The Next Crash
How Short-Term Profit Seeking Trumps Airline Safety
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.