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Scapegoat: A Flight Crew's Journey from Heroes to Villains to Redemption

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  70 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
On April 4, 1979, a Boeing 727 with 82 passengers and a crew of 7 rolled over and plummeted from an altitude of 39,000 feet to within seconds of crashing were it not for the crew’s actions to save the plane. The cause of the unexplained dive was the subject of one of the longest NTSB investigations at that time.

While the crew’s efforts to save TWA 841 were initially haile
Hardcover, 472 pages
Published August 1st 2016 by Odyssey Publishing, LLC
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Aug 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
My original Scapegoat audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

I just flew from Minneapolis to Atlanta to Dublin and hearing an airline story immediately piqued my interest. I think it’s important to NOT Google what happened to fully enjoy the book as the author is considerate enough to give detailed stories within the major body. Like a good action movie, something big happens by the 18-minute mark. At first, the writing is crisp and tight, the author writes enough so
David Haase
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Readers looking for other books on this topic will find “Scapegoat” a most interesting and significant work. It’s about TWA Flight 841 in 1979. It tells the story from loss of control at a cruise altitude of 39,000 feet through the subsequent 2 year investigation. The recovery from the ensuing steep dive barely avoided a catastrophe and there were no fatalities. But, that was just the beginning of a two year story for those involved. The very well documented and researched text looks not only at
Jul 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Ok first off, this type of book is right up my alley. As many know I am an avid fan of aviation. I enjoy reading stories of aircraft. I am not familiar with the incident of the Boeing 727 and April 4, 1979. Although, this did event did transpire before I was born. What I did like about this book was that while I know about flying as I have taken flying lessons, I was not familiar with TSA or all of the red tape that Captain Hoot and his flight crew had to endure after the incident. It is amazing ...more
Christine Negroni
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Emilio Corsetti's new book challenges the finding of pilot error in what was until the Miracle on the Hudson flight, one of the country's most famous near-disasters. It is an eye-opening read, told in a compelling and easy-to-follow manner.
Jun 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Scapegoat by Emilio Corsetti III is a fact filled examination of the Flight of TWA 841 and the following investigation. On April 4, 1979, a TWA piloted by Captain Harvey ”Hoot’ Gibson with First Officer Scott Kennedy and Flight Engineer Gary Banks depart from JKF in a Boeing 727-100 that was 14 years old. With 82 passengers and 7 crewmen, they experience a rollover and a fall from 39,000 feet. With the crews’ best efforts, they avoid crashing and are able to land. With a severely damaged plane, ...more
Roger Peterson
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As a paying passenger in seat #21A on Captain Gibson’s/First Officer Kennedy’s death-defying April 4, 1979 TWA Flight #841, I received an advance review copy (Spring 2016) from the author, Emilio Corsetti.

The very day I received the book I began reading it, and couldn’t put it down — except company just arrived from out of state, and after ignoring them for about an hour, I mustered enough fortitude to set this gripping narrative aside and engage with our company.

During a recent business trip I
Edwin Howard
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-10-in-2016
SCAPEGOAT by Emilio Corsetti III starts the book by recounting the incident of TWA flight 841 in 1979 of the passenger plane that almost crashes from a uncontrollable dive but the captain, "Hoot" Gibson, and his flight crew manage to regain control and narrowly avoid utter catastrophe. After the incident, so many theories, findings, queries, mistakes and lawsuits were filed and SCAPEGOAT consolidates that mountain of information into a study of what went right and what went wrong in the post-in ...more
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I should first say that I received this book as an ARC.

I am a lover of non-fiction work and crave to read something that is puzzling and a mystery. This book did not disappoint. The story of Hoot and his crew aboard an aircraft during a horrible event left the reader puzzled, angry, and sympathetic to all those involved.

As the author described the after events of this occurrence, I was left wondering how the conclusions by the NTSB, FAA, court systems and general public could have been made. The
Jul 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: random-stuff
It’s really hard for me to rate this book. I was alternately very interested and very bored. It moved incredibly quickly and drug on forever. At one point I was ready to quit, it had gotten so repetitive; then it got intriguing again and I finished it and was frustrated with the ending. Though the author couldn’t help that, it was frustration at the government’s handling of the case.
Corsetti did an excellent job presenting his case. I’d say, after reading it, I lean towards his understanding
Kelly Knapp
Jun 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who love aircraft, or aircraft disasters
Recommended to Kelly by: I won this as part of the Goodreads Firstreads giveaways
This story illustrates the exact reason more and more people refuse to speak with authorities without adequate representation.

When an airliner unexpectedly drops nearly 30,000 feet without warning or obvious reason, the crew must first fight to regain control of the aircraft and then fight again to regain their good names when the investigation into the incident is mishandled from day one by the authorities.

While transparencies are highly regarded by the public, it is important to remember that
Bonnye Reed
May 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-or-pdf
GNA I received a free electronic copy of this fine history by Emilio Corsetti III, Netgalley, and Odyssey Publishing LLC in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for sharing your work with me.

This work is an excellent overview of the many years of turmoil surrounding the near-accident involving a Boeing 727, TWA 841, on April 4, 1979. While the fast actions of the crew of this plane saved the lives of the 82 passengers and 7 crew aboard, the NTSB pins the fault of the near fatal accident on
Jun 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book could fall into many genres which makes it difficult to categorize. The author does a great job of getting the reader inside the minds of the people involved. There is drama and emotion. There is a lot of technical aviation, but the author does a good job of explaining the jargon as you go.

I was in High School when this near accident occurred and reading the book stirred faint memories of seeing it in the news. As the years go by and more plane accidents are brought into the story, tho
May 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Thanks to Netgalley and Odyssey Publishing for the Advance Reader Copy of this book. This book was good, but didn't live up to my expectations. I think it was too long and too technical (or maybe just too repetitive about certain technical aspects) for many readers to tolerate. Interesting story though showing the way NOT to conduct an investigation by the NTSB and hopefully the incidents described here have resulted in sustained improvements there in the last 30 years.
Aug 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing

This is a great read! I really enjoyed this book! The information that it tells, just floored me! The background just amazes me. This is a must read! And if you enjoy books about and with aircraft you will love this one!

*Received for an honest review*
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A very interesting look at an infamous airline incident. I lost a fair amount of respect for the NTSB.
Reader Views
Oct 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Reviewed by David K. McDonnell for Reader Views (10/16)

Article first published as Book Review: ‘Scapegoat: A Flight Crew’s Journey from Heroes to Villains to Redemption’ by Emilio Corsetti, III on Blogcritics.

“Scapegoat” by Emilio Corsetti III, tells the story of a Boeing 727 known in aviation circles and media accounts as “the plane that fell from the sky.” In 1979 while 39,000 feet over Michigan, flying from New York to Minneapolis, TWA Flight 841 went into an uncontrollable spiral and 360° r
Vicky Hunt
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
A Technical Exposé of one of the Biggest Malfunction Cover-ups in History

Scapegoat details a near fatal dive that was salvaged by the pilot in a heroic maneuver in 1979. At first he is hailed as a hero, but things get rough when he is skewered in the media in an attempt to divert attention away from the possibility of a part malfunction with the Boeing.

Unlike anything else I’ve read, Corsetti delivers this project on an investigative timeline, instead of chronologically. By that I mean that he s
Marian Squires
I was of two minds in deciding to read this book, since the title indicated that the investigation fell heavily on the flight crew. They certainly went from "Heros to Villains", but none came out redeemed. The description of the incident was well written, as was the entire book. But I lost heart after the crew lost the second round of the NTSB evaluations.

The material included by the author made me fairly worried that the NTSB investigation began with a bias, and I was never comfortable with the
Edward Barrett
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I recommend this book for those of you who are interested in why things fail. It's an in-depth look at a near fatal 727 incident, the investigation that followed, and the decades of effort by the flight crew to correct what they saw as investigative errors. Given our technological society and dependence on sophisticated machinery and systems, incidents are bound to happen. Bridges and buildings collapse, aircraft fall from the sky, electric grids falter. The causes of such events must be fully i ...more
Ian yarington
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Generally speaking I rather enjoy non-fiction books because it's always fun to read about real life situations and hear amazing stories. The one thing that I always worry about is bias and inaccuracies but from everything that I have researched this is a pretty accurate account. The book is well written and fun to read so I powered through it pretty quick. I would call it a page turner.
William Alexander Cleaver
Very informative

Sometimes the repetitive technical details were a bit overwhelming. Otherwise an interesting read. Very shocking the attitude of the official agencies concerned.
Aug 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
"A perfect storm of errors, blame, and more…"

Wow, what a shocking and very enjoyable story the author of this book provides to those interested in well researched and well written documentaries. While I was reading the book, I felt like I was watching a show play out on the Discovery or History channels. The writing was just right for me. If you want a compelling story that provide you with a battle between big corporations and the little guy, this is the book for you. In so many ways, I felt li
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: aviation and history nerds
Here’s a tip: don’t read about plane crashes while flying. I’m not a nervous flyer, yet even for me this felt like ill-wishing.

I’m not sure the author planned it this way, but this book feels very timely with the new movie about the Miracle on the Hudson coming out. So if you’ve just seen Sully and are in the mood for more along the same lines, this book might be for you.

Way before that flight there was a similar incident that threw the aviation community into chaos for years and left crew, pa
Jul 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Scapegoat: A Flight Crew's Journey from Heroes to Villains to Redemption
by Emilio Corsetti III

Thank you to NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Usually, I shy away from books that rely on heavy technical explanations, but this caught my eye. I don’t remember ever hearing about this incident, which somehow surprised me as I thought I should have remembered, even vaguely, a story such as this. In 1979, a Boeing 727 with 89 souls aboard rolled over and fell ne
Sep 27, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading “Scapegoat” reminded me of the old adage, be responsible for your words and your actions. I get the sense that the company who owned the airline did not want to be responsible for the crash of April 4, 1979.
The crew’s heroic measures saved the passengers and themselves but that wasn’t enough. Instead they were victimized. TWA or NTSB Investigators could never prove without reasonable doubt that one of the crewmembers did indeed erase the cockpit voice recorder tape. The plane was the evi
Feb 15, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the human angle of this story but it would also interest readers who are fascinated by aeronautics.
Margaret Tidwell
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
FTC: I received a free copy of this book from Pump Up Your Book in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are one hundred percent true and my own.

Scapegoat by Emilio Corsetti III was such an interesting book. He went into such detail in this book that the thought of my getting on a plane and going someone where isn’t something I want to do now. I loved all the details though because I really felt like I understood what everyone w
May 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
TWA flight 841 was a routine flight from JFK Airport in New York to Minneapolis, Minnesota, on the evening of April 4, 1979, until it plunged nearly six miles and nearly crashed into the ground. Thanks to the crew's actions, it did not crash, and no lives were lost. However, that drop out of the sky was just the beginning of the story of TWA flight 841 and the efforts of the flight's captain and others to vindicate what many believed to be improper actions of the crew!

The author presents the kno
“This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.”

I sort of remember this happening, on my husband's birthday. It is a shame that the manufacturer, NTSB, and the air line tried to shift blame on the crew. When you have a complicated machine, things can go wrong. I found this quite informative, even without going to suggested website for illustrations.

The narration was well done.The characters were well portrayed.
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible-version
Good story but it will help if you are an aeronautical engineer. Lots of technical stuff.
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Emilio Corsetti III is a professional pilot and author. His work has appeared in both regional and national publications including the Chicago Tribune, Multimedia Producer, and Professional Pilot magazine. Emilio is a graduate of St. Louis University. For more information about the author, please visit the author's web site at
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