Willful Misconduct: The Tragic Story of Pan American Flight 805
Discover the truth about the crash that never should have happened.
In 1974, Pan American Flight 806 was hoping to land safely in Pago Pago, Samoa but instead plummeted at 140 miles per hour into the jungle floor. The 101 passengers and crew members all survived this devastating crash. Unfortunately, only four of them escaped the wreckage before the ensuing fire that followed and lived to tell their story. After the disaster, Pan American was found guilty of “willful misconduct” after the longest and most expensive trial in aviation history.
William Norris sets out to discover the truth about the controversies surrounding the accident. What caused the crash, and what prevented the 97 passengers from escaping the aircraft with their lives? Among these questions, Norris discovers more answers to other mysteries about this devastating event and its trial along the way.
It is a triumph of investigative journalism by a man whose outrage grew as he followed the trail of evidence, dug beneath the cover-ups, and personally came to know most of those involved.
Willful Misconduct is a gripping tale, full of courtroom drama, fascinating characters, and human tragedy.
My thoughts: What an amazing story this was. It was an involved read, as you might imagine, with a lot of players and details before you even get to the court case, but a very worthwhile read, for sure. It’s just heartbreaking to read of the crash, and then learn of the things that were hidden by design for so long, that almost didn’t come to light. It would have been a shame if these facts hadn’t been told. The powers that be kept it from happening for many years, but now here it is finally. A good read for aviation and legal fans. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author William Norris, and the publisher.
Publisher: CamCat Perspectives – 371 pages
Publication: Aug 8th, 2020 Kindle; Paperback Aug 25th, 2020
My rating: 4/5 STARS
About the Author– William (Bill) Norris has been a professional writer since the age of sixteen, when he joined his local newspaper as an apprentice reporter. After ten years of working for various newspapers in England and Africa, Norris was appointed as Parliamentary Correspondent to the prestigious Times (of London). He is one of the youngest people to hold this position. He remained in this role for seven years, revolutionizing the art of the “parliamentary sketch” before transferring to become Africa Correspondent for The Times, covering political events and wars in Biafra, Nigeria, Angola, the Congo, Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. In 1968, he became ITN’s Political Correspondent while also covering overseas stories, such as the Paris Riots happening that same year. He transitioned to freelance work in 1980 after moving to the United States. In 1997, Norris became the Associate Director of the PressWise Trust (a British media ethics charity) where he counseled young journalists to promote journalistic ethics. Along with being an experienced writer/journalist, he has a strong public speaking background. He has spoken to students at the University of London and was the keynote speaker at both the World Health Organization conference in Moscow and a European Union conference on journalistic ethics in Cyprus. He now resides in the South of France with his wife Betty, two cats, and two exhausting dogs.