Christopher Bartlett initially trained as a mining engineer, a field where ensuring compliance with safety standards is of prime importance. His passion, however, has been flying, and notably air safety.
This was engendered as an Air Cadet during his youth and as a member of the British Interplanetary Society, as well as in the course of sessions on fighter simulators at the Air Ministry. He completed his two years’ military service in the British Royal Air Force.
After taking a degree in Modern Chinese and Japanese at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University, he became, amongst other things, a professional translator of Japanese scientific and technical material. This included Japanese rocket tests. He also wrote for magazines in the Far East.
His fluency and understanding of English, French, Japanese and Chinese enabled him to undertake research based on material published in its original format and note opinions and facts that have previously not been widely publicized.
His presence by pure chance in countries when and where headline air crashes occurred has also enabled him to add local color and extra details to a number of these accounts.
While residing at Bangkok, a Boeing 747 operated by the world’s so-called safest airline (Qantas) overran the runway at 100 M.P.H. With repairs, even though mainly in China, allegedly costing some A$100,000,000, and the incident having at the time been dismissed as a mere mishap, he saw the need for a book such as this.