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Ace Abbott’s Aviation Affair


Airplane accidents frequently result from subtle underlying precursors. It is very obvious that Asiana Flight #214 that splattered into SFO on Saturday, July 6 touched down well short of the runway. It is also very obvious that the pilots allowed the airplane to get too low and too slow. This accident will unequivocally be tagged by the NTSB final investigation as pilot error. Even during the preliminary discussion NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman stated that the aircraft was at an airspeed well below the target airspeed for the approach.
What set of prevailing circumstances allowed the pilots to fly this aircraft into this dangerous flight regime? Ace Abbott, his program guest, veteran airline captain and training pilot Bill Hurd, along with a student of human behavior and best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell (author of the Outliers), offer the premise that Oriental cultural anomalies were likely a contributing factor. The concept of “saving face” along with a military mentality of deference to authority, and a male-macho culture played a role in the accident.
For a unique perspective and some insightful discussion of the nuances relating to cockpit culture and the need for clear and honest communication, this discussion will provide such.