Author: Ian Pringle
The crashes of Air Rhodesia Flight RH825 and Air Rhodesia Flight RH827 were two of the deadliest aviation incidents in the history of Zimbabwe—and they weren’t accidents. In this in-depth exploration of a little-known piece of southern African history, Ian Pringle tells a true story of terrorism, sabotage, and survival.
Pringle, who lived in Rhodesia at the time of the crashes, collected interviews from survivors, witnesses, pilots, ground staff, accident investigators, family members, and experts. These testimonies reveal stories of heroism and courage in the wake of a major tragedy.
Air Rhodesia Flight RH825 was the first airliner ever to be shot down by Russian surface-to-air guided missile. The surviving passengers tell the story of the crash and its horrific aftermath. Five months later, Air Rhodesia Flight RH827 was downed in the same way. This time, there were no survivors.
In addition to presenting vivid first-person testimonies, Pringle examines how the attacks—and the ensuing collective rage of the Rhodesian people at those responsible—contributed to the instability of the country. He shows how these tragedies indirectly led to the rise of Robert Mugabe and laid the groundwork for a very different future for the African nation.