“Lincoln International Airport is hit by a violent snowstorm and a plane gets stuck on the main runway. As staff struggle to keep the airport open their personal relationships cause more problems. To make matters worse, a man arrives at the airport determined to blow up a plane. The drama unfolds as the storm reaches its peak.” Would you resist?
A novel AIRPORT, written by Arthur Hailey in sixties of 20th century, is one of his best-known and best-seller works. It was not his first one from aviation environment; also television play Flight in Danger was very successful; that one definitely pushed him to become a full-time writer.
Hailey spent three years by planning and writing this book – and the result is that you cannot put it down. (I have read it three times...) The story takes place at Lincoln International Airport in Chicago in time, when it is hit by very strong snowstorm, which they have not had there for years. An airport is still opened and chaos rules the main hall and Air Traffic Control, which has to manage dozens planes in the air and hundreds flights, some of them delayed, some of them cancelled. Supplying truck has lost. Giant Aéreo Mexican plane blocks very needed runway three-zero. People from Meadowood, a village near an airport, complain about noise over their heads. Mad man is going to blow up a plane to secure his family with big life assurance which they should get afterwards. And Mel Bakersfeld, Airport General Manager, wonders how could an airport be still opened.
There are many points during the story – with menaces of Mel’s divorce, and his brother Keith’s intention to suicide beginning, and with Vernon Demerest’s love affair with one of stewards and dramatic landing of the Trans America Flight Two after explosion just 3 feat from the end of the runway ending. But humor is not omitted in AIRPORT, of course. There are many funny moments in the book – for example you can follow small “big” adventure of old woman, whose hobby is traveling across USA without air-tickets. Later, she will be the one, who help very in retrieving hijacked plane, Trans America Flight Two, also called the Golden Argosy.
As I already mentioned, I have read this book three times – and it was always worth of it. Hailey’s stories-writing talent pushed me right into the center of the story and made me to like all his books, AIRPORT as well.
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Arthur Hailey Airport
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