I remember a book I read in Junior High that I really loved. I don't remember the title or author, but it was about a young man who was trying to clear his father's name after the crash and/or disappearance of a spaceship. There was some man who was insane involved somehow, and he ultimately finds out that the insane man was the person who caused the ship to materialize after a hyperspace jump inside of a mountain, killing everyone except the one guy. Or something like that. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Could it be Secrets of Stardeep? A 1969 novel by John Jakes, it was an unaccepted answer to the old question A book about a boy searching for his missing father, the spaceship navigator?
Just as you remembered, toward the end of the book, while exploring some caverns on another planet, Rob and some acquaintances discover that the remains of the lost starship are embedded underground where the vessel had suddenly emerged in the wrong place (from "hyperspace" or whatever the heck the ship traveled through -- I don't remember all the jargon) as the result of severe navigational error. It turns out that the late Lightcommander had made the mistake of trusting a painfully underqualified young officer to try to practice steering the ship in order to improve his skills . . . with the result that nearly everyone aboard died quickly (embedded in solid rock, for instance) because the young man just wasn't up to the task. Which means, as Rob quickly realizes, that it truly was a case of "command error." His father was supposed to know better than to trust the wrong person with control of the ship.
Rear cover synopsis:
"THE FASTER-THAN-LIGHT SHIP THAT SIMPLY WASN'T THERE!
FLTS Majestica, with Lightcommander Duncan Edison in charge and 2,000 crewmen aboard, had vanished without a trace only moments after leaving the planet Stardeep. Seven years later, no one had yet been able to discover what happened to Majestica, and to most people it was a long-forgotten tragedy. But not to Rob Edison. Rob knew his father wasn't responsible for the disappearance of the FTLS, and he would go clear across the galaxy to Stardeep to prove it.
But Rob wasn't the only one looking for something on Stardeep. And what started as a private search for the truth became a dangerous encounter with invaders out to steal Stardeep's greatest treasure..."
Rob Edison is simply trying to get through his studies, ace his examinations, and enter higher education for an ultimate position in space. One day, Tal Alroon comes to the same school and stares Rob down. As their fates collide, Rob is reminded of the painful memory of his father's disappearance and probable death aboard the FTL ship Majestica, which never materialized when it entered hyperspace off the planet Stardeep. Tal Aroon's father was on the same ship and suffered the same fate, so Tal projects the accountability for the disaster on Rob.
With excellent grades (in classes like Principles of Hyperdrive III and Survey of Cryogenics 414) and a sympathetic robotic counselor, Rob decides to test his faith in his father against the facts of the matter of the ship's disappearance. Rob books a costly trip to Stardeep during his four-week long holiday in order to peruse the data regarding the ship, its crews, and its fateful journey. Even though a committee had already established that his father was guilty of a Command Decision Error, Rob feels that his involvement in the facts will ease his doubts.
Once on the planet of Stardeep, Rob quickly becomes ensconced with Conservancy Patrol Commander Ling and his daughter Lyndesy. Rob obtains permission to visit the Phylex Monitoring Station in the restricted area of private reserve, home to the planet's indigenous life form which is capable of clearing away ill thoughts when in close proximity to the animal. Barton Lummas, a fellow passenger to the planet of Stardeep, maintains a keen knowledge of these animals and is always seen wherever Rob goes. When Barton and his android shang-hai Rob on the way to his permissible-entry ship, Rob's quest for truth becomes a quest for survival.