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Into the Abyss: An Extraordinary True Story Kindle Edition
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On an icy night in October 1984, a commuter plane carrying nine passengers crashed in the remote wilderness of northern Alberta, killing six people. Four survived: the rookie pilot, a prominent politician, a cop, and the criminal he was escorting to face charges. Despite the poor weather, Erik Vogel, the 24-year-old pilot, was under intense pressure to fly. Larry Shaben, the author's father and Canada's first Muslim Cabinet Minister, was commuting home after a busy week at the Alberta Legislature. Constable Scott Deschamps was escorting Paul Archambault, a drifter wanted on an outstanding warrant. Against regulations, Archambault's handcuffs were removed-a decision that would profoundly impact the men's survival.
As the men fight through the night to stay alive, the dividing lines of power, wealth, and status are erased, and each man is forced to confront the precious and limited nature of his existence.
About the Author
- ASIN : B009CJK4GA
- Publisher : Grand Central Publishing (May 21, 2013)
- Publication date : May 21, 2013
- Language : English
- File size : 18873 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 338 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #50,561 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on March 23, 2022
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Top reviews from the United States
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There is some suspense associated with the crash....tragedy for those who didn't survive....but those who did were rescued effectively immediately. The bulk of the book is both prologue and epilogue, and neither is particularly engaging. By the end, we've collected a grab-bag of information about those who walked away from the wreck....but honestly, we really haven't come to care about any of them. Unfortunately.
disaster but wrote way too much about the lives of characters that I considered
a waste of my time. I skipped lots and just quit reading it after they were recued.
It was an odd quartet. One was an important Canadian politician. Another was the pilot, who knew he had screwed up badly by trying to make a solo night instrument approach to an airport that was below minimums and had an ADF beacon as its sole navaid. And the other two were a Mountie and a tough young ex-con he'd been escorting to court. The prisoner was the strongest, bravest and most resourceful of them all. Without him, some might have died.
The author, Carol Shaben, had unusual access to the four. Her father was the pol, and she has used that happenstance to tell a survival story in a manner and with a style that the deservedly lauded Jon Krakauer would appreciate. As somebody who has both piloted Piper Navajo Chieftains and flown in the Canadian north country, I also find it remarkable that Shaben, a nonpilot, has gotten every aviation detail right. There are “aviation experts” writing and reporting for major media outlets who couldn't do half as well as Shaben does.
The book in fact is about long-term survival far beyond a cold night in the bush. There are the struggles of an overworked young pilot trying to build hours so he can get a real airline job, as well as the marginal existence of the tiny, family-run commuterline that hires him. The crash bonds the four survivors, who become friends thereafter--particularly the Mountie and his former prisoner. Each handles the crash experience in a different way, and their lives are thereafter shaped by it. Shaben follows them all through their emotional and physical struggles. She tells a fascinating story of lives that were changed forever by a dreadful night that the rest of us can barely imagine.
Top reviews from other countries
The passengers include two elected representatives flying home for the weekend after a week in the Alberta legislature. There’s also a RCMP officer (a Mounty) and the prisoner he is escorting to High Prairie to stand trial. The other passengers are locals going home to their families.
The plane does not make it and neither do 6 of the 10 people flying on it. In the darkness and cloud the plane ploughs into a remote, snowy, forested hillside. Four people crawl out of the wreckage alive but injured and begin to battle against the elements and their fears. More than 20 children lost a parent that night.
This book is written by Carol Shaben who is the daughter of Larry Shaben one of the passengers on the doomed flight. He was an elected representative in the Alberta Legislature, a muslim of Lebanese origin. At first Carol Shaben focuses on the events leading up to this crash and the overnight battle for survival by the injured crash-survivors. She goes on to look at how the lives of the survivors were changed for ever on that night. Both the 'before' and 'after' make compelling reading. Her critique of the safety practices and record of Canadian commuter airlines is frightening.