safetypee, an excellent thread.
I wonder if the nature of the emotion generated in the AIE thread doesn't, in some way, show us one aspect of why, and how, interventions may not occur, or may not be timely?
I truly don't mean this unkindly - I'm making an observation and thinking about it...there almost certainly isn't one among us who has at some point in his/her career, not kept his/her mouth shut so as not to offend/insult/embarrass, or hasn't spoken up out of fear of retribution, dismissal of one's "silly" thoughts, embarrassment about possibly being wrong, or has disagreed vehemently which tends to re-direct the discussion into emotive responses rather than dispassionate replies? For example, we see just a hint of it here with new posters who know the reputation of PPRuNe..."I'm new here, please don't be hard on me, but...".
This isn't about "just growing thick skin". This is about fundamental human performance factors which come with emotions whether we wish it or not. CRM training and techniques are designed to take these factors out of the cockpit conversation and I think your characterization of the industry is correct in that CRM interventions work almost 100% of the time but not quite.
Such interventions are not always delayed because of ego, intimidation or an otherwise emotionally-charged atmosphere in the cockpit. Sometimes one is a highly-respected, skillful pilot with a stellar reputation and when a mistake or error in judgement occurs, it is not always a straightforward matter to point it out. Now, such a pilot would perhaps have already addressed the issue by making it "safe" to speak out and even make it a requirement of the operation in initial briefings, especially with unfamiliar or new crew members.
Aside from the examples brought up by aterpster I'm wondering now about the Safety Pilot on board the THY B737 at Amsterdam. What occurred there that nothing was said until it was too late? What about the complete absence of SOPs in the immediate response to the loss of airspeed information on AF447? Why no intervention? Cockpit gradient is only part of these discussions I think.
The piloting community is, despite occasional yet characteristically strong disagreements on techniques, aircraft types and so on, a deeply loyal community to its own. Part of that loyalty may be a misplaced sense of respect which may make one hesitate slightly before speaking out. In extreme cases of course, this can be a psychological and even economic matter in some cultures where fear of loss-of-face, or even loss-of-job is the driving factor and those kinds of things are well beyond airlines' capacity or even willingness to resolve.
Just some intiial, off-the-cuff thoughts on the question.