Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A Bookish Conversation with 'Scapegoat' Emilio Corsetti III

Emilio Corsetti III is a professional pilot and author. Emilio has written for both regional and national publications including the Chicago Tribune, Multimedia Producer, and Professional Pilot magazine. Emilio is the author of the book 35 Miles From Shore: The Ditching and Rescue of ALM Flight 980. The upcoming book Scapegoat: A Flight Crew's Journey from Heroes to Villains to Redemption tells the true story of an airline crew wrongly blamed for causing a near-fatal accident and the captain's decades-long battle to clear his name. Emilio is a graduate of St. Louis University. He and his wife Lynn reside in Dallas, TX.

For More Information
About the Book:

Title: Scapegoat: A Flight Crew’s Journey from Heroes to Villians to Redemption
Author: Emilio Corsetti
Publisher: Odyssey Publishing, LLC
Pages: 472
Genre: Nonfiction Narrative

"This is the kind of case the Board has never had to deal with-a head-on collision between the credibility of a flight crew versus the airworthiness of the aircraft." NTSB Investigator-in-Charge Leslie Dean Kampschror

On April 4, 1979, a Boeing 727 with 82 passengers and a crew of 7 rolled over and plummeted from an altitude of 39,000 feet to within seconds of crashing were it not for the crew's actions to save the plane. The cause of the unexplained dive was the subject of one of the longest NTSB investigations at that time.

While the crew's efforts to save TWA 841 were initially hailed as heroic, that all changed when safety inspectors found twenty-one minutes of the thirty-minute cockpit voice recorder tape blank. The captain of the flight, Harvey "Hoot" Gibson, subsequently came under suspicion for deliberately erasing the tape in an effort to hide incriminating evidence. The voice recorder was never evaluated for any deficiencies.

From that moment on, the investigation was focused on the crew to the exclusion of all other evidence. It was an investigation based on rumors, innuendos, and speculation. Eventually the NTSB, despite sworn testimony to the contrary, blamed the crew for the incident by having improperly manipulated the controls, leading to the dive.

This is the story of an NTSB investigation gone awry and one pilot's decades-long battle to clear his name.

Scapegoat: A Flight Crew’s Journey from Heroes to Villains to Redemption is available at Amazon and B&N.

What first inspired you to write or who inspired you?

I am drawn to stories of wrongful convictions. I am also a pilot. This story intrigued me because it had many elements that I was interested in and could also write authoritatively. I started with an open mind and went about my research with no preconceived notions about the crew’s guilt or innocence. By the end of the process, I was convinced that the investigators had wrongly blamed the crew. The reader can draw their own conclusion.

At what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I am a voracious reader. But that wasn’t always the case. I didn’t read a book for enjoyment until the age of 22. That was when I married and I noticed that my wife read a lot. She recommended a couple of books and I was hooked. I started writing stories for aviation publications not long after.

Do you take notes when reading or watching a movie?

Occasionally. Only if has to do with a project that I’m working on.

Has writing always been a passion for you or did you discover it years later?

Writing a book length manuscript is a lot of work. The reward is seeing a story that you alone created released into the world.

Do you have a day job?  What do you do?

I am a pilot for a major airline. That job gives me some advantages over other authors in that I can travel to do interviews. Not everyone knows how to Skype.

Can you name three writing tips to pass on to aspiring authors?

Don’t try to be literary. It’s easy to get caught up in trying to describe someone’s appearance or a scene in flowery prose. Few authors can pull it off. If it doesn’t come naturally, don’t force it.

If you write something that just feels off, rewrite it or delete it and try again.

Listen to the feedback you get from early readers and adjust accordingly.

What hours do you write best?

Evenings mostly.

How often do you write?

If I’m working on a book, which is a two to three-year process, I’ll write for several days and then take a couple of days off in between. As I get further along, I’ll take longer breaks to give myself some perspective when I return.

Are you an avid reader?

Yes. Almost exclusively nonfiction. I am drawn to true stories. I’ll read fiction and science fiction occasionally, but there’s something about reading a story where you know the events and people are real.

What are you reading now?

Two books related to crimes and wrongful convictions: We are not such things by Justine van der Leun and Failure of Justice by John Ferak.

What are you currently working on?

I’m not currently working on another project. I’m always looking for stories that interest me. I’m hoping that my next book is not an aviation book.

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