& TRIUMPH OF
ASA FLIGHT 529
by award winning
Gary M Pomerantz
2001, Crown Pub.
Price may vary at Amazon.com
Minutes, Twenty Seconds brought back memories of my
son's fatal crash in the same type of aircraft. As the mother
of Dann Carlsen, Captain of Comair Flight 3272 which went down in
January 1997, I wanted to compare the circumstances of ASA Flight
529 to my son's flight. I have often wondered what transpired
and what could have been done to avoid such a tragedy. This
book not only helped me to understand the types of problems the
aircraft had, but also answered some of my questions as to why and
how the crash occurred.
I believe that
Captain.Gannaway did not have time to think about what was about to
happen. He simply did what he was trained to do -- bring down
the aircraft as best he could, while keeping the safety of his
passengers in mind. Indeed, Captain Gannaway performed a great
feat. As a result, 19 of the 26 passengers survived.
At NADA/F's annual
meeting in September, 2001, it was my privilege to present
NADA/F's first "Triumph Award" to Captain Gannaway's wife
in honor of his heroic and noble accomplishment. The ASA 529 Triumph
Award honors an ordinary person who performed an extraordinary feat,
and/or has made a difference for aviation safety and security.
Miasel, NADA/F Board Liaison - ComAir, Delta Commuter 3272
"In August 1995,
twenty-six passengers and a crew of three board a commuter plane in
Atlanta headed for Gulfport, Mississippi. Shortly after
takeoff they hear an explosion and looking out the windows on the
left side, see a mangled engine lodged against the wing. From
that moment, nine minutes and twenty seconds elapse until the
crippled plane crashes in a west Georgia hayfield --- nine minutes
and twenty seconds in which Gary Pomerantz takes readers deep into
the hearts and minds of the people aboard, each of whom prepares in
his or here own way for what may come.
people survive both the crash and its devastating aftermath, all of
them profoundly affected by what they have seen and, more important,
what they have done to help themselves and others.
This is not so much a
book about a plane crash as it is a psychologically illumination
real-life drama about ordinary people and how they behave in
extraordinary circumstances. Each of us has wondered what we
would do to survive a life-threatening situation: Would I
survive? How would I conduct myself --- Would I act to save
others in need or only myself? How would I be affected by the
experience? Judging by what is revealed in Nine Minutes,
Twenty Seconds, the answers are surprisingly optimistic."
In telling the remarkable
stories of these twenty-nine men and women, Gary Pomerantz has
written one of the most compelling books in recent memory.
Open to any page and you'll immediately be drawn into the dramatic
pull of the narrative. But on a deeper level, Nine Minutes,
Twenty Seconds speaks as powerfully about our capacity to care
for others as it does about the strength of our will to live.
This rich and rewarding book will linger in your mind long after you
turn the last page."
M. Pomerantz served the past two years as Distinguished Visiting
Professor of Journalism at Emory University in Atlanta. His
first book, Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn, was named a
1996 Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times. He
captured the Ernie Pyle Award for human interest writing in 1999 and
the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi award for
feature writing for his seven-part series in the Atlanta
Journal-Constitution about the air crash that is the subject of
this book. He lives with his wife and three children near San
the book jacket....
"Words like shattering
and riveting don't come close to capturing the impact of this
fine book, the most powerful I've read in a very long time.
The experiences of its heroes---and there is no better way to
describe the men and women who populate its pages---will move and
haunt for a good long while."
Larson, author of Isaac's Storm
"I loved Nine
Minutes, Twenty Seconds. While reading it, there were
times I became so fraught I thought I couldn't go on, but I simply
could tear myself away. Ultimately, this book is an ode to the
beauty and dignity of the human spirit."
ventures where lesser writers might fear to go. Nine
Minutes, Twenty Seconds moves so surely through the story that
the reader is left saddened but not horrified, and reminded of the
essential humanity that can emerge in such moments of great
Langewiesche, author of Inside the Sky: A Meditation on Flight
"What is it about
the power of certain combinations of words to pull you in, to suck
you in, so that you can't turn the pages fast enough and the outside
world falls away? Gary Pomerantz has written pages that leave
you breathless; you tear through them like a late passenger
sprinting down an airport terminal. When you pull up, you feel
windblown, as if you've stood in front of a propeller plane revving
up.." --------Melissa Fay
Greene, author of Praying for Sheetrock
Twenty Seconds has the power of myth and the immediacy of a
next-door neighbor. Gary Pomerantz has performed a
breathtaking feat: he has written a modern-day fable that's
somehow about each of us, our desire to fly, and our willingness to
soar again. Nine Minutes, Twenty Seconds will tap into
your deepest dreams --- and ultimately inspire you to make sure they
come true." --------Bruce Feiler,
author of Walking the Bible
"There is an
indescribable thrill while reading reporting like this. Fact
by fact, one precious detail after another, all gathered by a
reporter using his feet, Gary Pomerantz gives us flight attendant,
Robin Fech, seconds away from a crash, calling out, "brace
position", right out of chapter one, page 23 of her manual.
In the flames, on the ground, she wanted to take a man's sneakers
off so she could pull off his pants. When she looked again,
the sneakers were not there. They had melted onto the soles of
his feet. This is how Gary Pomerantz reports his book and this
is how chilling his facts make it."
"A deeply moving account of the extraordinary strengths that
ordinary people can display when tragedy confronts them. As
emotionally powerful a book as you are likely ever to read."
J. Garrow, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Bearing the Cross
Praise for Nine Minutes, Twenty Seconds
reconstructed these final minutes with such skill and tenderness
that the reader -- crying one moment, scarcely daring to breathe the
next -- is right there on board asking, 'What would I have done, how
would I have reacted?' In his afterword, Pomerantz calls his
book a work of journalism; if this is so, then the word needs
drastic redefinition. Nine Minutes, Twenty Seconds is
truer than much self-proclaimed literature, and -- in its
exploration of our capacity for bravery and selfless action --
offers vital clues to human nature." -------The
London Evening Standard
heart-in-your-throat story . . . Spellbinding." -------Kirkus
"Pomerantz chooses to
focus on the truest and most expressive details of the central
players' hearts and minds. His reporting doesn't disappoint.
Such fidelity is the source from which narrative nonfiction draws
its power . . . Most significantly, with careful and sensitive
reconstruction, he defeats destruction." -------The
San Francisco Chronicle
"The crash itself is
a relatively small part of this book. It's the people who make
this story breathtaking." -------The
crafted an honest, distressing narrative. He used the kind of
detail that makes you clench your teeth tightly. You feel the
terror. It takes will power to read it. But it's worth
Times of London
"Within just a few
pages, Pomerantz establishes himself as the Balzac of turbo prop
aircraft . . . I found myself shaking my head in admiration for his
indefatigable research . . . He excels at riveting and securing his
character portraits, making us understand and care about many of the
people who went down with the plane . . . [A] very fine work of
"Relentless in its
examination of questions, we have all considered, though few of us
have been forced to answer for ourselves, it's a remarkable
reporting job . . . It's a potent package."
Rocky Mountain News
"All told, a great
read." -------Forbes Magazine
sharp writing and reporting that make the book so riveting."
"The crash merely
sets the stage for a much larger story of courage and serenity in a
time of crisis, determination against overwhelming odds."
"This is a powerfully
written and completely absorbing tale with a skillful pacing."
Dallas Morning News
all-but forgotten craft of dogged, careful, impeccable investigation
and reportage, Gary Pomerantz has recreated in the kind of detail
that is sure to captivate, a story that on one level is likely to
remain a haunting reminder of the risks of ordinary life, and on
another, to become a classic of its kind." -------Simon
Winchester, author of "The Professor and the Madman"
|NADA/F remarks by:
Board Liaison - ComAir, Delta