Asiana Airlines announces training changes to improve ‘cockpit culture’

800px-NTSBAsiana214FuselageAsiana Airlines has announced it is changing its training for pilots to encourage crews to talk more and change what it calls a “hierarchical” cockpit culture. The changes follow the 2013 crash of Flight 214 in San Francisco, when a Boeing 777 crashed on landing on a runway in July. Three people died and 182 were injured.

An investigation by the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that corporate culture may have been an issue in the crash. “It’s a reality that within our country there is a leaning toward a patriarchal culture and many pilots work and fly within the strict military order,” Asiana’s CEO Kim Soo-cheon told reporters in Seoul last week. The NTSB highlighted significant cockpit culture issues on the flight deck of the Asiana Boeing 777 on a clear, calm summer day when the pilots allowed the aircraft to get low and slow on a visual approach to SFO. There were four pilots up front but only one of them said anything as the big Boeing wallowed into a seawall 34kt below its target speed.  The hearing on the crash in December showed that one pilot did not feel he had the authority to abort the low and slow landing. As a result, Asiana airlines is changing the way it trains pilots.

South Korea’s second-largest airline will now encourage a “friendlier” culture in the cockpit, instead of one based on airline seniority, military status or age.