I have to admit, that of all the catastrophes I’ve covered so far in Anatomy of Catastrophe, Flight 447 is one of the most chilling. Because a perfectly flyable plane went from over 30,000 in altitude to crashing into the ocean in just over four minutes. And while there was one major error, precipitated by one machine malfunction, the combination of events that led to the crash are very scary.
And the other key is that as we become more and more reliant on machines, where will the responsibility end up? Are pilots losing more and more of their ability as they spend less time flying planes and more time being flown by the computer?
This incident paints a scary picture for our future. I highly recommend you go through this slideshare for Anatomy of Catastrophe: Air France Flight 447. Human-Machine Interface Failure. (But probably not if you’re at the airport right now, getting ready to board).
My wife and I came up with the Rule of Seven after studying numerous aircraft crashes and seeing a pattern. There was never a single event and then the crash. There were always at least six events, I now call them cascade events, prior to the seventh, and final event, the crash.
And one of those cascade events was man-made.
Thus, these crashes could have been avoided.
I’ve done the Kegworth crash, where the pilots turned off the wrong engine (the good one). It’s now sounding like the recent TransAsia crash bears some similarities to Kegworth.
And the recent AirAsia crash bears similarities to Air France Flight 447. In both cases a rapid ascent, followed by a stall.
On sale today, from International Bestselling Author: Colin Falconer. Isabella: Braveheart of France.
You are Isabella Capet, daughter of Phillip Capet, King of France, and queen consort of Edward II of England.
You are charged by History with deposing the lawful king of England and then having him murdered. What do you say to that?
I did depose him but I did it for the good of all England. Not a man stood against me when I arrived on the shores at Harwich, what does that tell you?
As to Edward’s murder, I would say: bring me the proof. Others did that, I had no part in it.
But you knew they were going to kill him?
We offered him retirement, the same concession that I was offered when I was in his power. I lived to a ripe age, I thought he should too.
You knew that couldn’t happen! He was a focal point for rebellion.
If he was a man others would rally behind how was it that I walked in to England with barely five hundred men and marched to London without meeting resistance? Tell me that.
Besides who should they rebel against? I was regent for my son, who was rightful heir to the throne. You’re wasting my time here.
You had an affair with another man while you were still married to the King of England. This man was ruthless and ambitious and he used you to gain power for himself. You allowed it to happen!
If he used me, or I used him, it did neither of us any good in the end, did it?
But why did you do it? You had a comfortable life. He provided for you. It was your duty to obey him. He was king by divine right.
I was born to be a queen, not to be shut up like a nun and play no part in affairs.
Was it your pride that was hurt then? … Madam?
How would you have felt, in my situation? How much humiliation was I supposed to stand?
He taught me to obey him.
And what about your son? How did he feel when he discovered what you did to his father?
What about what his father did to his mother?
Which was what?
A woman was not born to be so neglected by her husband. I had a right to his company and …must I say it? To physical comforts. Am I not supposed to say this, because I am of a different time, because I was a queen?
He embittered me. He also underestimated me … didn’t he?
It was revenge, then?
Imagine what we might have been, if he had not been so weak. If he had been … a real man.
Isabella, did you ever love your husband?
How dare you ask me that! They buried me in my wedding gown at my express wish. The casket I carried with me to my grave had in it Edward’s heart. Does not tell you something?
It tells me you made your point. My case rests.
Thank you, sir. Now let me rest also.
But Section Eight is a terrible title. I think my original title for this book was Shadow Warriors. Which we’ve managed to add as part of this group of books under that title. But my editor came up with Section Eight when it was first published, and I’ve kept it because I don’t want to confuse people and have them buy the book under another name and then feel like they’ve been fooled.
It’s a book I get a lot of positive feedback from readers on and we’re running a $1.99 special on it today as it has a Bookbub ad also running today. Researching it was intriguing. I’ve always wanted to devote an entire book to Unit 731, a real unit of the Japanese Army that committed horrific crimes against humanity during World War II. I at least feature it in this book, along with the Golden Lilly. Both are real. When we say I write “factual fiction” the point is I include a LOT of facts in my books. Mainly historical. What I know about history is far over-shadowed by what I don’t know.
Section Eight: Shadow Warriors. Captain Jim Vaughn is an officer in disgrace. Commanding a Special Forces mission to rescue hostages in the Philippines, Vaughn’s team is destroyed, and when the smoke clears, he is made the scapegoat. Forced into the shadows by the scandal, Vaughn is offered a chance to redeem himself when he is approached by an enigmatic government agent working for The Organization, looking for a few desperate men.
The Organization pulled strings long before the founding of the United States. It dates back to the destruction of the Knights Templar and even further in history. As secrets from the Golden Lilly Operation and the infamous Unit 731 from World War II become exposed, you have to wonder who the real enemy is.
Section Eight are the men and women called upon by The Organization to do the impossible. They are the soldiers who have nothing to lose. They make up a top-secret unit tasked with one would consider suicide missions. Vaughn is now given a new team, a group of men and women outside of the regular chain of command. These are men and women who have crossed the line one too many times. Drug users. Felons. The terminally ill. These are now the soldiers that Vaughn must trust with his life. Even with a traitor in their ranks.
A team of such unique properties is the perfect tool to use against America’s enemies…and possibly America itself.
Reference Mayer’s Thrillers
“Mayer had me hooked from the very first page.” Stephen Coonts
“A pulsing technothriller. A nailbiter in the best tradition of adventure fiction.” Publishers Weekly.