Crew Resource Management


Crew Resource Management

Crew (or Cockpit) Resource Management (CRM) training originated from a NASA workshop in 1979 that focused on improving air safety. The NASA research presented at this meeting found that the primary cause of the majority of aviation accidents was human error, and that the main problems were failures of interpersonal communication, leadership, and decision making in the cockpit. A variety of CRM models have been successfully adapted to different types of industries and organizations, all based on the same basic concepts and principles. It has recently been adopted by the fire service to help improve situational awareness on the fireground.

Overview

CRM training encompasses a wide range of knowledge, skills and attitudes including communications, situational awareness, problem solving, decision making, and teamwork; together with all the attendant sub-disciplines which each of these areas entails. CRM can be defined as a management system which makes optimum use of all available resources - equipment, procedures and people - to promote safety and enhance the efficiency of flight operations.

CRM is concerned not so much with the technical knowledge and skills required to fly and operate an aircraft but rather with the cognitive and interpersonal skills needed to manage the flight within an organised aviation system. In this context, cognitiveskills are defined as the mental processes used for gaining and maintaining situational awareness, for solving problems and for making decisions. Interpersonal skills are regarded as communications and a range of behavioural activities associated withteamwork. In aviation, as in other walks of life, these skill areas often overlap with each other, and they also overlap with the required technical skills. Furthermore, they are not confined to multi-crew aircraft, but also relate to single pilot operations, which invariably need to interface with other aircraft and with various ground support agencies in order to complete their missions successfully.

CRM training for crew has been introduced and developed by aviation organisations including major airlines and military aviation worldwide. CRM training is now a mandated requirement for commercial pilots working under most regulatory bodies worldwide, including the FAA (U.S.) and JAA (Europe). Following the lead of the commercial airline industry, the U.S. Department of Defense began formally training its air crews in CRM in the early 1990s. Presently, the U.S. Air Force requires all air crew members to receive annual CRM training, in an effort to reduce to human-error caused mishaps. [Air Force Instruction 11-290: http://www.e-publishing.af.mil/shared/media/epubs/AFI11-290.pdf]

Communication

CRM fosters a climate or culture where the freedom to respectfully question authority is encouraged. However, the primary goal of CRM is not enhanced communication, but rather enhanced situational awareness. It recognizes that a discrepancy between what is happening and what should be happening is often the first indicator that an error is occurring. This is a delicate subject for many organizations, especially ones with traditional hierarchies, so appropriate communication techniques must be taught to supervisors and their subordinates, so that supervisors understand that the questioning of authority need not be threatening, and subordinates understand the correct way to question orders.

Cockpit voice recordings of various air disasters tragically reveal first officers and flight engineers attempting to bring critical information to the captain's attention in an indirect and ineffective way. By the time the captain understood what was being said, it was too late to avert the disaster. A CRM expert named Todd Bishop developed a five-step assertive statement process that encompasses inquiry and advocacy steps:
* Opening or attention getter - Address the individual. "Hey Chief," or "Captain Smith," or "Bob," or whatever name or title will get the person's attention.
* State your concern - State what you see in a direct manner while owning your emotions about it. "We're low on fuel," or "I think we might have fire extension into the roof structure."
* State the problem as you see it - "I don't think we have enough fuel to fly around this storm system," or "This building has a lightweight steel truss roof. I'm worried that it might collapse."
* State a solution - "Let's divert to another airport and refuel," or "I think we should pull some tiles and take a look with the thermal imaging camera before we commit crews inside."
* Obtain agreement (or buy-in) - "Does that sound good to you, Captain?"These are difficult skills to master, as they require a change in interpersonal dynamics and organizational culture.

United Airlines Flight 232

Captain Al Haynes, pilot of United Airlines Flight 232, credits Crew Resource Management as being one of the factors that saved his own life, and many others, in the Sioux City Iowa Crash of July 1989.:"...the preparation that paid off for the crew was something ... called Cockpit Resource Management.... Up until 1980, we kind of worked on the concept that the captain was THE authority on the aircraft. What he said, goes. And we lost a few airplanes because of that. Sometimes the captain isn't as smart as we thought he was. And we would listen to him, and do what he said, and we wouldn't know what he's talking about. And we had 103 years of flying experience there in the cockpit, trying to get that airplane on the ground, not one minute of which we had actually practiced, any one of us. So why would I know more about getting that airplane on the ground under those conditions than the other three. So if I hadn't used [CRM] , if we had not let everybody put their input in, it's a cinch we wouldn't have made it." [cite web
url=http://yarchive.net/air/airliners/dc10_sioux_city.html
title=The Crash of United Flight 232
author=Capt. Al Haynes
date=May 24 1991
accessdate=2007-03-27
Presentation to NASA Dryden Flight Research Facility staff.
]

CRM Program Evolution

The basic concepts and ideology that make CRM successful with aviation air crews have also proven successful with other related career fields. Several commercial aviation firms, as well as international aviation safety agencies, began expanding CRM into air traffic control, aircraft design, and aircraft maintenance in the 1990s. Specifically, the aircraft maintenance section of this training expansion gained traction as Maintenance Resource Management (MRM). In an effort to standardize the industry wide training of this team-based safety approach, the FAA (U.S.) issued Advisory Circular 120-72, Maintenance Resource Management Training [FAA AC 120-72: http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgAdvisoryCircular.nsf/0/3e5ec461ecf6f5e886256b4300703ad1/$FILE/AC%20120-72.pdf] in September, 2000.

Following a study of aviation mishaps over the 10-year period 1992-2002, the U.S. Air Force determined that close to 18% of its aircraft mishaps were directly attributable to maintenance human error (source, U.S. Air Force Safety Center) [U.S. Air Force Safety Center, 2003: http://www.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?fsID=153] . Unlike the more immediate impact of air crew error, maintenance human errors often occurred long before the flight where the problems were discovered. These "latent errors" included such mistakes as failure to follow published aircraft manuals, lack of assertive communication among maintenance technicians, poor supervision, and improper assembly practices. In 2005, to specifically address these maintenance human error-induced root causes of aircraft mishaps, Lt Col Doug Slocum, Chief of Safety at the Air National Guard's 162nd Fighter Wing, Tucson, AZ, modified his base's CRM program into a military version of MRM.

In summer 2005, the Air National Guard Aviation Safety Division converted Slocum's MRM program into a national program available to the Air National Guard's 88 flying wings, spread across 54 U.S. states and territories. In 2006, the Defense Safety Oversight Council (DSOC) of the U.S. Department of Defense recognized the mishap prevention value of this maintenance safety program by partially funding a variant of ANG MRM for training throughout the U.S. Air Force. This ANG initiated, DoD-funded version of MRM became known as Air Force Maintenance Resource Management, AF-MRM, and is now widely used in the U.S. Air Force. [Air Force MRM: http://www.afmrm.org/]

ee also

* Single pilot resource management
* Charlie Victor Romeo
* Tenerife disaster
* Sterile Cockpit Rule
* Line Oriented Flight Training
* Helmet fire
* Staines air disaster
* United Airlines Flight 173
* Maintenance Resource Management (MRM)

References

External links

* [http://www.centurycrm.com Century CRM] The premier CRM provider in the US.
* {http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/849892B2-D6D2-4DFD-B5BD-9A4F288A9B18/0/DASCJournal2008.pdf Military Human Factors}
* [http://homepage.psy.utexas.edu/homepage/group/HelmreichLAB/Publications/pubfiles/Pub235.pdf Evolution of CRM]
* [http://homepage.psy.utexas.edu/HomePage/Group/HelmreichLAB University of Texas Human Factors Research Project]
* [http://www.globalaviation.com/cap737.pdf Crew Resource Management Current Regulatory Paper]
* [http://www.crm-devel.org Neil Krey's CRM Developers Forum]


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