24Trust in Safety-Critical Contexts

Brian C. Gunia, Sharon H. Kim and Kathleen M. Sutcliffe1

Introduction

On the morning of March 24, 2015, Lufthansa’s Germanwings Flight 9525, en route from Barcelona to Dusseldorf, fell from a clear sky, slamming into the craggy French Alps and killing all 144 passengers plus six crew members (Clark & Bilefsky, 2015a). France’s aviation authority reported that, prior to the crash, air traffic control had lost contact with the pilots, yet surprisingly had received no distress call. Early reports suggested that the crash of the Airbus A320 – carrying high school students, vacationers and others – was a horrible “accident” (Clark & Bilefsky, 2015a). By early next morning, however, preliminary analyses of the cockpit ...

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