Ethics In Aerospace Essay

2245 words - 9 pages

Ethics in Aerospace

The aerospace industry is fairly new in our day in age. It has been recorded in history that the first flight ever by man took place in Kitty Hawk, NC roughly 100 years ago. Since that first model, drastic improvements have been made in aerospace technology. Aerospace has evolved from simple prop planes to sound barrier breaking jets and even to space shuttles. The very definition of aerospace in the adjective or active form is “of or relating to aerospace, to vehicles used in aerospace or the manufacture of such vehicles, or to travel in aerospace.” In general, aerospace deals with any dynamic manufactured vehicle that travels above the surface of the earth. This, as you might expect, leaves two possibilities, the atmosphere or our earth, and outer space. Such basic examples of aerospace vehicles are Cessna planes, Black Hawk helicopters, Goodyear blimps and the Columbia Space Shuttle. Throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, aerospace has and will continue to be an integrated part of our society.

Safety in the ethics and industry of aerospace technology is of prime importance for preventing tragic malfunctions and crashes. Opposed to automobiles for example, if an airplane breaks down while in mid-flight, it has nowhere to go but down. And sadly it will often go down “hard” and with a high probability of killing people. The Engineering Code of Ethics states first and foremost that, “Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public.” In the aerospace industry, this as well holds very true, both in manufacturing and in air safety itself. Airline safety has recently become a much-debated topic, although arguments over air safety and travel have been going on ever since the conception of aerospace. Air safety will be discussed in relation to both mechanical safety and engineering error.

First and foremost, airline safety is something that affects anyone who flies. In the United States, this is roughly 600 million passengers per year. Throughout the history of aviation however, statistically the most common cause of airline crashes has been due to bad weather conditions. Yet in recent years, this has dramatically decreased due to advancements in technology. If compared to automobile driving however, airline safety is a far cry from dangerous. It is a well-known fact that flying is much safer than driving. But without a doubt there is much more dependency on safety when flying. Passengers in any aircraft put their trust in both the pilot and the builders of the airplane. In non-terrorist related situations, this is where the burden rests, and the ethics must come into play.

Pilots and engineers of aircraft must hold to the professional side in their routine flight procedures and such. Along with that, the issues of professional ethics come into play. It is in the FAA regulations that all pilots must be pass flight school in order to become certified pilots. ...

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