The worst aviation disaster in history happened more than 40 years ago on an Atlantic Ocean island. This book explains what happened then, and afterward, to the survivors – and what every passenger can do to be even safer.

Some reviews

Mark Martin, retired American Airlines pilot:

"Collision on Tenerife is compelling and engaging, taking the reader from how it happened to why it happened, and revealing the series of individually inconsequential decisions that perfectly aligned and resulted in disaster."

Gillian Flynn, author ("Gone Girl, Sharp Objects") and television producer:

"Here we have – finally – a harrowing account, impressively researched and thoroughly reported, of the world's worst air disaster. Ziomek offers deep insight into not only the behavioral errors that led up to the disaster but also the psychological aspects of catastrophe and its aftereffects. A story that lingers in the mind long after the reading." 

Two survivors of the Tenerife disaster:

"I am VERY impressed! You did a fantastic job of weaving many interviews into a coherent story of this most cataclysmic event" – David Alexander.

" awesome your book is.  It is the most well-written and detailed account of the 'real story' of the crash" – Joani Feathers.

Linda Hopkins, daughter of the survivors who started this project

"This book tells the story of what my parents went through as they miraculously survived the crash. Yet, only those close to my mother would know the impact this crash had on everything she did for the remainder of her life."

Some questions about the accident:

  • Was there a single cause of the accident? No. There was a series of overlapping mistakes and coincidences that resulted in the collision of the two planes.
  • Why were those two jets even at that airport?  They weren't supposed to be. This is just one of the many horrible coincidences of the day. A terrorist bomb had diverted flights from a nearby island.

•  Did anyone survive? Yes. The Pan Am jet had 61 survivors. No one on the KLM jet survived, The death total was 583. 

Is flying safer now? Yes, although, as the book explains, it could be even safer with a few simple steps by passengers. All passengers should look at the safety card – and listen to the flight attendants.

Upcoming ...

• Saturday, Dec. 7: Jon Z. will be signing and selling this book at Glenbrook South High School's Holiday Bazaar.

In Washington, D.C. ...

"Collision on Tenerife" is now available in the bookstore at the Smithsonian's Air & Space Museum.

Event Details


The Smithsonian's Air & Space magazine has a Q&A with Jon Z. about the accident and the book in its July issue. Here's a link:

Event Details

Recent media ...

Cable TV ...

Here's a YouTube link to a recent interview on cable television about the book:

Radio interview ...

WGN's legendary reporter Rick Kogan interviewed Jon Z. in June about Jon's reporting for the book. Here's a link to the interview: