When we think of risk factors when flying, politics in the cockpit is probably not something we’d even consider. But new studies have revealed that drama between pilots can sometimes compromise communication and mess up decision making.

Look, we don’t want to give nervous flyers more things to worry over, so keep in mind that accidents on board commercial planes are now extremely rare.

Seriously, think about the astronomical number of flights that take off and land safely every single day.

But in the very rare case that something does go wrong, 70% of the time human factors are involved. And sometimes it’s actually personality clashes between the pilots that causes the trouble.

A recent ABC opinion piece by post-doctoral researcher in cognitive neuroscienc, Eve Fabre suggested that tensions on the flight deck between the captain and first officer can lead to plane crashes.

The piece, which you can read here, refers to several high profile airline crashes that illustrate the significant and ongoing need for airlines to address these issues.

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Now the Virgin Independent Pilots Association (VIPA) which represents pilots from Virgin Australia Airlines, Tiger Airways and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines has put their two sense in, acknowledging the importance of human factors studies.

VIPA said it recognised the importance of cultural differences that affected hierarchy, assertiveness and power imbalance on the flight deck and the need for expanding research and training focal points that address these issues.

“The Association looks forward to seeing advances in training associated with fatigue, stress, attention, workload, communication and cognitive biases.”

VIPA and President John Lyons.

As Eve Fabre  puts it “detailed study of the impact of social factors on the way crews operate would be a boon to aviation safety.”

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So pilots, we’re all for you ironing out your differences, especially if it means a safer flight for us!

READ: Passengers applaud pilot after terrifying mid-flight experience
READ: From the air: Craziest pilot announcements, ever

What do you think of the idea that politics in the cockpit can lead to plane crashes? Let us know below.