Submitting Campus

Daytona Beach

Student Status



Graduate Student Works

Advisor Name

Andrew Dattel, Ph.D.


Several aviation accidents from the past, such as the Asiana Flight 214 crash at San Francisco International Airport in 2015, have highlighted possible effects of Korean hierarchy culture on the safety of flight. Previous research conducted primarily with the use of surveys revealed that Asian pilots are less likely to report an unsafe condition out of fear that it will damage their relationships with coworkers and superiors. Western pilots see reporting as dealing with the problem and not a person, thus they feel more open to it. This study looked at student pilots’ ability to recognize and deny an unsafe flight instruction from a superior based on their cultural background. Ten Western and ten Korean participants were asked to fly around a mountainous region with low-laying clouds in a flight simulator. During the flight, participants were given instructions by the researcher, who pretended to be a flight instructor. One of the instructions was made intentionally unsafe and non-compliant with the Federal Aviation Administration regulations; participant reactions to the instructions were recorded. Significantly more Korean than Western participants were able to recognize the unsafe instruction, but significantly more Western pilots denied the unsafe instruction. It is recommended for the aviation industry to recognize and consider cultural differences when developing regulations and training programs, such as Crew Resource Management, to reassure the Safety Culture in aviation. Further research is suggested to determine other cultural factors that can affect safety of flight.

Document Type


Publication/Presentation Date



Daytona Beach, FL