University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Airframe by Michael Crichton
Michael Crichton’s 1996 literary work takes its audience into a flight adventure of suspense with a dash of humor. As the title suggests, Crichton’s audience might deduce a frame which could be found in the air. In more accurate terms, speculate about the structure of a plane. As the audience read’s it, this deduction is further strengthened with the illustration of a plane “accident” that results to an investigation on the quality on a Norton Aircraft-manufactured N-22, followed by media frenzy. For some, the event of an airplane accident which eventually results to tedious and cumbersome investigation is quite uninteresting and dull.
However, readers of this book are still compelled to continuously read it because of the twists, thought-provoking exploration of a plane’s structure, high tension issues and jitters. Moreover, Michael Crichton’s style and themes informs and teaches several factual issues and concerns to its audience while entertaining them. By looking into the history and flight events, it can be said that Michael Crichton’s accounted problems in his book indeed portray real-life scenarios. Michael Crichton’s novel starts at the Transpacific Airlines flight 545, said to be a Hong Kong based transportation.
In addition to this, it was also illustrated that the plane, as mentioned before, a Norton Aircraft-manufactured N-22, that is expected to arrive at Denver. However, severe turbulences occur at the California Coastline, resulting to an emergency landing at the Los Angeles airport. From the pilot’s report on the status inside the plane, there were already several injured passengers and two dead passengers. The dilemma rises from the fact, as the book states, that the plain’s history never showed or experienced poor safety record or performance.
In addition to this, the pilot who was maneuvering the plane was highly trained, which takes the possibilities of human error out of the question. As such, the story tediously proceeds and revolves around the investigation regarding this “anomaly” on the plane’s condition or on the question of its safety records, and generally about how the whole incident happened. In this novel, the aircraft manufacturers in this novel responded in a way that imitates what “real” aircraft manufacturers would show or usually do after such accidents.
There are cases where manufacturers are held liable or not liable to certain accidents by the jury. If the jury was impressed with the overall save rate, the manufacturer is not considered liable, resulting to the acknowledgment of the whole design utility being optimized for the majority to the detriment of a few. On the contrary, if the jury would inspect the high-speed aspects of risk in contrasts to the high-speed save rate, the manufacturer can be considered liable. As such, it is “factual” or logical that manufacturers would react in ways that Crichton describes it.
On the other hand, the actions or events which follow the media hype on the airplane accident seem exaggerated, though again, convincingly true. Several scenes or illustrations regarding the media generally show that they tend to scrutinize whatever links they find regarding a certain topic which could boost their ratings. In addition to this, there is generally a persistence of the media crowd to grab whatever fact they could get a hold on to, and sometimes create stories to build or form the bits of information that they have into a persuasive story, which can either be true or partly-true.
In his accounts of both the airplane problems, media and manufacturer investigations there are convincing facts which are laid to the audience by the author. In addition this are critical observations which shows Crichton’s style and manufactured tensions that keeps his readers stuck on the book, without boring their selves (just like what I felt). Crichton is like giving an ice cream, with a sprinkle of reality and fiction, mounted on a cone, coated with information and served in a plate garnished with humor that definitely keeps its audience from wanting more. References Crichton, Michael. (1996). Airframe. Alfred Knopf Publishers.