditional books. When I started searching for QF32, Capt. Richard De Crespigny’s account of the A380 engine failure incident, I found an interesting situation. Amazon was selling the paper book but for UK customers only. Amazon in Germany also had it in stock… but only in electronic format for the Kindle reader!

Since I have been carrying my ICAO and other documents as well as some books on a 7 inch Samsung tablet for some time now, I decided to give this a try. Since Samsung was kind enough to provide a Kindle reader in software as part of the tablet’s basic complement of applications, the only expense involved was the price of the book itself, which, at 11.99 Euros appeared to be very reasonable. Not to mention the fact that you can have the electronic book delivered practically instantaneously free of charge!

The transaction went through without a hitch…

Of course it was no surprise that this book would get written. After the all engines-out landing on the Hudson river, the story of how an Airbus A380 was saved by its Australian crew when one of its engines had an uncontained failure was a natural.

I for one enjoyed reading this book and I guess you will too. The description is not limited to the actual event itself. The years before that fateful day are covered through the life history of Capt. De Crespigny and this helps to understand why, when the plane was mortally wounded, the crew could still decide the best course of action in the circumstances and eventually lend the 380 safely.

Airmanship is not a word these days we necessarily and readily associate with terms like cockpit automation, envelope protection and so on. Yet, it was supreme airmanship that saved the lives of passengers and crew on QF32. This is the main message of Capt. De Crespigny also: automation is no substitute for superior airmanship.

Happy reading!

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