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Ethics Discussion: Mechanical Problem with an Airline

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Suppose that a jet mechanic working for a major airline - we'll call the airline "AirXYZ" - finds a rather serious instrument wiring problem. The mechanic alerts management that the wiring problem is serious enough that it would cause the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ground the entire fleet of AirXYZ.

Using one of the three ethical approaches (Deontologial Ethics, Utilitarian Ethics, & Virtue Ethics), describe the ethics of this situation in the context of the benefits - and the costs - to AirXYZ of choosing to notify the FAA and consequently, choosing to voluntarily ground its fleet of planes.

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Utilitarianism or utilitarian ethics would be ideal in this situation due to the circumstances involved. This type of ethical theory focuses on what actions cause the greatest amount of happiness for the most people. Utilitarianism is based on consequences, and the main question that it asks is what the consequences will be based on the actions of the person making the ethical decision. In this case, we have a mechanic that discovered a very serious problem. Based on the mechanic's experience, he or she knows that the problem would cause an immediate grounding of the airline's planes. This shows us the seriousness of the defect and from this, we can make a reasonable ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the ethics involved in this case, where a jet mechanic working for a major airline discovers a plane defect.