Silence in Cockpit: A Qualitative Study

Çeken S., Ünsal P.

34th Conference of the European Association for Aviation Psychology, Gibraltar, Gibraltar, 26 September - 30 October 2022, pp.1-9

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Gibraltar
  • Country: Gibraltar
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-9
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


This study aims explore the Turkish first officers’ causes of silence in the cockpit. Although the silence in the cockpit is of vital

importance for the aviation sector, there are only few studies on this subject. For this reason, the current study conducted with a

sample of Turkish pilots (mainly first officers) aims to fill this gap. In the study, semi-structured interview method was used. 10

first officers (9 males, 1 female) working in companies in the Turkish aviation sector took part. The data was collected via online

interview (Zoom Meeting), administered during January and July 2022. The interview data were analyzed in MAXQDA 22

Statistical Program. Twelve sub-themes were identified by the content analysis, namely “captain’s manner”, “power distance”,

“lack of trust in the system”, “lack of knowledge on rules and/or procedures”, “relying on captain’s knowledge”, “lack of

experience”, “captain’s military background”, “fear of damaging relationship with the captain”, “feeling of futility”, “fear of

negative label”, “inefficient communication skills”, “being tongue-tied". Generally, results supported the Turkish society’s high

power distance and collectivist characteristics. In trainings, case studies basen on real experiences should be used to strengthen

communication among cockpit crew members. The development of confidentiality-based reporting processes would also be