“Airline Safety Analysis Is Weak”

Remember that chapter from Malcom Gladwell’s Outliers?

Foreign countries typically don’t have the infrastructure of flight schools, private pilots, and regional airlines that we have here, so their “major airlines” will hire 23-year-olds fresh out of flight school…The 24-year-old kid in Hamburg, Germany in March 2008 nearly wrecked a Lufthansa Airbus A320 with 131 passengers in the back by attempting a landing in a 50-knot crosswind. Would an American have done better? Gladwell suggests so, but really there is no way to tell because no U.S. major airline would let a 24-year-old anywhere near the controls of an Airbus.