Malcolm Gladwell on Korean Pilots and Plane Accidents

I wonder if anyone is thinking the San Francisco Asiana 214 crash might have been a case of this situation rearing its head again.

One of the plausible causes of the San Francisco Asiana 214 is pilot error. I’m not saying it was, but I’m exploring it in relation to the video below. Basically, Malcolm Gladwell states that respect in communication towards others higher in a hierarchy than you, whatever hierarchy, is bad in the cockpit. Then he talks about how Koreans are very respectful, but that then translates to a bad flying record for their pilots. Like other pilots in the world, Korean pilots operate on a hierarchy in the cockpit. However, they tend not to raise concerns from the bottom up and that essentially nullifies the presence of additional crew to alert the pilot to potential errors. He’s got the records to prove it, along with correlation of level of respect for hierarchy among cultures, and air disaster frequency!

I’ve read the book Outliers and this was its longest part. The details were very convincing! However, I think this CNN video clip is all you need to see. Supposedly, the communications “problem” among Korean pilot crews has been rectified, but you can never eliminate anything completely forever. I wonder if this might have been a situation with Asiana 214 to have contributed to its crash. Just speculating like everyone else, but not on the same things as everyone else.

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