Talk:Airframe (novel)

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Oh good grief! Is this a blurb from the dust-jacket or was Crichton's agent at that IP address? ToDo list for de-puffery. Autiger 03:41, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)

De-puffed... feel free to add.--J-Star 16:33, 2005 Jun 18 (UTC)

Its Ok[edit]

The Story is OK. the theme is alright, and the suspence is great. I give this book a 8.5, from a scale of 1-10


I read this and as the article describes, there was a strong link to deals and joint ventures with Chinese government. I read in the McDonnell-Douglas article that they were also trying a joint venture with the Chinese, one of the reasons for their eventual death. It would seem likely that the Chinese aspect was at least partially based on McDonnell-Douglas even if they were presented as a seperate company (and the N-22 incident was based on a MD-11 incident anyway). Any comments? Nil Einne 19:08, 5 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  1. Yes, I think it's possible that Crichton did base some aspects of the story around this incident, and the similarity is too uncanny to ignore. I think you could just be bold and add it in, but what would be even better is finding a book review that says the same thing, then we'll have a source and it won't be mere speculation.
  2. As for the MD-11 incident, if there's enough data available, by all means go ahead. It would probably be best to go to List_of_accidents_and_incidents_on_commercial_airliners_grouped_by_airline#China_Eastern_Airlines and add it there, since that's the airline which owned the MD-11. -- Saikiri~ 22:32, 5 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The MD-11 incident[edit]

The N-22 incident was based on an MD-11 incident. The MD-11 page doesn't mention any incidents. I guess it's fairly minor, compared to the Airframe version but is it worth a wiki page? Anyone ready to add one? Nil Einne 19:11, 5 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It was an MD-11, not DC-10-10[edit]

I don't know where the editor for the June 7 edit found that the real life accident would have been on an DC-10-10. The accompanying link on clearly identifies the plane as an MD-11 and searching the serial number on shows nohting other than it being an MD-11(F).


Aeroflot flight 593[edit]

The article says that the accident was modelled after a 1993 accident of MD-11. There was another accident in the same timeframe - Aeroflot Flight 593 crash in March of 1994, it may have been more closely related to the story in the book. --Itinerant1 20:03, 12 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Seems like the book is a blend of these two accidents. I do think however that the 1993 accident is the main inspiration and that the Aeroflot crash is more coincidence. But that's just me guessing. :) --J-Star 08:17, 13 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Plot is not reported correctly[edit]

If the plot of a novel is described in a Wikipedia article, I think it should be done properly. I just read this book, and the following sentence in the description is simply wrong:

"Embarrassed by the pilot's gross negligence, the Chinese attempted to cover up the entire incident by hiding the entire flight crew."

The crew is not hidden, first of all. Some are in hospital in the US, but mostly they return to their Hong Kong base - nothing illegal about this, since no law requires them to stay in the US (the incident happened in international airspace, for one thing). And of course it's not the Chinese who do this, since the airline is based in HK, which was still British at the time of the story.

Gsandi 13:02, 15 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Also, the accident didn't happen a half hour out of LA, the pilot requested a landing at that point, the accident happened almost an hour earlierFriendly Person (talk) 05:47, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fair use rationale for Image:Airframe cover.jpg[edit]

Image:Airframe cover.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

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BetacommandBot (talk) 04:48, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I removed the character of John Chang because he never actually appears in the book, he is only mentioned. While he is important, he is really a minor character —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rndmthght (talkcontribs) 15:33, 6 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Some Plot Holes[edit]

I'm having trouble understanding the plot. Doubtless my lack of knowledge is to blame, but perhaps if someone could explain we might arrive at a better understanding for the article (and future movie). Or, you could view this as a fun trivia/goofs quiz. I expect this isn't exactly what's usually on a Talk page. But there are problems with the Plot Summary on the main article, maybe this could help to develop that better. Some questions - feel free to answer or discuss right after any question:

1. Wouldn't the copilot normally fly the plane while the captain went for coffee and to stretch his legs? If the captain wished to let his unqualified son fly the plane, wouldn't the copilot's duty be to object? If there were three other pilots plus engineers plus flight attendants on board, wouldn't they have enough votes to prevent it? Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

2. Assuming the son is allowed to fly the plane, wouldn't the copilot be right there beside him to help him in an emergency? So it must be that the captain had his son in the right seat as copilot; left him alone (but with a flight engineer in the 3rd seat?) to go get coffee. The backup flight crew is then two pilots and an engineer. This makes a total flight crew of six. But both lists show seven. So there was a copilot that was displaced to let the son sit in his seat. Is this the understanding you have? Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

3. Original flight crew list: two engineers, five pilots  ??? One of these is an unqualified pilot. How did this list come to exist? Why would they list a pilot that is unqualified? If there was something iffy going on for which they could be sued or prosecuted why would they document it? I would expect him to be listed as a deadhead or passenger. Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

4. Revised flight crew list: three engineers, four pilots. What did the airline hope to accomplish by changing the list in this way? Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

5. BTW, where there is a backup flight crew, is there only one captain? Why not two? Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

7. A warning light lit up in the cockpit: was it "slats not retracted" or "slats mismatch"? Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

8. Wouldn't extending the slats to investigate a warning light be kind of a major config change, one that a sane pilot would want to discuss first with a type qualified pilot? Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

9. Wouldn't the autopilot normally be engaged on a long straight stretch? Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

10. Did the autopilot kick in automatically? Why? Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

11. Did the autopilot keep kicking in after it was turned off? Why? Or was that just something the flight crew made up? Why? Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

12. The autopilot was able to fly the plane stable with slats extended. A human was also able to. Why would the autopilot PLUS human be unable to? Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

13. Once the accident happened, why did the flight crew wait until they were past Hawaii to radio in? Why not just land at Hawaii? Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

14. How is it possible that a majority of CVR's and FDR's do not work? The notion that all parties would not want them to work seems absurd. Wouldn't game theory dictate that the airline's only viable procedure is to do everything possible to make the aircraft safe, and make sure the recorders work so as to vindicate them? How could insurance companies possibly not want them not to work, they do not wish to blithely pay out millions for every crash not being able to assign blame to either the airline or the manufacturer - the insurance company is never to blame in a crash and could only benefit from accurate readouts. Manufacturers would want them to work so they could correct any flaw, otherwise they would suffer repeated unexplained crashes, unable to fix a flaw they could not identify. They would never be able to stay in business. The unions would want them to work so the manufacturers would stay in business and they'd have jobs. The paying public would want crashes understood to prevent future ones. And wouldn't the FAA disqualify any maker of consistently nonworking recorders? Is there really any history of many nonworking recorders, other than when they are unpowered or very heavily damaged? Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

15. What's the deal with the copilot that died who was really the captain? Could hospital personnel not distinguish between a 60 year old and a 35 year old? Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

16. After Casey slid down the electrical cable, what happened to the two union goons? Why did no one see at least the one climbing down the scaffolding and call security? Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

17. How did Marder and Richman know what "really happened" on the flight? The way they were talking it looked like they engineered the accident to degrade the plane's reputation (so the China sale would be scotched, and Marder would be made president of the company on the basis of his Korea sale) But it turns out they didn't engineer the accident. So why did Marden talk like he knew what really happened? Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

18. What happened to the translation of the Chinese name on the cap? A lady was asked to translate it, when did she deliver the translation? Why would it take a day to translate one name? And what was she working from, Casey didn't give her the cap or any information on it. Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

19. Why on earth would anyone conduct a test by putting an aircraft in a hangar, in the dark, hoisted off the floor, with a net rigged underneath it, exercising all the lights and motors, with no one monitoring the test? If they turn on a given lamp, what measures whether that lamp actually lit up? If the computer hangs, the critical schedule would be lost with no one to restart it. What's the net for? Why the dark hangar? Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

20. I can't quite see the engines running at full speed in a closed hangar! How realistic would such a test be with the engines not running (and not generating electricity)? Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

21. Given that they are going to run such a test, why is the hangar left unguarded and unlocked so that criminals can come and go (the plane was under heavy guard earlier) Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

22. Is it really reasonable that an executive gets an idea, runs out to the hangar, goes in to check something while a test is running, without explaining to the people running the test what she's checking for or what she is going to do, and the people running the test are just fine with that? Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

23. Why is it OK to run up the stairs, go inside the plane, open panels, etc. but not OK to touch the handrails of the stairs? Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

24. How would touching a cable disturb the electrical signals inside it? These are not sensitive sensor signals; they are cables running many feet. Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

25. How could a brilliant electrical engineer, with the entire schematics for the aircraft memorized, have a panel open inspecting the wiring for faults and not notice an extra box plugged in? Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

26. If the test takes 2 hours per cycle, and they run a dozen (12) cycles, how could it be done overnight (8 hours or less) ? Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

27. Once Casey worked the old "our report will be released tomorrow, we'll do a press conference at noon" ploy, effectively torpedoing the TV show, what's the point of further trying to educate the intern producer girl with a test flight? Her plan is foiled, just send her away. Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

28. Why would an aircraft corporation, afraid of a TV show, let them film the test flight and even ride on it? They know the TV people are liars, it would only give them more footage to edit, crop, and slant. Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

29. Does it make sense to run a flight test, putting an aircraft thru conditions that stress it beyond its design limits, with a human aboard? Especially with a plane that had already been stressed beyond its limits and not checked thoroughly? I'd think all you're going to accomplish is demonstrate that crashes are spectacular. Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

30. No hint of helmets, fireproof suits, or parachutes for the three people in the aircraft during the flight test? Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

31. What's the logic of Casey deciding to ride on the plane to deflate the accusation that the plane's not safe? The issue is whether the type is safe, not whether this particular plane is safe - nobody disputed that it had been stressed beyond its design limits. Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

32. How does tightening a harness past the "firmly restrained" point into the "excruciating tourniquet" range make a passenger more safe?Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

33. If I understand things right, slats deployment adds lift to the wings. So to compensate if they get deployed at high speed, wouldn't you want to reduce lift? Pitch down slightly? the book has it pitching up slightly to compensate.Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

34. When Jennifer started to hurl, why didn't she grab the barf bag that was pointedly given to her? Surely as a TV producer scooting all around the country she'd ridden in many airliners?Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

35. What happened to the $16B contract with Korea? Did it just vanish?Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

36. What happened to all the tooling that was being sent to Korea? Did they ever get it back?Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A couple of other questions:

37. Why do CVRs and FDRs not incorporate a battery so they keep working even if external power is cut off?Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

38. Why are "First Officers" called that? Inferior to the captain, shouldn't they be called Second Officers? or is the captain not an officer?Friendly Person (talk) 05:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Nitpick Wednesday is it?
I am humoring you with this... but most of it is just a waste of time. None of it has any significance for the article.
1) As is demonstrated in the article, at least one real life air crash has taken place because unqualified personel were at the helm.
2) Yes, but that still doesn't prevent accidents like this from happening. Again, the article metions a RL case. This was - can we assumed - with a qualified captain and a qualified co-pilot... and it still happened.
3) You're assuming perfect rationality. Only Chricton knows why... but this fictional airline company did keep such a list. Insignificant nitpick.
4) Mistake? Trying to cover up? Noone knows but Chricton. Insignificant nitpick.
5) And why do we care?
7) Don't know... I have only seen the swedish translation. Why is that significant?
8) Again you're assuming perfect rationality. The pilot saw it as a minor thing and did not think it'd have any great consequences.
9) It was.
The article seems to suggest otherwise. I won't correct it as I haven't read the book. (talk) 01:36, 13 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
10) It was engaged.
11) The autopilot kept trying to correct the plane. That was a major point of the resolution of the novel.
12) Because the human and the autopilot were working against eachother, with the human making faulty input.
13) Well first of all I don't know where they were when it happened. But I think they were closer to the mainland than Hawaii when it happened. And again you're assuming perfect rationality.
14) Now you're assuming perfect rationality with the FDR. It's a device. Devices can malfunction. The CVR may have looped over the sounds from the accident. This has happened many times in accident that kept the CVR running long after the incident itself.
15) In the end, the correct identification was made. Mistakes as to identity, especially with foreign nationals are easy to make.
16) Because the goons were not interrested in tellign anyway they were trying to intimidate Casey.
17) What?
18) What hat? When did that get translated?
19) Because these tests are automated and you can indeed measure remotely whether a light is working or not. The safety net was as a precaution because people would be moving all over the plane, inside and outside.
20) External hydraulic and electrical supplies. It's not perfectly similar to a real flight situation, but close enough to detect obvious malfuctions.
21) Because the hangar was on Norton's facilities and that only authorized personel had access to these facilities. It's not as if unauthorized people are running all over the place.
22) Why is this significant?
23) What?
24) Again: what?
25) Well first of all it could be there... it was not out of the ordinary. And second, how do you know he looked there?
26) References please?
27) That was explained in the resolution: to hammer in the facts. Malnoe was given undisputable facts that the plane was safe with this test flight. This was essential in fighting off the slanderous story.
28) Because there they had full control over what happened. They were in charge and could easilly demonstrate that the plane worked perfectly.
29) The plane had not gone beyond loads for which it was not designed to handle.
30) For the same reason as they never include these things on test flights: the plane was not suspected of being prone to crashing.
31) If the type is not safe, then that particlar plane is not safe either. She's coming along to show that she's not worried about the safety.
32) Because the plane would be going through a series of motions that previously killed three people. Don't you think that is reason enough to strap someone down really good?
33) Yes, that is exactly what happened. The slats made the plane pitch up slightly and the pilot in the simulator pitched it back down again.
34) She tried to.
35) What?
36) Are you not talking about China now?
37) I don't know... but that is how they work.
38) And why is this even a signficant?
--J-Star (talk) 15:51, 3 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Other works in the lede[edit]

I disagree with the relevance of drawing attention to Rising Sun & Disclosure in the lede of this article. The article is about Airframe, not other novels - it's enough to mention that the writing style is in the minority, but not to the extent of naming others that fall into the same category. When you look into it, there are many works by Crichton that don't feature scifi prominently (if at all) - The Great Train Robbery (novel), Eaters of the Dead, Binary (novel) etc. Others such as State of Fear are probably not scifi as well.

The lede is to summarise the contents of the article proper - the two novels you name have no other mention in the article, and are of no import to this article. Chaheel Riens (talk) 14:55, 30 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If there are that many MC novels in this category, then neither does the existing sentence re: non-scifi merit mention. Else it should be replicated in ledes of those others as well. Seems most economical to find a place for it somewhere in article pertaining MC works. My oh my how our logic contorts when we design to pick nits! Wikkileaker (talk) 16:20, 30 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
WP:OTHERSTUFF exists to counter "If x exists in article A, it should also exist in article B", but having looked at it, I would support removal of the entire phrase from the lede as you also suggest. The comment isn't backed up in the rest of the article, so can be removed without issue. Chaheel Riens (talk) 16:42, 30 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Okey dokey. But if can find appropriate place for it in some other MC article someone in future who chances upon it may find it interesting. Wikkileaker (talk) 17:58, 1 May 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]