Skip to main content
Phillip K. Tompkins
Year Published:

Cataloging Information

Fire Communication & Education
Crisis Communication

NRFSN number: 15969
Record updated:

Focusing on the 1974 Trans World Airlines (TWA) Flight 514 crash, Tompkins discusses the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) investigation of the crash and points to communication between the pilot and controllers and communication between airline organizations as principle contributors to the tragedy. Using this analysis, he critiques Perrow’s book “Normal Accidents: Living with High-Risk Technologies” (see annotation of 1999 reprint in this section) and highlights how current hazard research has ignored the central role communication plays in disasters. Promoting policies and behaviors that reinforce a culture of open communication may help prevent tragedies like the TWA Flight 514 crash.


Tompkins PK. 1990. On risk communication as interorganizational control: the case of the aviation safety reporting system. In: Kirby A, ed. Nothing to fear: risks and hazards in American society. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, p. 203-239.

Access this Document