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Normal Accidents by Charles Perrow

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CHAPTER 5

Aircraft and Airways

This chapter will take us closer than any other to our personal experiences, for almost all of us have flown on commercial airline flights. Having survived, we know it is at least fairly safe. Yet aircraft and the airways have system accidents, as we shall see, and there are many examples of production pressures, malfeasance, incompetent designs, and regulatory inaction. Why did you fly without giving much thought to any danger, then? There are some unique structural conditions in this industry that promote safety, and despite complexity and coupling, technological fixes can work in some areas. Yet we continue to have accidents because aircraft and the airways still remain somewhat complex and tightly coupled, ...

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