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Book Information

Author: Captain Terrance W. MacDonald
Title: THE BLACK BOX “Dead Pilots Don’t Talk”
City: Bloomington
Book Publisher: Xlibris LLC
ISBN: 978-1-47975-304-8
Published: 2/5/2013
Format: Perfect Bound Softcover

The Black Box


This is an account by a long-time pilot who, after spending seven years learning and honing his skills in general aviation, first flew as an airline copilot at age 23. On August 1st, 1999, he survived a jet crash that drastically changed how he thought about commercial aviation. THE BLACK BOX focuses on aviation safety and how Captain MacDonald believes the industry repeatedly falls short of being as safe as it could be and should be. A lot of excellent pilots — and many innocent passengers — are no longer alive because of one bad day in a very unforgiving profession. Living pilots don’t talk because they fear reprisal, dead pilots can’t talk. This book speaks for them. If they could speak, this is what they might tell you about aviation safety that you have the right to know.

About The Author

Terrance MacDonald is a commercial airline pilot from Sydney, Nova Scotia. His love for aviation started at the age of four. He has worked as a fl ight instructor, a copilot and a captain with a variety of airlines. Due to the shutdowns of several airline companies, a career of back and forth between the left and right seats has given him the opportunity to see life from a captain’s and a copilot’s viewpoint many times over; his 14,000 hours of flight experience has exposed him to most everything aviation presents in terms of safety problems and in-flight emergencies. His flying experiences range from a 380-pound ultra light aircraft to a Boeing 737 and many types of planes in between. His four decades in aviation and his fi rsthand experience qualify MacDonald as an industry expert.

Book Teaser



Most passengers don’t realize that “broken” airliners can fly legally. On check-in for duty on flight 2210, dispatch advised the pilots that they were taking a plane with a “deferred snag.” The lift dumpers had been snagged unserviceable. The airplane was broke, and apparently the flight was going anyway, or else it would have been cancelled. Right‘? The copilot wondered how this snag would affect the flight, as lift dumpers aid in slowing the aircraft down on landing.

Dispatch also notified the crew of another problem they would be dealing with on this flight. A serious NOTAM (notice to airmen) had been issued for the destination airport. The NOTAM facing the crew was this airport was down to just one serviceable runway because the other runway was being resurfaced. The serviceable runway also had a handicap since one end of this runway intersected the one being resurfaced. The runway was not available for full-length use: Only 5,500 feet was available for a full-stop landing.

All aircraft snags are categorized according to how critical they are to the safety of a flight. For example, unless one is flying at night, replacing a burned-out

lightbulb is nowhere near as critical as fixing the lift dumpers. Lift dumpers are the large panels on top of the wings, which pop upward as soon as the plane touches down, creating a wall on the wing. This “all breaks the smooth airflow over the wing and creates drag, which decreases or eliminates the wings lift.

This causes the wing to stop flying and allows the plane to settle firmly on the surface of the runway, which in turn provides more traction for the tires and thus better braking performance. Each airliner has a MEL. (minimum equipment list) book onboard. A captain checks the MEL book to ascertain the minimum functioning equipment required to operate a flight legally at the beginning of every shift or aircraft change.

In Canada for example, an A snagged MEL item means the aircraft is grounded and cannot fly until the item is repaired. The general public is often under the impression that the whole aircraft has to be working perfectly to go flying, but it doesn’t. The captain’s welcome aboard speech doesn’t include the fact that some things aren’t working. The B snagged MEL item means it must be fixed within three days, giving the aircraft the leeway to return to home base or at least to a maintenance base for repair. Then the C snagged MEL. item means the airline has ten days to fix the problem. Last the D item means the airline
has 120 days to fix the problem.

The copilot was nervous about taking off with a major snag such as no lift dumpers, but not knowing enough about the affects of this snag, he had to trust his captain’s judgement. It was the copilot’s first jet job. Prior to this, he had only flown propeller-driven aircraft. Certainly, dispatch acted as if it


was still a go. As soon as the two pilots got in to the flight deck, they started checking the performance manuals to see whether a plane this large could land on a 5,500-foot runway. Being very careful as they checked the charts, both pilots individually confirmed the aircraft performance manual did indicate they would be able to land within 5 ,500 feet. They now felt confident that they were legal to do this flight, something dispatch already knew_ At the time, the new copilot thought the captain did a good job in checking the finer paperwork details in the aircraft manual. They departed and after an uneventful flight were cleared for an instrument approach to their destination airport.

As the airplane lined up with the runway centerline, the captain was at the controls, and the copilot was the nonflying pilot. As the captain asked for the landing wheels to be lower, the copilot reached over and lowered the big lever with the little wheel at the end of it. Three very bright green lights appeared, confirming the wheels were down and locked. The lights were so bright they interfered with the captain’s vision. The copilot tried the dimmer switch, but it didn’t work, and the landing gear lights remained too bright. The copilot knew that the captain was having difficulty seeing the rest of the instrument panel due to the excessively bright lights. Once the two pilots confirmed all the wheels were down, the copilot instinctively moved his left hand over the three green lights to block the glare. The captain immediately said, “That’s much better, keep your hand there.” And that was all he said, no other details.

The F-28 jet touched down on the usable section of the runway, right where the captain was aiming for. The usual chirp of tires scuffing the pavement could


be heard. The copilot was startled when the Captain yelled, “TVE GOT NO BRAKES! TRY YOUR BRAKES!” In a split second, the copilot had his feet on the toe brake pedals, and he pushed them into the floor three times out of sheer fear. Nothing happened. The Captain grabbed the emergency brake T handle on the pedestal between the two pilots and started to pump it repeatedly as if
he were rowing a boat very rapidly. Nothing happened. The F-28 jet continued to chew up valuable runway’ rapidly while it seemed to float lightly down the runway. It felt as if the shocks didn’t compress so as to put the full weight on the wheels, and by this time, there wasn’t enough runway’ remaining to attempt to do a takeoff (touch the runway’ and go).

The copilot heard a loud scream. He looked to his left and saw it was the captain. He screamed a high-pitched shriek as if someone was falling to his death. He had already shut down the two engines and did everything he could. Now he assumed the brace position with his arms crossed and hands against the dash and his face down from the passenger cabin came the sound of seat
belts being buckled. Even the passengers who took off their seat belts early knew something was wrong. Now it was just a waiting game. The crew could only sit there and wait it out. They were waiting to see if they were going to be able to walk away’ from this or perhaps die. No wonder the captain was screaming.

The crew never did get good braking, and they went off the end of the runway at eighty knots (close to one hundred mph). It was a very rough ride as the front of the aircraft banged over several large rocks that are common in Newfoundland.


The nosewheel snapped off like a toothpick, and the nose of the aircraft slammed against the ground. The pilots felt like they were kicked in their rear. It really hurt! After 420 feet. the aircraft came to a full and complete stop nose down in the mud and in the dark of night. It was late-ll:00 p.m. Newfoundland time.

the black boxe2

“Evacuate! Evacuate! Evacuate!” These were the next words the flight attendants were yelling at the top of their lungs. The copilot tried to open the main door right behind the captain. but it wouldn’t completely open due to the ground sloping upward. Then quickly he tried to open the door on the opposite side. behind where the copilot is seated as seen in the photo above. Through this door. the crew got everyone out safely. then came the head count to make sure everyone was present and accounted for. It took over an hour for the city. which was very near the airport. to send a local bus to come and pick up the passengers. This was before 9/11 ever happened; things might take longer to…

To buy THE BLACK BOX “Dead Pilots Don’t Talk” by  Captain Terrance W. MacDonald, click here.

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New Thriller Depicts Clandestine, Action-Packed Pursuit in Vietnam

‘Saigon Cowboy’ by H. Palmer Wood has a retired CIA agent roped back into a job to hunt down one of the most dangerous rogues the armed forces and CIA had ever dealt with.

Lake Wales, FL (PRWEB) February 07, 2014

Austin Bain liked working for the CIA, especially exercising his intellect to be one step ahead of a challenging situation. Deviating from his deciphering routine seemed to open another door to reality. Escaping death by minutes in Panama might have been a fluke, but it was enough to remind him of the dangers of his vocation. Resigning from the CIA, he returned to civilian life, until a former cohort tracked him down vacationing on a remote Bahamas island.

That surprise encounter catapulted Bain back into the Agency, where he is asked to help track and apprehend one of the most dangerous individuals the armed forces and CIA had ever dealt with in Vietnam. A French national, Austin Bain’s former college roommate has developed a deadly profile, bent on revenge, as a result of tragic events involving the deaths of a sister and his father. Working undercover, Bain’s search takes him through numerous provinces in Vietnam, when the US military presence was growing by the tens of thousands each month. Bain’s best qualification for the current job, is that he is the most likely to be able to identify the “Saigon Cowboy”, who was once a freshman he dormed with ten years ago at Syracuse University.

Both the bold aggressiveness and clandestine actions of the Cowboy continued to baffle those in pursuit. With his apparent ease of movement in highly secure areas, he is proceeds to methodically eliminate high ranking military and CIA agents. Are August Bain’s talents enough to be successful in his new role as Company headhunter?

“Saigon Cowboy” by H. Palmer Wood, with its action packed pursuit, its exotic locales, and its depiction of a rogue Frenchman working with the Vietcong to eliminate Americans supporting the South Vietnam government for his own vengeful reasons, comes off as one of the best action thrillers of the season. Wood addresses the ambiguities of US involvement in Vietnam, the way the war created its own monsters which flew out of Vietnam to infect many parts of the globe.

For more information on this book, interested parties may log on to

About the Author
A graduate of Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., H. Palmer Wood served in the Air Force and Army Reserve. He worked as a technical writer, presentations editor and methods engineer in aerospace corporations. As a writer for Page Communication Engineers under contract with the Department of Defense, with an equivalent military rank of captain, he traveled extensively throughout Vietnam in 1966 to 1968. Before retiring in 2010, he worked as an editorial editor for a local newspaper.

Saigon Cowboy * by H. Palmer Wood
Publication Date: December 19, 2013
Trade Paperback; $19.99; 395 pages; 978-1-4931-4527-0
Trade Hardback; $29.99; 395 pages; 978-1-4931-4528-7
e-book; $3.99; 978-1-4931-4529-4

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (812) 355-4079 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. For more information on self-publishing or marketing with Xlibris, visit To receive a free publishing guide, please call (888) 795-4274.

New Book Gives Readers an In-Depth Look Into the Mind of a Serial Killer

Author Robert P. Maroney looks into the psychological aspect of murder in his new book, ‘THE KILLER’S HANDBOOK’.


Fayette County, West Virginia (PRWEB) February 06, 2014

Throughout everyone’s life there have been instances where one becomes so angry or frustrated that one would even contemplate murder. Of course such thoughts are merely passing fancies, and could never be acted upon due to fear of going to jail, but what if one had a foolproof method? What if there is a way wherein one could perpetrate such an act and never be caught and taste the sweet triumph of revenge without facing the consequences? Author Robert P. Maroney explores this tantalizing concept in his new book titled “THE KILLER’S HANDBOOK.”

A follow up to his previously released book titled “55 Graves”, this book follows the life of retired detective Nicholas Pearce. After the events of the last book, Nicholas has retired from active police duty, and has been recovering from a near-fatal knife attack, and he contemplates on what he should do with his life. The choice is made for him as he finds himself thrust into two perplexing cases. Two young college girls, abducted in Louisville, Kentucky, are discovered floating in the Kanawha River near Montgomery, West Virginia. The next day, another girl is abducted, but this one is from the local area. Nick and FBI Agent Addie Curtis team up once again trying to save a life and find the killer before time runs out. During the investigation, Nick discovers a serial killer, known only as Reaper, bragging about his murders online. Pedophiles are being targeted in several states, but no one is connecting the murders, and even Nick is skeptical that Reaper’s claims are genuine. But when Reaper authors an online murder manual, titled, “The Killer’s Handbook”, Nick realizes it has gone too far. People are using the handbook to kill and Reaper is quickly becoming an underground Internet sensation. Nick knows he must be stopped, but how?

Filled with interesting characters, absorbing dialogue, and disturbing events, “The Killer’s Handbook” will keep readers guessing until the very end.

For more information on this book, interested parties may log on to

About the Author
Robert P. Maroney is a devoted husband and proud father of two wonderful children, and is known as Grandpa Bob to a rambunctious toddler. His background is diverse; retired career military, a musician who has played professionally on three continents, an adjunct university professor, and CEO of a consulting firm. He currently resides in Fayette County, West Virginia.

THE KILLER’S HANDBOOK* by Robert P. Maroney
Publication Date: December 5, 2013
Trade Paperback; $15.99; 361 pages; 978-1-4931-1584-6
Trade Hardback; $22.99; 361 pages; 978-1-4931-1585-3
e-book; $1.99; 978-1-4931-1586-0

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (812) 355-4079 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879.

For more information on self-publishing or marketing with Xlibris, visit To receive a free publishing guide, please call (888) 795-4274.




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Xlibris Book Review: Genesis

K. Klein. Genesis. Bloomington: Xlibris Publishing, ISBN 978-1-45358-619-8. 2010. Perfect Bound Softcover.


Have you ever wondered what the first humans did when they woke on this planet? How did they survive? Ed and Eva are separated in an accident that destroys their ship. Ed wakes on a beach and does not know who he is, where he is, or where he came from. They meet up later, after they each had a chance to explore this new world. They agree that they must reach their other teams who are supposed to be populating the other continents. Afterwards, they journey to the north, trying to learn about the “people” and animals that inhabit the place. The journey lasts long enough for them to grow old together, have a child of their own and forge friendships with the cultures they meet. Why do we look to the sky when we talk about “God” or “The Gods?” Why do we fear some of the things we fear? The story explores the beginnings of the things we believe.


Book Teaser:


She was tossed about the cabin while the ship rocked violently. The noise of the waves against the hull was deafening as she tried to find someone alive. So far, everyone seemed to have died in the impact. Then, she heard a moan from the team leader. Thank the stars, she thought, someone else made it.

She grabbed the man by the back of his jumpsuit and pulled him down the aisle and out of a gaping hole in the side. The craft was bucking and rolling in the water as she dove in with her burden. It was dark, but she could see the white crests of the waves as they tried to engulf her. She did not know if she and her friend would make it to land, but she had to try.

Something hither hard. She shook her head and looked around. All she could see was a crate floating near her. She grabbed for it and was lucky on the first try. Kicking her feet as hard as she was able, she pushed her friend on to the box.

The waves pounded them again and pushed him off. She tried to grab him, but he floated out of her reach. She tried and tried to reach her friend, but he moved farther away with each passing wave.

She swam for the crate again-no luck this time. It floated away on the waves. Their chances of completing the missionseerned slirn. She looked around and watched as the silhouette of the ship slowly disappeared into the sea.
It was dark. It was cold. Her energy was almost gone. She was very afraid.

There was debris from the wreck floating in the water around her. But no matter how hard she tried, she could not reach anything that would help her stay afloat. Minutes of struggle seemed to turn into hours.

Stars filled the sky as she tried to find a reason to keep going. She wasn’t even sure that she was heading in the right direction. For all she knew, she could have been swimming in circles.

She was weakening. Her resolve was fading. Why fight a losing battle? She gave up.

That was when everything changed. She felt something touch the bottom of her feet. It disappeared, and then she felt it again. She pushed on it and found that she could stand. It was fortune working in her favor! The water tossed her around as she made it to shore. She was alive!

At least she had survived this far. Now what was she to do? She had to get to solid land!

The sky was clear, and there was a slight breeze as she dragged her weakened body onto the sand. She lay there until she felt some of her strength return. She was exhausted.

Her only surviving crewmate had disappeared into the darkness after she pulled him from the wreck, and now she was alone. Why try to go on? She had tried to let herself in the water in hopes of drowning and ending the struggle. But that had failed. Now she was alone. There was very little hope of rescue.

She cried. Then she laughed. Then she cried again. Fate had been kind to her. Fate had also been cruel. On the one hand, she had been given the gift of life, but on the other hand, she had been isolated from everything that made it worth living.

The irony was almost too much to hear as she faded away into a deep, dreamless sleep.

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