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Airframe by Michael Crichton


by Michael Crichton

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English (61)  Italian (2)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  Japanese (1)  All languages (66)
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
Terror fills the skies in Michael Crichton’s Airframe, when TransPacific Flight 525 suddenly “porpoises” while in flight from China to the US. Without warning, the Norton Aircraft N-22 brutally pitches and yaws through thousands of feet, killing several passengers and perhaps the future of Norton Aircraft. But what caused the deadly mishap? Was it counterfeit parts, as claimed by Norton’s finger-pointing president? Did the bizarre accident betray a concealed design flaw? In the ensuing days of chaos, Norton Quality Control VP Casey Singleton struggles to find the answer before an international conspiracy discredits the N-22 and unscrupulous news anchors air a lie that will bury the company. And she must do so while being set-up on the inside to take a fall by the very corporation she so desperately wants to save.

Enrolling the help of Norton’s steadfast engineering team and Teddy, a test pilot and sometimes boyfriend, Casey navigates the seamy backwaters of government regulation, corporate politics, and international “agreements.” Crichton further complicates her world by adding “help” from a corporate mole disguised as an intern with connections in high places. The mix adds up to a potboiler of mystery and intrigue, and it’s a page-turner. A self-professed soccer mom from the ‘burbs, Casey quickly steps under the klieg lights of unwanted attention as she scours through FAA regulations, maintenance tolerances, and testing protocols to link together a messy “chain” of aviation missteps. With flight crew missing, union goons seeking revenge, and a make-or-break sale hanging in the balance, Casey races the clock to uncover the true story of Flight TP 525 before her career, and maybe her life, meet an untimely demise.
  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
Simple story about an airplane accident and a potential company cover up. Not on par with some of Crichton's amazing work, but not bad either. ( )
  biggs1399 | Jan 19, 2016 |
This was mildly entertaining. There was so much exposition necessary to make the book make sense that it tended to drag quite a bit. Some parts of the book were fun, such as the parts featuring the news magazine, but it was mostly rather slow-moving. It's been a long time since I read a Crichton novel and I can't say as how I'm all excited to read another. ( )
  Tonestaple | Nov 21, 2015 |
I remembered this book as being the best thing ever back in 6th grade, when I graduated to "adult novels" and tore through a bunch of airport fiction—Crichton, King, etc. It had mystery, science, societal commentary, and even a few (obviously obligatory) action sequences!

In retrospect, though, the actual plane/engineering stuff is the only parts that hold up. If you're ever bored sometime, look up how planes have crashed on Wikipedia. Some of the stories are absolutely fascinating, and Crichton does a good job constructing the type of scenario that leads to real-life mishaps. (I would highly recommend Errol Morris' hour-long doc on Danny Fitch in his First Person series, coincidentally available on YouTube.)

The rest—from the plot to Crichton's weirdly preachy interludes where he rails against the media and other parties in a character's voice—isn't very good. I can certainly see how it would have been gripping to young-me, but it's kind of a novel that's more alluring in its knowing certainty to someone who doesn't know enough to question what Crichton's putting across. Remembering that's what I enjoyed as a youngster, I worry that the rest of Crichton's oeuvre runs into the same problem. Oh well.

Quick read, though. Easily tore through it the last few nights, only reading less than an hour each evening. ( )
  gregorybrown | Oct 18, 2015 |
you learn a lot about how the airframes are made. get a feel of the kind of stress those ppl are under and what the media can do. Superb book. ( )
  MugenHere | Jul 12, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael Crichtonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kankaanpää, JaakkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Crichton bevestigt definitief zijn briljante gevoel voor timing....de bittere overlevingsstrijd in de vliegtuigindustrie sluit naadloos aan op het voorpaginanieuws.
For Sonny Mehta
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Emily Jansen sighed in relief.
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Die krengen wegen tweehonderdvijftig ton, vliegen in drie vluchten de wereld rond en vervoeren passagiers op een comfortabeler en veiliger manier dan welk voertuig dan ook in de geschiedenis der mensheid. En wilden jullie ons nou echt vertellen hoe we ons werk beter kunnen doen? Wilden jullie beweren dat jullie er ook maar iets van weten? Volgens mij willen jullie alleen maar onrust zaaien, om wat voor persoonlijke reden dan ook. (Luchtvaartlegende Charley Norton (78) tijdens een interview na een vliegtuigongeluk in 1970)
Het ironische van het informatietijdperk is dat het een nieuw soort aanzien verleend heeft aan ongefundeerde meningen. (Verslaggever John Lawton (68) in een toespraak tot de American Association of Broadcast Journalists in 1995.)
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Book description
CAUTION- SPOILER ALERT - wikipedia.com- The novel opens aboard Hong Kong based Transpacific Airlines flight 545, (a Norton Aircraft-manufactured N-22), inbound to Denver. An incident occurs about a half hour off the California coastline and the pilot requests an emergency landing at Los Angeles stating that the plane encountered "severe turbulence" in midflight. The pilot gives air traffic control conflicting information regarding the type and severity of injuries, but does inform them that crew members were hurt and "three passengers are dead".

The incident seems inexplicable. The N-22 is a plane with an excellent safety record, and the pilot is highly trained, ruling out the possibility of human error. Passengers and flight crew give concurring accounts of the circumstances of the disaster, and the most likely explanation turns out to be a technical problem that was fixed years ago.

The accident takes place at a bad time for Norton Aircraft. Norton is on the verge of concluding an eight-billion-dollar sale of N-22 aircraft to the Chinese government. Should the N-22's safety record be questioned, the Chinese government might cancel the sale. Norton, already hit hard by the economic recession, desperately needs the deal to go through so the company can survive. With only a week left until the deal is signed, Casey Singleton, a vice-president for Norton Aircraft in charge of the Quality Assurance Incident Review Team, must find out what happened on the plane while dealing with disgruntled union workers.

A videotape showing footage of the incident appears on CNN, where it is seen by the producer of Newsline, a television news magazine. Hoping for her own story, the producer attempts to discredit Casey and Norton Aircraft.

Eventually, after a test flight was done to prove Casey's theory, the cause of the disaster turns out to be a combination of faulty and counterfeit parts and human error. While in flight, the airplane's computer and safety systems worked perfectly, detected the fault, and attempted to automatically correct the plane to compensate. The pilot had let his son, also a pilot, take the controls. Just before the incident, while the father was out of the cockpit, an error was detected and the autopilot attempted to engage. The son, being less experienced and not certified for the N-22, panicked and tried repeatedly to fly against the autopilot, causing the catastrophic accident.

The airline attempts to cover up the story, but due to Casey's persistence the whole situation is brought to light. The sale to China goes through and the company remains in operation.

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345402871, Mass Market Paperback)

Cruising 35,000 feet above the earth, a twin-engine commercial jet encounters an accident that leaves 3 dead, 56 wounded, and the cabin in shambles. What happened? With a multi-billion-dollar company-saving deal on the line, Casey Singleton is sent by her hard-driving boss to uncover the mysterious circumstances that led to the disaster before more people die. But someone doesn't want her to find the truth. Airframe bristles with authentic information, technical jargon, and the command of detail Crichton's readers have come to expect. Check out Amazon.com's Airframe feature and read an excerpt from the book!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:36 -0400)

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Following a series of plane crashes and passenger deaths a frenzied high pressure investigation is ordered with some surprising results.

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