"Article first published as "Book Review: Blind Landing by Tony Blackman on Blogcritics.org."
Blind Landing, written by Tony Blackman, is an aviation mystery thriller that focuses on the investigation of an Al-Qaeda hijacked super jumbo aircraft that crashes at Heathrow Airport after a non-stop flight from Sydney to London.
Peter Talbert, a freelance airline safety expert working for insurance and airline companies, is in charge of investigating this intriguing accident where hijacking, pilot error, bad weather, or anomalies in the aircraft system could be the main cause of the fatal outcome.
The book gives us the chance to be the perfect travel companion for Talbert during his constant trips around the world, during his questionings of experts, pilots, and crash survivors, and allows us to participate in Talbert’s inner thoughts in order to discover the right pieces of the puzzle. The tension of the whole investigation is in a way relieved with more domestic episodes related to Talbert's personal life - his relationship with his girlfriend Mandy, the fear of taking a step further in his love story with Mandy because there is a person from the past who keeps haunting him, the influence of a girl, Liz, that he meets in one of his trips to Sydney...
This is fiction, of course, but at the end of the book, Blackman adds a brief epilogue entitled "Analysis: Could It Ever Happen?" where the author discusses if a crash like the one in the novel can actually take place in real life and what could be done to avoid it. Once again, Blackman shows his expertise on aviation electronics.
At first, it could seem that the book is for aviation connoisseurs only, due to the enormous amount of technical and aviation terminology, but Blackman is able not to scare his readers away with a nice and fluent storytelling pace. Although the investigation's goal is finding out what caused the aircraft crash, the reader does not need a complete understanding of the terms for enjoying the story.
If you enjoy this book, the first of the series featuring Peter Talbert, you can check out the rest of the titles of the franchise: The Final Flight, The Right Choice, Flight to St. Antony, and Now You See it.