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Gone: Catastrophe in Paradise

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  462 ratings  ·  43 reviews
A mass of European and American tourists descend on an idyllic tropical island for the holiday of a lifetime. Within hours, hundreds are dead. What happened? The true story of one of history's most tragic and shocking which aviation, terrorism, a sudden change in the weather and plain old bad luck made for a ruinous mix. This gripping novella length work unr ...more
Kindle Edition, 88 pages
Published March 16th 2017 by Creativia
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Forty years ago, on the afternoon of 27 March 1977, a mass of American and European tourists descended on a tropical paradise for the holiday of a lifetime. Within hours, hundreds were dead.”

As they say, the truth is stranger than fiction. The chain of events and incidents that conspired to constitute the worst accidental aviator disaster in history is bewildering, catastrophic and so incredibly heart-breaking. Therefore, the 9/11 New York terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers are
Marcha Fox
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: safety professionals, managers, accident investigators, anyone in a safety critical environment
This book reminds me of the movie, "Titanic" in that you know from the start it's not going to end well, yet up until that horrible moment, there's nail-biting suspense as you wish that, somehow, it isn't true and never happened. And like the Titanic, this incident is also horrifyingly true.

I blew through this gripping, yet heart rending book in a single day. I can't name a single novel at which I've shed more tears. It recounts in incredible detail what went on behind the scenes of the catastr
Julie Nardello
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a true story. Modjeska takes us on a journey that is not only factual but manages to be suspenseful and interesting. Not your usual dry read for a non-fiction book.

I had heard of the event at Tenerife airport in March 1977, which is still the worst accident in aviation history. As a fan of various "Air Crash Investigator" type shows I was very curious to know just what happened and how it all went wrong, but I got so much more in this book. Without giving away any spoilers the author tak
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very unusual book in that the reader already knows the nature of the catastrophe and its awful outcome yet I still found this to be an absolute edge-of-the-seat thrilling read. I remember the newspaper coverage of the event at the time – the sight of a huge conflagration and the knowledge off all those burned bodies really upset me. At the time there was a lot of speculation as to the cause to the disaster, reputations were shattered in an instant, everyone needed someone to blame. Suc ...more
Will G
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fact based, horrifying documentary story of the aviation disaster ob Tenerife in 1977 when two 747 jumbo jets colliided while one was taking off. Scary but informative. Makes me skiddish about flying...
Jacqueline Evans
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book tells of the true events of the renowned air disaster in Tenerife in 1977. I was a kid at the time but remember it happening and admit that it put me off ever flying there. There were so many things about this tragic event that I had been totally unaware of. More people died in this 'accident' than in any other recorded air crash in history. A series of 'hiccups' on that dreadful day created a recipe for disaster as opposed to one particular thing. I felt empathy towards those who thou ...more
Brittany Reads
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gone: Catastrophe in Paradise by OJ Modjeska is the true story of the deadliest aviation accident in history. In 1977, the main airport in the Canary Islands was bombed by a separatist group seeking independence from Spain. When the threat of another bombing occurred, the decision was made to divert all air traffic to Los Rodeos, a small regional airport on a different nearby island. Los Rodeos was understaffed and ill equipped to handle the influx of planes. The events leading up to this catast ...more
Dianne McMahan
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Incredulous !!

An often forgotten story about the worst crash in aviation history.
A Pan Am and a Dutch Airliner were on the same tarmac at the same time and both assumed the other had the right of way.
It took everything lining up just right for the disaster to occur.
The Captain of the Dutch Airline was a little arrogant and did not take his crew mates seriously.
Both of the jumbo jets had been diverted to the much smaller Airport at Tenerife in the Canary Islands.
A horrendous fog rolled in and obl
Ursula Johnson
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: disasters
Factual & Gripping Account of a Horrific Crash

This book was a factual account of one of the worst air disasters of all time, the collision of two jets on the runway on an island. Nearly 600 lives were lost. A number of unusual occurrences came together to cause this tragedy, though one major issue was the ultimate factor. Well researched and expertly told, it puts the reader at the heart of the tragedy. I was well aware of this crash, even though it occurred over 40 years ago. As a fan of the sh
George H. Spangler
Mar 30, 2020 rated it liked it
This 88 page story aimed too low yet satisfies

I enjoyed this retelling, never having understood the causes before. I also appreciated the author's intelligent description of needed person to person critical communication reforms suggested by this tragic event.
This piece was not well edited. Too much repetition, bloating paragraphs without adding meaning or factual support. The numerology and other attempts at bringing in mysticism failed to go anywhere.
The interesting discussion of how the huma
Chanda Curry
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
March 27, 1977

I was 5 when this happened, same age when Elvis died. I have heard of tragedies,but this one story ,I never heard. What a truly, horrendous disaster this was. My only fear, death by fire. Almost 600 people,destined for a vacation of a lifetime,end up burned alive. Why? What happened on that runway? Why wasn't the airport and planes grounded due to the fog? That's my main question. Why did the captain of the KLM take off? Confused? Tired? Egotistical? Communication problems? Was it
Roger Sigmon
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
The author does an amazing job of getting to the heart of the matter. Instead of a retelling of just facts and figures we are given a glimpse into what did and what might have transpired. The most intriguing aspect of this manuscript is in the way the author puts the reader into the perspective of each plane's cockpit and control tower personnel's mind. Seeing the story as it unfolded from these different perspectives gives a much clearer view of the events as they unfolded. I had never heard of ...more
D. E.
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An OJM. Aviation Historical Presentation/(2) 747's an a Date with Destiny at Tenerife

OJM. has Penned A novel based, unfortunately on fact. The Aviation disaster at Tenerife. A crowded airport due to weather with overworked Air Traffic Controllers at an airport, modern, but not up to specifications. A mistake was made and many were killed. The overworked controller, the bad radio reception, more aircraft than normal for an airport the size it was led to an aviation disaster. The news of the crash
Bryan Conlon
Jun 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
I thought I had my mind made up about who was truly responsible for this catastrophe before I read the book. Now I'm not so sure. It's not as cut and dried as it comes across on TV documentaries

It's only 80 pages, a quick read, yet I learned a lot of detail that I hadn't gleaned from associated TV programmes.
I would love to have read more about the background of some of the passengers and principal protagonists. This would have given a depth to the book.
Would particularly like to have read about
Pat Eroh
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent recount of a tragedy. I did not know a lot about the story when I started reading this but the author did her homework and writes this in a fascinating manner that kept me glued to the book until done - one sitting!!! I have developed a taste for true stories over fiction and this story is one of my new favorites. While there may not be new facts uncovered, the author provides a viewpoint that intrigues me.

I received this book from Review Club and I am voluntarily giving my honest o
Scott Jameson
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Catastrophe in Paradise is an extremely well written book. You do not need to be an aviation enthusiast to read this chilling, accurate and highly thought provoking account of the Tenerife disaster involving a KLM and a Pan Am 747 which collided on the runway resulting in a catastrophic loss of life. Most of us who remember this incident probably have firm views as to who was to blame for the disaster. Whether you do or not, please read this account written by OJ Modjeska. The book will leave yo ...more
Antigone Walsh
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
A perfect storm of circumstances led to the worst disaster in international aviation history. This book details the crash in the Canary Islands back in the seventies. From a poorly positioned, poorly conceived airport to a terrorist attack to miscommunications and massive egos, the crash and loss of life were probably avoidable. It did bring about much-needed changes in international aviation. I found this book choppy and less riveting than a Wikipedia entry. It is a tragedy that should be remem ...more
Annamay Gambino
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a disaster of epic and terrifying proportions. I remember it well. I was a frequent flyer for several years prior to this but was not at this time. I had flown once on a jumbo jet and had, for the first time, been uncomfortable and a bit fearful. This book gives a vivid and insightful picture of what went on that day. It's a blow by blow account without frills or glory. It's very good, very good, but do not expect a fictionalized version. I did not read this in one sitting.
Richard Bellows
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very vivid

It did not take me long to finish this book. Once I started to read this book I couldn't put it down. Even after all this time ON Modjeska was able to make this horrible moment in history just as fresh and dividing now as it was in 1977. She handles this story with much respect and dignity as a story of this nature demands. She showed great insight and did a fantastic job of keeping the reader understanding what she was writing. 5+ stars!
Merica StJohn
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Gripping account of a catastrophic event

This book humanizes a shocking event that was in the news over four decades ago. The author treats the tragic subject with compassion and without sensationalism regarding what happened
when two jumbo jets collided on a remote island called Tenerife.

island called Tenerife.
Deborah Dibble
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: john-read
I remember this terrible accident. Reading about it is a reminder how the accumulation of a lot of small mistakes can result in something terrible and irreversible. I believe my father was one of the builders of the 747 in this accident, so I was relieved that it the accident wasn't due to mechanical failure. Excellent history lesson
Linda Cockrill
Nov 16, 2019 rated it liked it

Details the collision of KLM and PanAm flights at a small Tenerife airport that was ill equipped to handle diverted airline traffic from a larger airport and the arrogance that some air crew may demonstrate in decisions affecting their need for clarity of communication and patience needed to deal with unforeseen circumstances
Carrie Hornung
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I learned a lot and this was a great read!

This book covers the Tenerife plane disaster. The book reads somewhat like a news report however I mean this in a good way. The story seems well researched
...having known nothing about this disaster, I feel well informed and as sad as the story is, it definitely kept me reading til' the end!
Aki Korhonen
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Doesn’t add anything new

Short book that sums up the accident and a bit of the aftermath, but doesn’t really add anything new. I didn’t see anything that I disagreed with in terms of accuracy. So if you are looking for something better than a Wikipedia intro to the accident, this will do fine. I wish it had included pictures and better illustrations.
Katia M. Davis
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a great read. It covers all aspects of the disaster in depth, even going into the psychology of the stressors involved. I found out some information I'd not known before about the accident. It's well written and easy to read. It also offers the information available in a fair and unbiased way. This is well worth the read if you are interested in aviation disasters.
Jan  Chiles
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
Horrible aircraft crash

Only 2 stars because it was written by an amateur and it showed. It was truly a horrifying event. The author did try to present a fair and balanced explanation.
Vicente Ramirez
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting analysis.

Some year back I read a book about this tragic accident. It was a straight narrative of the events
Ms. Modjeska take us beyond the event and engage us into the human limitations that can play an important factor in stressful situations.
William Alexander Cleaver
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Very well written. Always gave the reader both sides of the involved parties. A gripping and horrendous true story of an event that grabbed everyone's attention at the time. Really couldn't put this book down.
Michael Marchin
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing

There are numerous versions of this tragic accident. This was by far the best recounting of the bunch. I finished this book in two days - I didn’t want to put it down. It was a privilege to read this excellent book.
Mary Glass
Dec 03, 2018 rated it liked it
A decent accounting

I was a senior in high when this happened and as a follower of disaster accounts remember it. Is the specific airport safer today? Not addressed at all as far as I saw. Still, a good play by play account of what happened.
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