Monday, August 15, 2016

Scapegoat: Interview with 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

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.

Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

I enjoy golfing, movies, traveling, and spending time with my wife.

When did you start writing?

Age 27 or 28

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

After having no luck getting an agent or publisher for my first book, I decided to submit my book to a new program sponsored by IBPA and book distributor IPG. My book was accepted and received worldwide distribution through IPG. That partnership continues today now with my second book.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

I don’t need to go anywhere to write. Once a story takes over, I escape through the story.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

Play a round of golf.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

I admire writers like Laura Hillenbrand and Michael Lewis. They aren’t stuck writing for the same niche market. They write stories that interest them. I do not plan to write another aviation book. Since I write true stories, the setting is easy. It’s where the story takes place.

Back to your present book, Scapegoat, how did you publish it?

I first tried the traditional channels trying to land an agent or publisher. That was a fruitless endeavor. I already have my own imprint and the experience of publishing my first book. Publishing my second book under my own imprint was a no-brainer.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

I flew all over the country conducting interviews, which I videotaped. Since I’m a pilot, my only costs were for rental cars and the occasional hotel.

Why was writing Scapegoat so important to you?

This story contains a central mystery – what caused a Boeing 727 to suddenly roll over and plummet some 39,000 feet? It’s also a David and Goliath story where a flight crew takes on a major corporation and a highly regarded government institution. Now this book has taken on those same challenges.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

I am drawn to stories of injustice. If there is a wrong that I can right, then that is a story worth telling.

Any final words?

Thanks for not asking the same old questions.


  1. Thanks for hosting my blog tour. I enjoyed answering your questions.


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