I do find this a bit strange. I realize the captain is the primary authority but pilots are supposed to work as a team. Both pilots are required to have an ATP and with industry ups and downs that FO could very well have been a captain on that aircraft type but was downgraded due to furloughs. I can't really see the value in dismissing the FO's input. Sometimes the captain is making a mistake that is quickly becoming fatal as in the crash of Korean 8509 and United 173. The FO and FE knew exactly what was about to happen but didnt/couldn't do anything to stop it due to conflicts in culture at the time. If a certain KLM first officer had the authority to reject a takeoff we likely wouldn't have lost over 500 people in Tenerife. He knew what was up.
Both pilots do work as a team. A team must have designated leader, and every flight has a pilot in command, who makes the final decision and has the ultimate authority and the ultimate responsibility for the safe outcome of the flight.
There's a big difference between two pilots wrestling for control of air aircraft because they're making different calls, and a F/O who advocates for the safety of the flight. In a number of historical mishaps, we see cases in which the F/O was not vocal enough and who did not over ride the captain. We see Asiana crashing into a sea wall in San Fransisco with multiple crewmembers on the flight deck, including check airmen, who said nothing, despite being below the glidepath. This was a cultural issue. Not an authority issue.
If a First Officer is performing a takeoff, and the airline determines that the Captain will reject takeoffs, it's up to the captain to make the call and take control. This is typically how the rejected takeoff is done. The First Officer taking off may be focused on the outside visuals, making quick references inside, while the nonflying pilot (the captain in this case) makes the airspeed calls, and the F/O acknowledges them. The captain might notice airspeed stagnating and call "Airspeed" alerting the F/O to scan inside. Immediately the captain might note a windshear issue and call "Reject, Reject, Reject, I have the controls!" at which point the captain will retard the thrust levers to idle, deploy the speed brakes, achieve max manual braking and full reverse, etc, while the F/O ensures max speed brake deployment, calls out speeds, and notifies the tower that the flight has rejected the takeoff, where they'll be exiting, and the nature of assistance required.
The issue at Tenerife was not one factor, but. multiple, and yes, the first officer's (both) should have been more vocal. What is not needed is a captain attempting to take off while a first officer fights him on the controls to reject. A rejected takeoff is perhaps the single most dangerous thing one can do in a large airplane, and fighting for control while attempting to perform that maneuver is far and away more dangerous by orders of magnitude.
The first officer might be more experienced. I have flown as a first officer with captains who are nearly half my age, with a fraction of my flight time and almost no experience. That doesn't make me the captain on the flight. A good captain will avail himself of the first officers training and experience, but a good captain doesn't abdicate his job, either. I've flown as a captain with first officers who are more experienced than me. I don't simply defer to them because they have more years, more hours, more ratings, etc. I'm the captain. I have the final responsibility. What I do, however, is work as a team, use their experience, consider their input, listen to them, and keep an open mind, because it's what a good captain does. What a good first officer does, too.
A typical departure briefing will include all the basic elements. "We're starting at gate C1, and will be taxiinig to runway 18R via taxiways alpha, echo, and zulu, for a zulu-one departure. We will hold short of 27L and get a clearance, regardless of our taxi clearance. There is a hot spot at the intersection of echo and bravo. For the takeoff, we will consider any malfunctions prior to eighty knots. Between eighty and V1, we will reject for engine fire, failure, loss of directional control, or any malfunction that makes us unable to fly. If we do reject, it will be throttles idle, max braking with speed brakes deployed, and full reverse. Back me up on the speed brakes and notify the tower, and apply forward pressure to the control column. Above V1, we will take it airborne and treat it as an airborne emergency. Above 400' I'll call for autoflight. Left turn at 1,000 to one two zero, clean up at 1800. Notify tower we're flying one two zero and will get back to them. ILS is set for 18R for a quick return, and #2 on 09L if we're on fire. Departure procedure is the Tandy six, flown off the box, initial to ZEBBY, at or below four thousand. Minimum safe altitude is 2600, transition is one eight zero. Any thoughts or questions?"
That last sentence may be the most important of the takeoff briefing. It's asking for input, and is usually open to the rest of the cockpit, as is the briefing. A good captain will not only be soliciting input from the crew, but be listening for it, and using it. That listening doesn't begin or end at that point, either. Other crewmembers are welcome, and EXPECTED to speak up with concerns, observations, etc. They are not expected to assume control of the aircraft or take over as captain. If a crew is so dysfunctional as to be unable to work within the framework of captain and crew, then there are much larger issues and the flight should not depart, and any crewmember viewing or knowing of such a problem needs to speak out and has a responsibility to do so.
I flew with a new captain in a Learjet many years ago. He was a very weak captain. I was considerably more experienced than he was, and was asked to fly in the right seat on his first trip to LAX. As we taxied out of the FBO, we were directed to cross the runway. ON the runway he froze, stopped in place, and didn't go. He was unsure what to do, and wasn't listening. The controller yelled to clear the runway. Understand that LAX is one of the few places that is so busy that pilots don't read back any of their clearance except the transponder code. It's that busy. Now, stopped on a runway, the controller was fit to be tied (upset). He asked if we could depart present position. I replied yes. I told the captain to turn left and ran the takeoff checklist. He was behind the airplane, but he was also, as said before, known for being a weak captain, which is why I was sent with him.
During the takeoff roll, I got a door light, which meant the main cabin door. For the door to open would be extremely dangerous, and grounds to reject the takeoff. From my position in the right seat, I could see the door handle, forward and in place. The handle in place meant that the locking lugs were all in place, and I knew the airplane well enough to know that the light was activated by a small plunger below the handle, and any trim or a bit of carpet below the handle could prevent plunger activation. I could see the door was locked, and knew it was an indication problem. Never the less, I pointed to the light and prior to 80 knots announced "Door light." The captain was focused down the runway, did not acknowledge or show signs of stopping, and I was not about to fight him for control at that point. That would have been creating an emergency. I made the speed calls, he rotated, and we climbed away. I called positive rate, no response, called it again, and raised the gear. Once the airplane was cleaned up, I pointed to the light again and asked if he was aware that we had a door light.
He freaked out.
He tried to roll 90 degrees and pull, and I took the airplane away from him. He began shrieking that we had to return, and tried to make an emergency call. I told him we weren't about to turn back into departing traffic for a light. He asked what we should do. I told him we'd continue the climb past Seal Beach to the enroute structure, and then I'd verify the handle. I was able to reach back and poke the handle with my finger, and the light went out. No possibility of the door ever being an issue.
On another occasion, approaching to land at a Pacific Northwest airport, we were given a clearance to slow to 210 knots and descend and maintain 12,000'. He deployed speed brakes, retarded power to idle, and started down. Our minimum speed was 180 knots clean. As he approached 180 knots, he showed no signs of retracting the speed brakes or increasing power, and he did neither. We continued to slow. We were approaching 12,000 with tall mountains in the area, and he showed no signs of arresting the descent. I called out altitude, and airspeed with no response, several times. He passed through 180 knots as I pried his hand off the speed brake switch and pushed up the power; he reapplied the speed brakes and pulled power to idle. I took the aircraft away from him forcibly; he was nearly catatonic, not responding to anything, apparently locked in on his go-down and slow-down mentality. He very slowly turned to me and said "You don't need to yell." I said I did, that I had the aircraft, and we proceeded to the approach and landed.
Those two times taking control are extreme rarities and something most pilots won't experience once in their career outside of flight instructing. That I experienced it twice is attributable to flying with that particular pilot, who should never have been assigned as captain (I refused to fly with him again). There shouldn't be a case in which crewmembers are taking control from the other, and on the runway during the most critical time, the first officer might announce the reason for the a reject (engine failure, fire, elephant on the runway, asteroid, monkeys), but it's the captain's call.
Tenerife wasn't something to be stopped last second by the First Officer; it was something that should have been done before the takeoff roll began. The mishap has been picked apart every way from sunday and is often discussed on every ground school, every recurrent, every training event for most pilots, for the rest of their natural lives. Speaking up early and a captain who can listen, are crucial in the cockpit environment; the sooner the better. It's the reason we have a "minimum fuel" call. It's the reason Air Florida went off the end, and numerous other cases, from departing on a closed runway to making a turn to the wrong NDB in Colombia. Everyone in the cockpit has a stake in the outcome; everyone arrives at the crash site within a very short time period, and everyone has a responsibility to speak out.
At most operations, the captain has the responsibility to reject the takeoff.