Nine Minutes, Twenty Seconds: A True Story of Tragedy and Triumph

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9780609810163: Nine Minutes, Twenty Seconds: A True Story of Tragedy and Triumph

“An ode to the beauty and dignity of the human spirit.” —Dominick Dunne

Nine Minutes, Twenty Seconds is a heart-pounding real-life drama about how ordinary people rise above their fears and muster extraordinary courage and strength in the face of danger. In this gripping and inspiring story, Gary Pomerantz brings readers deep inside the hearts and minds of twenty-nine people whose fates take a dramatic turn when the plane they are on crashes in a west Georgia hayfield. You will be amazed by how they react in those fateful moments, and by their remarkable personal journeys in the days and months that follow.

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Review:

An American could fly on a turboprop run by a regional carrier once per day and not expect to die in a crash for 8,000 years, according to one estimate. That's small consolation to the 29 people who found themselves on ASA Flight 529 in 1995, when a faulty propeller cracked and destroyed one of their plane's engines. As Gary M. Pomerantz notes in Nine Minutes, Twenty Seconds--the title refers to the length of time between the engine blowing and impact--"Of all the emergency checklists, there was none on how to fly with one wing." Pomerantz says his book is "not about a plane falling, but the human spirit rising." That's only part right. Nine Minutes, Twenty Seconds has plenty of human-interest angles, but it mainly holds a morbid fascination akin to rubbernecking at the scene of a highway accident. Ever wonder what people do when they know they're about to crash and believe they might die? Herein lie the answers. (Unexpectedly, they don't scream.) Pomerantz conducted hundreds of interviews for this book, from the flight's 19 survivors to family members of the deceased to the mechanic who refurbished the bad propeller before it went back on the plane. It is by turns interesting, poignant, and harrowing. Readers drawn to stories of adversity will find it riveting. --John Miller

From the Inside Flap:

ply moving account of the extraordinary strengths that ordinary people can display when tragedy confronts them. As emotionally powerful a book as you are likely ever to read.”
–David J. Garrow, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Bearing the Cross

In August 1995, twenty-six passengers and a crew of three board a commuter plane in Atlanta headed for Gulfport, Mississippi. Shortly after takeoff they hear an explosion and, looking out the windows on the left side, see a mangled engine lodged against the wing. From that moment, nine minutes and twenty seconds elapse until the crippled plane crashes in a west Georgia hayfield–nine minutes and twenty seconds in which Gary Pomerantz takes readers deep into the hearts and minds of the people aboard, each of whom prepares in his or her own way for what may come.

Ultimately, nineteen people survive both the crash and its devastating aftermath, all of them profoundly affected by what they have seen and

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