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Conflict Theory in Airframe May 4, 2010

Filed under: Senior Seminar — stephrachman21 @ 12:01 am

Airframe is a novel by Michael Crichton. It is about Casey Singleton, a quality assurance vice-president at Norton Aircraft. Norton Aircraft is a fictional company that makes the parts for planes. Casey has to investigate an in-flight accident aboard a Norton manufactured airliner. The pilot called for an emergency aircraft due to turbulence but the events that occurred from the accident showed that something else happened. Three passengers died and 56 were injured. The plane is an N-22 that has an excellent safety record so the incident was unusual. Also, the pilot was well trained, so the possibilities of human error was unlikely. The only reasoning they could come to was that the accident was due to a technical problem, but that problem had been fixed years ago.

The media found out about the accident and wanted to talk to Casey about the accident. Casey was trying to avoid the press because it would make the company look bad. Finally after many events Casey found a tape recording of the actual flight that proved that the problem was not their fault. She decided not to let anyone know yet and go along with an interview with a TV show, Newslines. Casey had given the tape to Newsline beforehand, but did not let them know it was from her. She gave it to them so that later she could use it against them. During the first interview Casey choked and it seemed like she had ruined Norton’s chances for the sale with China, but she decided to allow Jennifer Malone from Newsline in to a test run, so she could see for herself that the plane was safe. She learned during the interview that they had the tape and were going to try and use it against her. During the break she found out that Bob Richman, her new secretary, was working with John Marder, her boss, to get Casey to ruin Norton’s chances with the Chinese sale because she had no evidence to say the plane was safe. Then Marder and Richman would make a huge sale to Korea and make Marder in charge of the company and Casey fired. Casey turned the negative into a positive, by using the tape as evidence of proof that the man flying the plane was actually the piolet’s son.

The Conflict Resolution Theory is about the steps one takes in order to handle/solve a conflict. The plot of the book was all based around this theory because the whole time they are trying to figure out what went wrong with TransPacific Flight 545 and solve the mystery of what happened. Along the way to trying to figure out what went wrong during the flight, Casey and the Norton company encountered many other conflicts, such as bad press, and had to find solutions to these problems.


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