Culture and aviation safety

Yes the British (English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh) was the original settlers in many places. (Not only in the US)
But with waves of immigrants arriving, how many of today’s Americans can claim pure ethnicity from any of these British “nations”? (Or any other present day “nation state”?)

We ARE talking about today’s reality, not history, are we not?

PS> I don’t know if anybody here want to reveal the list of nationalities or ethnicities they claim for their ancestors?

Talking about the U.S. right now.

Woodward’s book lays the research all out. Voting patterns reflect the original settlement down to county level even today. The same with churches and many other cultural indicators.


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It means he is trolling. He conveniently ignores the fact that much of the research done on the cultural aspects of aviation safety was done by Scandinavians and instead attributes the findings to “American bias.” He chooses to continue his juvenile rant rather than read the citations provided which are counter to his nonsensical position.

Pure troll.

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Did they find that any pilot holding US citizenship was automatically better at piloting airplane than any other incl. Scandinavians? (That would be anti-Scandinavian)

Did they find that anybody that is Asia, (regardless of which Asia nationality or ethnicity) was a danger to aviation?

ITC: Where do that put Asian-Americans??

I maintain that race, nationality and ethnicity does not create better, or worse pilot or mariners. Even at the grave risk of be called “Troll”, or anti-American.
I’ll rather take that risk than risk being called a racist, or bigot.

For the n th time nobody is claiming that it does. The point is about the culture at different airlines.

Culture in this sense of the word:

b : the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization

For example people talk about developing a “safety culture” at a company or aboard ship.

It’s getting more and more difficult to believe that your augments are being made in good faith.

Here is an article about reducing accident rates in Alaska

Oh yes it has, several times.

Yes safety culture is the essence of safety at sea and I assume, in the air.
I have worked for years to instigate safety culture in the marine and Oil & Gas industries, so that is well know to me.

Training, experience and safety culture is what make for a safe working environment in any industry.

So if “Asian” (bad) and “American” (good), or any other notion that it has something to do with race, nationality, or ethnicity, is taken out of the equation, I fully agree.

That is what I have said and that is what I stand by.

I have seen where ships with crew of certain nationality has lacked safety culture, but also other ship with crew of the same nationality that has had very good safety culture and records,

And while I’m at it; the so called safety culture in many of the large drilling and oil companies, mainly consisting of writing Stop Cards and holding Safety Meetings only add to the administrative burden, both for the onboard and shore management.

Having the best available LSA and FFE + training and qualification is not so important, especially as it cost money that could be better spent on paying dividend and share buyback. (Or on Lawyers to fight claims, when things goes wrong)

PS> Oh yes, did I forget to say; hugh pay packages, stock options and bonuses for the CEO and top management.

You’re not getting it. National culture has been shown to affect air safety. A good example is the KAL jet that landed short in San Francisco a few years ago. The First Officer knew there was a problem, but in Korea you don’t speak up to your boss, so he didn’t. BOOM.

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It affect safety in the Maritime field as well. Indonesians has a culture that “prohibit” them from talking back to authority persons. It is also impolite to say NO, thus you don’t trust that a YES actually mean that whatever has been promised actually get done, or delivered.

I have written about this in this forum before I believe (??)

But it doesn’t mean that they are incompetent, only culturally different. That is something that have to be taken into consideration when trying to teach safety culture, but it can be overcome.

PS> I have also tried to teach safety culture to know-all Americans. I don’t know which is most frustrating. (At least the Indonesians are polite)

First, look up the definition of competent. The fact that an aircraft crashes due to “pilot error” by definition means he or she was incompetent.

After you learn what competence means, look up KAL 801, Avianca 52, and JAL 8054.
If reading the findings of those accidents is not enough to open your eyes, read a study written by Don Harris of the Human Systems Integration Group, Faculty of Engineering and Computing, Coventry University and Dr. Wen - Chin Li PhD in Aeronautical Decision-making Training from Cranfield University that states:

“High power-distance has been implicated in many aircraft accidents involving Southeast Asian carriers where crew resource management (CRM) has been identified as a root cause.”

If you were an airline captain and as resistant to information input in the cockpit as you are here, you would probably have been at the bottom of a smoking crater long ago. Your own prejudice and preconceptions prevent you from acknowledging that differences between Asian and Western cultures have been and continue to be a negative factor in aviation safety.

" I have also tried to teach safety culture to know-all Americans. I don’t know which is most frustrating. (At least the Indonesians are polite)"

When students fail to learn it is more than likely the teacher that has failed the students. The reason Americans frustrated you was because we generally call bullshit when we see it and hear it - even though that is not “polite.”

Carbine? were you riding shotgun?

A racist and a bigot refuses to acknowledge that national cultural differences frequently produce a negative influence in operational safety.

Aviation and maritime safety are both system issues . This is a fact and not in dispute. Culture and training are but two factors out of many.

Fundamental attribution error is:

the tendency for people to under-emphasize situational explanations for an individual’s observed behavior while over-emphasizing dispositional and personality-based explanations for their behavior. This effect has been described as “the tendency to believe that what people do reflects who they are”

Basically @ombugge is claiming fundamental attribution error is being made here.

Not exactly. Correspondence error is a little closer but sill doesn’t seem quite right.

. The correspondence bias is the tendency to draw inferences about a person’s unique and enduring dispositions from behaviors that can be entirely explained by the situations in which they occur.

—Gilbert and Malone1

Here is Patrick Smith’s response to William Langewiesche’s article on Air France 447.

I don’t agree that pilot error necessary means incompetence.

From the linked article:

Avoiding aerodynamic stalls, that’s Flying 101 stuff; almost nothing could be more basic. But one point that nobody ever makes is that even in the proverbial old days pilots would, every now and then, make similarly knuckleheaded mistakes, even in old-fashioned, seat-of-the-pants airplanes.

The way Boeing puts it; good pilots can have bad days.

You conveniently pick three accidents involving Asia Airlines, while 80% of ALL aviation accidents worldwide are attributed to Pilot Error:

Maybe this will gladden you:

It could not be because American has a tendency to think they know it all and “no god damned FOREIGNER” is going to teach us nothing"?

I did quite a bit of “teaching”, especially how to do lashing on rigs and drillships to be prepared for passage from Singapore to GoM, either by dry transport, under tow or under own power. Although FOC registered, the crew were Americans. Hanging ropes like garlands on fairly heavy objects doesn’t constitute lashing/seafasteniing.

Mostly this was required by Insurance, but I also did this being called for by drilling Contractor. (One time even by the OIM when he couldn’t get the crew to listen to him)

So much for “Safety Culture” and seamanship among US rig crews. Even the underwriters in London were familiar with lack of it, hence the system of Warranty Surveyors to attend on Rig moves, tows and any other Marine Operations.

BTW; “Warranty Survey” was started by Capt. Noble in the late 1960s, instigated by Lloyds insurance brokering house.
PS> He was a Name at Lloyds:

He started Noble Denton & Associates in 1974, together with Dr. Tony Denton. (Doctor of Engineering)
Now part of DNV-GL:

I started as a Freelance Surveyor with NDA when they set up an office in Singapore that same year.

Not being a Racist, or Bigot, I can accept that “national cultural differences frequently produce negative influence in operational safety”.
That is why I find that a crew of mixed nationalities is better for both safety and efficiency.

I also don’t agree that American crews are any more safety conscious, or efficient than any other nationalities.
In my experience they are not, although they may be more safety minded than the Russians on average. (Though Russian crew working for companies that has developed a good “Safety Culture” is both VERY efficient and safety conscious)

PS> Nearly all the crews on the semi-submersible HLVs owned and operated by non-Chinese companies are Russians.

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crikey I know a Singaporean local pilot he says of his airline, 30% can fly 30% need re training, the rest should leave the industry
Another well known guy i know who was chief pilot for many years , well respected by all nationalities, left because he was under too much pressure to allow pilots who shouldnt be in the industry to fly

Look at the last crashes, total clown show due to poor training hence low standard due to the asian ideal that everybody must pass.
Look at the universities and what comes out…

Even with mariners one nationality in Asia by far and away have the poorest skills probably in the world, most likely due their poor education/.lack of English and you never noticed?

Heard many a time from aircraft simulator operators, they see an old pilot flicking through a manual to get to the picture the same as the screen…oh boy!

Q/ how does an old pilot in Asia read the dials as they are only in English as are the flight manuals
A/ get a young FO

99.99% of stuff that happens in aviation in asia is covered up or not reported in the press.
Aircraft written off due to multiple hard landing, fuel emergencies etc are not making it to the press.
Did any Americans crash a 737 Max?
Lots of books can be written there have been millions of stories for years.

I think to compare Americans you need to divide the 2 groups, foreign going ticket holders and the bayou crew
The USCG allows a vastly different standards and the 2 jobs are exposed to different things.
I am always impressed with the bayou guys/gals ability to handle a boat and although moved into the world of DP after most countries, no issue with vessel control and most own a powerboat, their understanding of vessel dynamics is second nature.
Being at a rig with a DP failure is no problem

Unlimited Merchant Captains with the levers in their hands or on DP…ahhh scary in lots of cases.
No "how to drive a boat’ test to become an unlimited master which is probably at the top of the list of problems in the world of DP
Over 10,000 DP tickets were issued before there was a standard course and exam…