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The Next Crash: How Short-Term Profit Seeking Trumps Airline Safety [Kindle Edition]

Amy L. Fraher
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

If you are one of over 700 million passengers who will fly in America this year, you need to read this book. The Next Crash offers a shocking perspective on the aviation industry by a former United Airlines pilot. Weaving insider knowledge with hundreds of employee interviews, Amy L. Fraher uncovers the story airline executives and government regulators would rather not tell. While the FAA claims that this is the "Golden Age of Safety,” and other aviation researchers assure us the chance of dying in an airline accident is infinitesimal, The Next Crash reports that 70 percent of commercial pilots believe a major airline accident will happen soon. Who should we believe? As one captain explained, “Everybody wants their $99 ticket,” but “you don’t get [Captain] Sully for ninety-nine bucks"

Drawing parallels between the 2008 financial industry implosion and the post-9/11 airline industry, The Next Crash explains how aviation industry risk management processes have not kept pace with a rapidly changing environment. To stay safe the system increasingly relies on the experience and professionalism of airline employees who are already stressed, fatigued, and working more while earning less. As one copilot reported, employees are so distracted “it’s almost a miracle that there wasn’t bent metal and dead people” at his airline. Although opinions like this are pervasive, for reasons discussed in this book, employees’ issues do not concern the right people—namely airline executives, aviation industry regulators, politicians, watchdog groups, or even the flying public—in the right way often enough. In contrast to popular notions that airliner accidents are a thing of the past, Fraher makes clear America is entering a period of unprecedented aviation risk.

Editorial Reviews


"Fraher, a former commercial pilot and U.S. Naval Aviator, presents a seasoned analysis of today's eroding safety standards and their implications for future airline disasters. Though Fraher, now an organizational consultant, writes in the language of business school case studies and training manuals, her well-supported argument is indisputable: the post–9/11 state of the industry is perilous."—Publishers Weekly (July 2014)

"Amy L. Fraher's accessible book provides deep insight into a socially important setting, revealing surprising and disconcerting findings. It will be of interest to a broad audience."—Alexandra Michel, University of Pennsylvania, author of Bullish on Uncertainty: How Organizational Cultures Transform Identities

"Amy L. Fraher's message is delivered loudly and clearly. The Next Crash shows how financial motives are making aviation less safe, which will result in more accidents. The connection to Wall Street troubles is well made—and appropriate."—Patrick Mendenhall, Critical Reliability Concepts (, coauthor of Beyond the Checklist: What Else Health Care Can Learn from Aviation Teamwork and Safety

"The Next Crash is unusually well written and addresses an important topic. Amy L. Fraher's approach is substantive, not sensational, and she is well qualified. Fraher addresses issues that have long concerned me."—Key Dismukes, Chief Scientist for Aerospace Human Factors (retired), Human Systems Integration Division, NASA Ames Research Center

About the Author

Amy Fraher is a retired Naval Aviator and former United Airlines pilot who currently lectures in Organisation Studies at the Bristol Business School, UK. She is the author most recently of Thinking through Crisis: Improving Teamwork and Leadership in High Risk Fields.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1260 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: ILR Press; 1 edition (May 9, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,025,714 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Researched and Thought Provoking June 12, 2014
At first glance, The Next Crash reads very much like a college thesis: a student thought it would be interesting to compare two 'crashes' (airline and stock market) and draw parallels. And indeed, the first few chapters do feel a academic in that way. But once you get further into the book, it becomes clear this is a well researched analysis of the airline industry from an insider who was trusted with honest responses to interviews. Though very dry, it is an interesting read.

The emphasis (and perhaps bias) is clear: airline employees are the real casualty of the post 9/11 cost cutting era. Perhaps the marked difference between the finance and airline crashes is that huge executive benefit packages are siphoned from the clients in finance and the employees in the airline industry. The result is that safety in investments and safety in flying are the ultimate prices paid in order to pay the million and billion dollar payouts to executives.

Surprisingly, this book feels much more a cry for help to the industry rather than a Ralph Nader expose in the vein of "Collision Course'. The rape of the employees, callous handling of individual airlines by pirate executives, and bureaucratic inefficiency of government agencies who were supposed to oversee/protect the consumers are all the real meat of the book. Safety is never discussed as anything more than collateral damage to this mindset. Technical issues or specific dangerous situations aren't discussed (though several plane crashes related to poor pilot training and the advent of poorly monitored regional airlines are discussed).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An absolutely brilliant, timely, in-depth analysis of the flailing (and often failing) airline industry...especially where safety is concerned.

Dr. Fraher brings her multiple decades of aviation experience (USMC, U.S. Naval Aviator, Airline Pilot, Researcher, Educator)
to bear in this 'no-holds-barred' account of greed vs. safety...vs. US (the flying public and the pilots whose job it is to fly the planes)!

The historical citings alone make this book worth the price of admission!

I can also recommend another masterpiece by Dr. Amy Fraher: Thinking Through Crisis.
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