Re: High tech jets = High risk jets?

From:         rna@gsb-crown.Stanford.EDU (Robert Ashcroft)
Organization: Graduate School of Business, Stanford University
Date:         10 Feb 96 15:12:12 
References:   1 2 3 4
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In article <airliners.1995.2044@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
Chua Eng Kiat <ekchua@singnet.com.sg> wrote:
>Airam J Preto <airam@cs.man.ac.uk> wrote:
>>alfonso@melbpc.org.au (Vince Alfonso) wrote:
>
>>>The most obvious exceptions to this local rule are SIA, Cathay and
>>>DragonAir.  All use expatriate crews extensivley and as such all enjoy
>>>a high saftey and service standard  ...
>
>>This is prejudice.
>
>>Do you really think that the nationality of the crew makes any difference in
>>terms of proficiency and professionalism?
>
>I fully agree with Airam J Preto.
>
>What basis is there for expatriate crews to be more professional when
>compared to Asian crews? None.
>
>Vince Alfonso's view, put simply, is racist!

Actually, he didn't say "proficiency" or "professionalism".

There are cultural factors that can inhibit safety, and these go beyond
those mentioned by Karl in his recent reply (in which he mentioned
disdain for Western standards.  Incidently, the most infamous of these
may be the Avianca pilot who yelled "Shut up, Gringo!" to the ground
proximity warning moments before he slammed his 747 into the ground).

In particular, many other societies put a far greater emphasis on
deference to more senior people.  This has been recognized for some time
as a potential safety problem---a copilot may be far less willing to
challange a bad decision by a pilot.  Other cultural factors may also
play a part---e.g. pilot of one social class, copilot of another, or
pilot and copilot from different ethnic groups within a country, and
so forth.

Someone recently told me a story about Asiana.  I have no way of knowing
whether it is true, but here goes:  Asiana, when it started up, got in
a whole bunch of young pilots.  Later, it hired some older pilots as well,
who had lower seniority rankings within Asiana, but were actually more
experienced as former KAL and Korean Air Force pilots.  Within the
cockpit, these older guys were supposed to defer to the youngsters in the
left seat, but socially, the young guys always defered to the older ones.
Such factors need to be considered.

There's been a lot of emphasis recently on total cockpit management,
stressing cooperation between cockpit members, since this seems to result
in better safety.  It is reasonable and proper to consider how the
culture of the cockpit crew may affect such training.  They may need
to be trained out of unhelpful cultural biases (this in no way assumes
the West has no such biases---the recent stress on greater cockpit
cooperation is in part an attempt to de-emphasize traditional American
individualism).

RNA