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According to Outliers: The Story of Success from Malcolm Gladwell, more crashes are due to the captain than the first officer. He claims that the reason is that the captain ignore the warnings the first officer gives.

While this may explain things, is it the only reason? Or are there other reasons, like the fact that when the situation become dangerous, the more experienced one take control of commands?

The book seems to take one real example, but are there any statistics to prove that it's the general case and not the exception?

When you are on board an aircraft, “This is the captain speaking” may well sound more reassuring than a message from the first officer. Yet crashes happen far more often when the captain, rather than the co-pilot, is flying the aircraft. This is counter-intuitive, since captains almost always have more flying experience than co-pilots.

The reason, says New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell in an alarming chapter of Outliers, is cultural. When the captain is flying, the first officer tends to defer, even when he or she suspects danger, while the captain does not hesitate in seizing the controls from …

ps: I don't own the book, so it may be better explained in it.

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    as a person working in aviation and that reads a fair share of accident/incident reports, that sentence lacks some important qualifiers. starting from <<When the captain is flying, the first officer tends to defer>> applies in some cultures, not all. moreover, taking away any cultural bias, the data can be skewed by the fact that captains might be taking control in more challenging scenarios – Federico Mar 2 '20 at 8:49
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    Ask A Korean was fairly critical of this chapter: google.com.au/amp/s/www.businessinsider.com/… – Andrew Grimm Mar 2 '20 at 9:39
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    Considering there are statistics indicating "flight crew error" but no distinction between whether the pilot or co-pilot (or anyone else for that matter) made a mistake, I don't see how he could have possibly arrived at that conclusion without going through hundreds of crash reports... Sounds like one massive sample bias. – Asmael Mar 2 '20 at 15:02
  • There have been several notorious cases in the past where captains have ignored their first officers and crashes resulted. It was a factor in the worst aviation accident of all time where two 747s collided on a runway, killing everybody on one plane and most of the people on the other. However the practice of Crew Resource Management training has supposed to have made such events a thing of the past, as the FO now has the authority to override the captain if they think there's an immediate threat to the aircraft, and captain and FO are now supposed to cooperate more – GordonM Mar 3 '20 at 10:11
  • One question first. If the captain is controlling the aircraft most of the time and if the captain always is in control in the most delicate moments like take off and landing then he would be more likely to be the cause of the accident, but for a statistical reason, not due to psychology. Can this be the case? – FluidCode Mar 7 '20 at 15:49

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