|Quoting StealthZ (Reply 57):
My question is why does a professional pilot put himself in a situation that any reasonable thinking person could see will possibly have this outcome? Is it the money, is it desperation for a flying job?
In some cases, it may be the two items that you mention, but I also think there might be another pair at play, namely self-deception and reality-evasion. Some people think it can never happen to them
, let alone their being able see the situational threat.
Consider the following statement...
"The one thing you don't compromise is safety to be competitive," said Kevin McCutchen, a past president of the National Broadcast Pilots Association and a television news pilot for 11 years in Indianapolis.
, that's great in the context of intent, but is it supposed to preclude any possibility of an inadvertent
human mistake or lapse in judgement? It's sort of like the common statement the airline pilots are careful because they'd be first on the scene in the event of an accident. Again, great in the context of intent, but nothing makes them immune from making an inadvertent error.
A few months after the Air Florida crash back in 1982, a couple of researchers wrote an article about self-deception and reality-evasion, and how it applied to the accident. These two had no backgrounds in aviation--they were both biologists, and they contended that self-deception and reality-evasion were biological mechanisms within all of us. Just like the fearful kid whistles as he walks past the graveyard late at night, we tell ourselves that situations are not as bad as they seem (or might be) and we explain away warning signs to keep ourselves feeling positive about the eventual outcome. I won't attempt to recount the entire article here, but it was penned by Robert Trivers and Huey Newton in the fall of 1982, in either Psychology Today
or Science Digest.
I think it should be required reading for anyone in aviation.
Re: the PHX
mid-air, the only thing I can say with any absolute degree of certainty is that they collided--precisely how and why they did is unknown at this point. Anything I've mentioned above as a possible factor is just that--possible
--and the NTSB will be looking at alot of items as they whittle possibilities down into a probable cause.
[Edited 2007-07-29 05:24:16]
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.