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Museum of Flight Lecture Unravels the Forensics of Airplane Crashes

Evening lecture and book signing with George Bibel

On Jan. 20, the Museum offers an evening lecture and book signing with author George Bibel. The presentation will show how crash investigators use physics, aerodynamics and mechanical engineering to crack the mysteries of an accident and how resulting safety recommendations are incorporated to make flying safer.

The Museum of Flight

Bibel is the author of “Beyond the Black Box: The Forensics of Airplane Crashes.” He has written for the New York Times, and has been a featured speaker for new engineer training at The Boeing Company. Bibel is also a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of North Dakota. The program is at 7 p.m. Admission is $10 non-members, $5 members.
About the book “Beyond the Black Box: The Forensics of Airplane Crashes”
The black box is orange – and there are actually two of them. They house the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder, instruments vital to analyze an airplane crash. But accident investigators cannot rely on the black boxes alone. Beginning with the 1931 Fokker F-10A crash that killed legendary football coach Knute Rockne, this fascinating book provides a behind-the-scenes look at plane wreck investigations. Professor George Bibel shows how forensic experts, scientists, and engineers analyze factors like impact, debris, loading, fire patterns, metallurgy, fracture, crash testing, and human tolerances to determine why planes fall from the sky – and how the information gleaned from accident reconstruction is incorporated into aircraft design and operation to keep commercial aviation as safe as possible. 
The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5 on Boeing Field half-way between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $16 for adults, $14 for seniors 65 and older, $13 for active military, $9 for youth 5 to 17, and free for children under 5. Group rates are available. Admission on the first Thursday of the month is free from 5 to 9 p.m. courtesy of Wells Fargo. For general Museum information, please call 206-764-5720 or visit

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