Investigators combing through the debris and data recordings from the Asiana Airlines jet that crashed in San Francisco Saturday may learn more about what happened inside the cockpit of the Boeing 777 aircraft by studying an unlikely clue: Korean culture.
South Korea's aviation industry has faced skepticism about its safety and pilot habits since a few deadly crashes beginning in the 1980s. But despite changes, including improved safety records, Korea's aviation sector remains rooted in a national character that's largely about preserving hierarchy—and asking few questions.
"The Korean culture has two features—respect for seniority and age, and quite an authoritarian style," said Thomas Kochan, a professor at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "You put those two together, and you may get more one-way communication—and not a lot of it upward," Kochan said.
The Japan Times напоминает об обстоятельствах крушения грузового Боинга 747 в Лондоне 22 декабря 1999 г.:
The plane’s pilot was Park Duk-kyu, a 57-year-old former fighter pilot in the South Korean Air Force. The first officer was Yoon Ki-sik, 33, who had far less experience.
The investigative report said that Park was irritated by their late departure from London. The report said that though Yoon was communicating correct information to the tower, Park spoke at him in a “derogatory” fashion, saying, “Make sure you understand what ground control is saying before you speak.”
Seconds later, he barked: “Answer them! They are asking how long the delay will be.”
“By making these comments, it is considered that the commander contributed to setting a tone which discouraged further input from other crew members, especially the first officer,” the report said.
When the plane went into its ill-fated bank less than a minute into the flight, the first officer said nothing, even though the instrument in front of him indicated that the plane was turned almost sideways, the report said.
Author Malcolm Gladwell examined the Korean culture’s influence in airplane cockpits in his 2008 book “Outliers.”
“Korean Air had more plane crashes than almost any other airline in the world for a period at the end of the 1990s,” Gladwell said just after the book came out. “What they were struggling with was a cultural legacy, that Korean culture is hierarchical. You are obliged to be deferential toward your elders and superiors in a way that would be unimaginable in the U.S.”