Reviews for Tiger in the sea : the ditching of Flying Tiger 923 and the desperate struggle for survival

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Commercial air travel has made great strides in passenger safety, but in 1962 plane crashes were tragic and all-too-common occurrences. The Flying Tigers, a group of American military pilots created just before Pearl Harbor, contracted with the government to transport soldiers and cargo on the flight known as Flying Tiger 923 with the same derring-do they had shown during WWII, but things went terribly wrong with Flying Tiger Flight 923. Lindner combines aviation history and the intensity of a thriller to deliver a minute-to-minute account of the battle to stay alive against horrific odds after veteran Flying Tiger pilot John Murray (Lindner’s father-in-law) managed to guide the plane down with a flight crew and 68 passengers on board and engines on fire in the midst of a storm. They plunged into the dark and roiling North Atlantic, and readers experience the terror of the impact, injuries, and frigid, turbulent water. Despite technical failures, the human instinct for survival prevailed, though lives were lost. Lindner’s storytelling prowess and impeccable research into this long-obscured accident result in a gripping read and a heartfelt remembrance.

Publishers Weekly
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Businessman Lindner (Hospice Voices) recounts in this dramatic history the 1962 crash-landing of a charter plane in the North Atlantic and the survivors’ fight to stay alive as they waited hours to be rescued. En route with 68 passengers, including a Hawaiian family and 30 U.S. paratroopers, from Newfoundland to Germany, pilot John Murray was 1,000 miles from land when one of the plane’s four engines caught fire. A second engine was lost when a crew member mistakenly pulled the lever for a shutoff valve. Murray decided to ditch the plane after a fire broke out in the third engine. Fifty-one people who survived the crash landing into the storm-tossed ocean made it onto the one available life raft (which was designed to hold 20 and had accidentally been inflated upside down). Every time a wave hit, the raft threatened to capsize and toxic aviation fuel leached into the survivors’ wounds. It took six hours for the closest ship, a Swiss freighter, to reach the crash site. Remarkably, all but three of the people on the life raft survived. Lindner recounts the action in crisp, colorful prose and skillfully interweaves the perspectives of multiple passengers and crew members, their family members, and people who took part in the rescue operation. Aviation and adventure buffs will be riveted. (May)