View Full Version : Crew Resource Management: The Debate

17th Jan 2001, 00:04
Well, recently I have been speaking to several people about CRM. Airlines seem to have CRM down as an absolute must to be in line for a job with them. The question I am asking is whether there is "Crew Resource Management."

For example, I can't imagine the fighter pilots and bombers in World War Two not co-operating in and out of the cockpit with each other and the ground staff, can you? Everyone on that bomber would need to be talking to each other and co-operating; the bomber needs to know when to drop the bombs, the gunner needs to tell the pilots when to take action to avoid enemy aircraft as much as possible, the navigator needs to tell the pilots where to fly etc. etc.

As I see it, today, airlines seem to portray an image of ther being a lack of CRM within airlines years ago and that today, times have moved on.

Then, of course, while on the flight deck , pilots need to talk to each other baout checklists, emergency procedures etc. etc. or do they??? Especially with the aid of, for example, a GPS sustem. Obviously co-operation is needed before hand to talk the flight through, but not as much monitering between pilots is needed as the computer kindly does this for you!!!

Any thoughts????
:) :) :)

17th Jan 2001, 00:55

CRM is actually a big topic. Check out Tony Kern's book, "Flight Discipline" as an indicator.

Imagine the Delta Airlines MD-80 that recently landed short of the runway at SLC. At the first indication of significant glideslope deviation, one pilot hollaring, "Go around!" It wouldn't have happened. That's CRM. Similarly, imagine the pilot on the controls immediately initiating the missed approach upon hearing the command.

All the computers in the world won't save the situation when things go wrong. Look at the American Airlines crash at Cali. The computer only did what it was told. In the mean time, nobody was monitoring/flying the aircraft. CRM is a professional application of common sense and airmanship.

Check out the site at -

www.webpak.net/~skydream (http://www.webpak.net/~skydream)

Look at the CS-985 incident and the AK-506 story. For some bizarre reason, CRM is highly political. Can you imagine professionalism and common sense being political?

In the mean time, one incident and accident after the other happen with the missing element of CRM; yet the FAA does nothing and has officially refused to change anything where it counts - in the cockpit.

Check out the "Letter to Jane Garvey" at the Web site above; she still won't answer the letters referred to. The FAA very selectively enforces safety regulations and reserves the right to do so. They are not particularly in the safety business.

Look at the CRM failings in the case of AK-261, AK-259 a few weeks later & shortly afterward, AK-506. After 88 dead & two pilots out of a job, the Alaska pilots woke up to CRM - no more headlines for them - it works. Ask Captain Al Haynes (UA-232), he swears by it as well; he should know.

Pilot Pete
17th Jan 2001, 01:42
Sure there was CRM going on many years ago, wittingly or maybe unwittingly, but to suggest that it may not be needed now due to automation etc seems a little naive. If anything it is needed more to 'keep the picture'. Surely training specifically in CRM can help us all to do things more safely.........and that can't be a bad thing.


17th Jan 2001, 01:46
Quite simple really. In your post WW2 days, equipment reliability was low and killed many people. Today, the machines are reliable, the people not. Many events have been determined to be caused by a breakdown in communication on the flight deck. In the early days of CRM it was a case of getting junior co-pilots to speak up against beligerent "Atlantic Barons" (eg Staines Trident), nowadays the issue is far more subtle (American Cali). CRM is definitely an important flight deck issue that also crosses the flight deck threshold too.

[This message has been edited by AYLGR (edited 16 January 2001).]

17th Jan 2001, 01:50
I quite agree with you there, SKYDRIFTER, but my point is that there always has been CRM, but in this day and age of recruiting, CRM is seen as a new thing and that it is modern and the way that you carry tasks out in the cockpit is going to make you a better pilot.

It seems ironic to me that airlines are publicising this so much, but crew workload is dropping all the time, suggesting that less CRM is required. Don't get me wrong, of course we all need CRM, especially in emergency cases (such as Al Haynes' case). I feel that CRM is needed more now for monitering rather than actually carrying out tasks.

17th Jan 2001, 02:45
I don't think CRM has always existed.

Until "recently", as a pilot you were supposed to know the limitations of your plane, but nobody ever asked you to know the limitations of the human beings (including yourself in particular) and of teamworking.

A typical CRM courses starts with some biology, talks about circadian rythms and a whole bunch of other medical stuff. Then you'd talk about the limitations and abilities of every person, about the stress, about the errors and reliability in cockpits. Then you'd spend some time talking about teamworking: how communication works between people, the different types of characters, how decisions are made, how to efficiently manage the "human resources" in the cockpit, etc.

This whole idea to make things better in that field always existed, but it took some time before were managed to put it into practice and "master" that subject (even though progress can still be made).

By the way, have you ever attended a CRM course ? (just asking :))

17th Jan 2001, 02:57
Oh, I forgot one thing... http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/redface.gif

Ok, workload might be dropping, but in case of an emergency in a two-man cockpit I'm sure that CRM can make the difference between life and death, because workload is rocketting !

I guess we're on the same frequency here: if in that situation you don't have a crew where communication and decision-making processes are 100% efficient they might not see the next sunrise. But CRM needs to be practised, I think ! It's not like riding on a bike, you forget quite quickly. ;)

17th Jan 2001, 03:52

There has been a major shift in the workload, but it's a bit difficult to cite the load as actually dropping below that of a basic autopilot.

While the term struck me as a 'yuppie - ism' when I first heard it, the term 'information management' is now appropriate to take seriously.

Instead of staying ahead of an aircraft, the modern airliner ADDITIONALLY requires staying ahead of a computer. In many cases, it's a case of fine-tuning or reviewing the computer functions.

Although many flights are conducted with an en route chart untouched, that is a very poor practice. Enough power problems and electrical fires are showing up that elementary flying skills have to be maintained, including basic situational / position awareness.Theoretically, no reduction in workload.

The Cali crash demonstrated the permanent need for traditional situation / position awareness.

As an example, examine the 'escape route' from Bogota to Cali. Will your passenger oxygen canisters meet the requirement of the FARs? The computer doesn't know & can't care. Thinking (workload)is still required, including a discussion with the other crew members - CRM.

The computerized world also requires the CRM effort of the crew, as a whole, being "one-with-the-computer.' Now that state of mind also has to incorporate traditional knowledge and wisdom.

Imagine yourself forced into some place like Jackson Hole with an engine failure on a B-737-300 with moderate to heavy icing. No radar mandates a procedure turn. An experienced pilot will tell you that a missed approach with moderate to heavy icing will give you a nearly fatal surprise in the event of a missed approach. You're not supposed to know about the missed approach characteristics with the tail iced up - it can get nasty.

Now, the experienced pilot says to the other, "Given the icing on the tail, how 'bout adding an extra 20 knots until short final?" With CRM, the answer is, "Good idea!"

In another scenario, a flight is dispatched into an airport with heavy rain & crosswinds forecast to be gusting to 45K. One pilot mentions that the escape slides are only rated to 30 knots and the ability of the flight attendants to open the doors in high winds is a total mystery. Given elementary logic and the FAA's penchant for emergency revocations of pilot certificates, the flight is delayed until the winds are at lease forecast to subside. Good CRM. The AK-506 pilots will tell you that the NTSB judges don't go near mitigating circumstances.

Computerized flight planning, performance data and weight-and-balance calculation are the big changes, but those have been around for quite a while.

CRM is professional teamwork. Attitude is the major component.

17th Jan 2001, 05:59
Skydrifter has more or less hit the nail on the head. The first CRM course I attended in 1995 was generally well organized with the exception of the "parlour games" during the second day. I got bored and left to look at a positivly pristine DC-6B on the ramp (no oil drips, amazing) and so did 5 others.

17th Jan 2001, 09:07
Workload decreasing in modern cockpits? I don't think so.

Read the BASI Automation study and also the more recent BA comparision between "steam" and glass 737s. Workload is perceived to be higher in EFIS airplanes, especially in a non-normal scenario.

CRM courses for the most part are a distillation of "best practices" in the industry and dissemination of this information to line pilots. What's shown may well save your life one day. Whether you choose to listen and learn, or go off to gawk at antique airplanes is entirely up to you.

17th Jan 2001, 09:40
There seems to be a lot of emphasis on CRM within the flight deck and its importance, however in order for CRM to work it has to be implemented with all crew members, and that includes the people who work down at the back. I have worked for airlines whereby the flight deck door has not been considered a 'barrier'. I've also worked for airlines whereby going up on to the flight deck to report something out of the ordinary, or just to let them know what is going on has been difficult to say the least.
CRM is definately the way forward, but can only work if airlines bring cabin crew and flight deck together when training to break down the 'them and us' scenario that unfortunately is still prevalent in a lot of cases.

17th Jan 2001, 09:43
The need for Resource Management on an aircraft has always existed as has the need for Resource Management in our economy for example. The change that has taken place is the recognition of that need and the inplementation of specific training in the way we manage the human resouces at our disposal. As in economics it is an inexact science and therefore opinion and debate is part of the developement process.

The fact that recruiters see an awareness and knowledge of this area as a requirement is not surprising as so many accident investigations have shown poor CRM to be a contributary factor. The problem they face is that a quick read through any of the text books and attendance at a course is enough for any individual to gain a reasonable knowledge of the principals involve and to be able to demonstrate that knowledge at interview. Far more difficult to detect is whether the candidate recognises and accepts the need for it. How many CRM refresher courses consist of dozing through the videos, a bit of play acting and quoting a few buzz words then back to the old habits for another twelve months? Laziness is the biggest obstacle to sound Crew Resource Management. It actually takes considerable effort to apply best practice every time you turn up for work.

tubby one
17th Jan 2001, 12:10
if you still have any doubts as to the need for CRM I suggest that you go to the Uni of Texas site and examine the figures airlines a willing to have published showing the improvement in performance following CRM training.
Having flown in the early 70's in the military I can assure you that we got the job doen but there was not a lot of CRM happening - in deed it is a wonder that some crews made it home. The situation was the same in WW2, Korea and Vietnam. People do not readily inter react in a productive fashion without some training and awareness - hence the need for CRM. If you still have doubts go look at the United crashes in the late 70's early 80's that lead to the growth of CRM; you do not need to be Einstien to realise that the crews WERE NOT working together. The tales of "Sit down shut up and do what I tell you" from the Capt are not fairy tales they all have a strong base in cold hard facts. So if you have not yet undertaken a CRM course I for one would strongly suggest that you are in dire need.

17th Jan 2001, 14:15

Is there a link or anything available on the internet regarding what you mentioned ("BASI Automation study and also the more recent BA comparision between "steam" and glass 737s") ???

Thanks in advance !

17th Jan 2001, 17:41
Bash -

Good points. Examining the list of incidents & accidents, if one looks at the CRM failures, it quickly becomes apparent that CRM alone would have been the difference in probably at least 98% of the cases, regardless of other contributing factors.

CRM isn't the total solution, but makes such a radical difference that the FAA is nothing less than nuts to have put it in writing that they wouldn't take it to the cockpit level (in a letter exchange with the NTSB, for those not familiar).

In the Seattle news is a freight carrier who allegedly busted minimums & nearly nailed the brand-new tower cab. The major question is, "How did they make it that far?"

CRM isn't limited to aircraft assetts. My question is, Where was ATC, with a fogged-in airport?" I'm glad it was a miss.

Personally, I'm curious as to whether or not this was another crew fatigue incident.

17th Jan 2001, 18:04
Response to flygirl28

I agree with your comments wholeheartedly regarding "Coed" CRM.

After a bit of coaxing, I finally got to conduct CRM courses with both drivers and Cabin Staff for my last company (an 747 and L1011 ACMI operator).

The feedback from flight deck and the back end was very encouraging (With the 'odd dissention'). One can't overestimate the benefit, especially in a company with over 32 different nationalities working for it on the flight ops side. I can imagine that the 'big boys' could get their money's worth too.


[This message has been edited by Kato747 (edited 17 January 2001).]

17th Jan 2001, 18:49
IMHO, the "barrier" between pilots and cabin crew seems to be growing. The more common problem we face nowadays are pax related (air-rage, sick pax etc.) so perhaps CRM (in its current version) should be modified to improve the interaction between pilots and cabin crew.

Also, I think that Star Trek is a good example of CRM (no flaming please).

17th Jan 2001, 21:01
Kato747 & Elevation -

I agree wholeheartedly on breaking down the cockpit door barrier.

As a captain, I assess a flight attendant in terms of, "Will she/he come looking for me if we stick the aircraft in a ditch & manage to torch it?"

The AK-506 hearings were a real eye opener on cockpit / cabin CRM. The flight attendants claimed that they went to the cockpit, but never mentioned that the pax oxygen masks had actually been used. Nor, did they claim, that they questioned the captain's decision to continue, while actually in the cockpit.

The sad result is a subsequent distrust of the flight attendants to consider the welfare of the cockpit in any regard, as opposed to being prepared to testify against them in a hearing.

With the FAA's mediocre response to the CRM issue, I don't blame any of the 506 crew for the event, but I detest the FAA for overlooking the FAA role in the setup, then attacking the pilots as scapegoats while never caring about CRM, except as a lever to batter the pilots.

AK-506 should have been a lesson for all, nothing more. Additionally, the NASA reports & self-disclosure were demonstrated as useless / self-incrimination. Trusting the FAA is extremely risky business.

Using the same logic applied to the pilots, the same violation argument can be made against the flight attendants. The first officer filed a comparable violation against the flight attendants - no action.

Whether it's a cabin fire or a case of sky-rage, CRM involves everybody. As a safety precaution, I advise thinking in terms of the monday-morning-quarter-backing which is guaranteed.

Unfortunately, the typical flight attendant can cite numerous accounts wherein the cockpit was advised of a problem, but chose non-involvement; the story does have two sides. A lot of change needs to be accomplished.

The issue isn't about right-wrong, but about achieving results. CRM works! It needs to be a line 'norm,' not a transient classroom feel-good exercise.

17th Jan 2001, 23:18
I'd like to see CRM expanded (as I believe it is with some airlines) to include operations and crewing.

Would certainly help make improve communication between the two areas.

Spearing Britney
17th Jan 2001, 23:33
Well said WACO, drove in for a flight recently to find that the A/C type had been change and nobody had bothered to tell us. The reserve crew hauled in had been told 8 hours before, the new flight plans printed 6 hours before etc. Everbody knew before us, it just doesn't help to have stresses like this added to our job.

That said it probably would be a good idea to ensure full application of CRM in the cockpit before widening the net. The Atlantic baron still exists...

Mr Benn
18th Jan 2001, 00:06
Unfortunately, the people who have the most to learn from CRM are also the people who consider it not to be needed, certainly not for themselves, anyway.
I think the basic CRM course is good, the refreshers we have can be pretty boring and when they start telling us about fatigue and the fact we should sleep well and eat well or we'll get tired, well, it grates a bit when the reason we get more tired than necessary is down to other departments.
So I agree with the person who said that Ops and Crewing should also go on the course. Add Rostering to that.
I think CRM is important, but ultimately you must continue to re-examine your own attitudes and actions to see if you need to change things you do too. Its much easier to see other's faults.

18th Jan 2001, 01:34
I am a believer in CRM. But I also think it is a bit incomplete. I am a U.S. Navy pilot who practiced ACT (Aircrew Coordination Training). My view is that ACT incorporates CRM, but CRM does not necessarily incorporate ACT. In other words, CRM is great but should include more than just communication in the cockpit. The basic tenants of ACT include, but are not limited to:
Decision Making
Mission Analysis (more appropriate to a military assignment)
Situational Awareness
And a few others I don't recall...
(Other U.S. military pilots in the audience can add the 2 I missed.) ACT classes include a session of case studies: Every aircraft incident can be attributed to one or more of these breaking down. Just makes you think about the most remote possibilty and that's a good thing - to think about it before it happens. Anyway, I agree that what goes on "in the tube" can be just as critical as what goes on "in the pointy end". The big picture is what matters, and ego has to take a back seat to safety and that IS addressed in CRM.

P.S. - If ever a situation is developing, I remind myself that my motto is "ditching sucks".

18th Jan 2001, 03:05
EPCronk -

I agree. Is there a Navy manual on the subject?

As to rostering, I also agree there too. I find it alymost hysterical that the USA companies very often won't observe the crew rest regulations, but they will advise the crews on techniques to over-extend their capabilities.

From experience, I can attest that when you push the crew-time envelope, when a crisis develops in that regime, the body & mind give up with a surprising rate.

In my case, the FAA invented a regulation & hammered me with a B.S violation, rather than admit the value of CRM or that crew fatigue ever happened. FAA Southwest Region again; protected up through the White House. 'Big money' talks; watch your 'six.'

18th Jan 2001, 15:27
Yes, Skydrifter, there's lots of material available - briefing slides, movies/tapes, case studies, etc. I might scrounge up some old stuff I have around, but would recommend contacting any U.S. Navy squardon for it. Don't know if the U.S. Air Force uses the same program or not, so check your local listings... I've noticed a lot of these postings come from overseas, so your nearest U.S. military facility can direct you where you want to search. When you find a squadron, I recommend the NATOPS (Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization) Department. (If the Navy does nothing, it makes up rediculous acronyms...) Their job is to train all aircrew and should be more than happy to send you stuff gratis. Good luck.

18th Jan 2001, 19:21
EPCronk -

Thanks. CRM is essentially professional management. You're correct in identifying the expanded horizon.

In the AK-261 transcript, the pilots unsuccessfully tried to scare up help from the training department. It didn't work, but it was terrific thinking on the pilots' part.

18th Jan 2001, 20:53
Slightly off the subject but, since SKYDRIFTER mentioned AK261, I wonder why, with reduced pitch authority, they attempted to lower the flaps? Wonder if they received any information from their training department about this?

18th Jan 2001, 22:27
411A -

The flap / slat extensions seem to be uniquely acts of understandable desperation. It's unlikely that the training department would encourage test-piloting in such a scenario.

If anything came from an objective academic mindset, I'd think the suggestion of ONLY extending the slats would be offered, staying away from trailing edge extension. Without normal control function, the trailing edge flaps would probably have only aggravated the pitch-down.

It's impossible to say with certainty, but I'm convinced that the slat / flap extension caused a disturbed airflow over the remanants of the horizontal stabilizer, as the final precipitating event.

Cpt Nil Further
19th Jan 2001, 02:25
What about similar courses for Operations and Management, after all they never seem to bother communicating with flight deck.......... Ops.. somebody already suggested that.

[This message has been edited by Cpt Nil Further (edited 18 January 2001).]

7th May 2001, 23:07
WACO and Cpt Nil Further:

Interesting you guys hit on the same points.
I've seen Air Atlanta slammed recently in these annals.

However, they are the ONLY ones I know of, with certainty, who "routinely" include Flight Deck, Cabin Crew, Operations, Management and even wrench-turners in common CRM courses. Took a bit of cajoling, but when the brass saw the benefits at the MAD and JED bases, they did take notice.

I've departed AAI for sandier pastures but understand they're still at the front in this vein.

Mr moto
8th May 2001, 00:12
I think Mr Benn has a major point! I'd like to go further.
Those who most need to learn something about CRM can go on countless courses. It just doesn't get through to them that THEY are the problem.
The dinosaurs are dying out but they still have their admirers unfortunately.
That's not to say that I don't recognize and appreciate the work that went on to get aviation to where it is today. But the world is changing.
With that, the second wave of CRM is coming on-line after the backlash from its introduction. It can be an exciting tool and forum too discuss safety issues as they affect us. It can also just be a load of PCBS.
Let us use it as an effective tool towards greater air safety.

8th May 2001, 00:26
Three words for people who don't think CRM is important, Korean Air Lines.

8th May 2001, 01:49

A major pitfall that's killing a bunch of people is the non-issuance of the regulations - the most primitive but powerful of resources.

The 'industry' line is that the Operations Manual is a sufficient and legal substitute for the regulations - WRONG!

The Amazing part is that ALPA goes along with that nonsense.

[This message has been edited by SKYDRIFTER (edited 08 May 2001).]

8th May 2001, 12:31
We always had CRM we just didn't call it that. The airlines (and squadrons) that did it best had fewer problems. We called it Teamwork and Communication.
It has been dressed up now, but that doesn't make it better, just more acceptable.
I once asked Boeing how to identify the important areas of their operating procedures and checklists that applied to CRM. I didn't get a straight-forward reply, but the message was that if you fly the airplane the way they say it should be flown, you will achieve good CRM. Most airlines, though, think they know better and change or add to the basic Boeing procedures without realising that this degrades CRM. A similar case can probably be made for Airbus, but from what I have seen of that operation it is a long way from good CRM.
An example is the way the non-flying pilot will call all the bloody obvious stuff, including the FMA indications (which were put on the PFD just so they did NOT have to be called). A major distraction, and IF the PNF were to notice a problem during takeoff or landing (doubtful, since he is usually flat out reading off and reporting on the routine stuff) I doubt if the PF would even hear his call, since he has to tune out the constant verbal diarrhea.
To bore you to death, an example of what I mean: During a CAT3 approach (simulator) the IP failed the Flare at 50 feet. Since there was no FMA indication saying "Hey stupid! The flare has failed!" the FO sat there dumb as a plank. He actually called "Command" since the LAND 3 indication changed to CMD, but I did not have a clue what he meant by that. Hearing the Master Caution I went around anyway, but it would be better if the FO was tasked to call ONLY relevant things, and to call missing items as well. That way I would learn that what he has to say is important; the exact opposite of what I have to put up with now.
We are confusing useless chatter with CRM.
Real CRM is the same as it always was: Communication and Teamwork.

Whiskey Zulu
8th May 2001, 13:18
Mr Benn and Mr Moto hit the nail on the head. The people who already have good communication skills and consideration for others think CRM training is invaluable. The people in desperate need of CRM training think it's a load of crap.

8th May 2001, 19:50
With respect, I think there is some rather convoluted logic being applied here.

Let's see now. According to some, there are those who are already good managers etc, and they DON'T need CRM but think it's good stuff. Then there are those in desperate need of it, but they apparently always think it's a load of the proverbial.

I take it then that it's beyond the realms of possibility that there are those who are already good managers etc, therefore DON'T need it, but still think its a load of the proverbial?

Sounds a bit like the argument that anyone who disapproves of gays is by definition a closet gay.

8th May 2001, 21:57
One problem with CRM as preached by airlines is that the managers don't practice what they preach. The managers at the Company I work for have little regard for input from flight crew regarding operational issues.

Another problem is that issues that are identified in CRM classes never make it out the classroom door. I sat in a class where they used a training film that was made in a simulator about an actual event that occured on the line. The situation was not all that unique. The crew was presented with a problem that was inter-departmental, no APU and de-icing necessary, and no guidance was available to the flight crew in Company publications. The crew that was involved in the event and in the training film was present in class that day. I asked the captain, about one year after the film was made, if any changes in procedures or guidance were now available; his answer was no. Amazing. If it was so important to highlight in class wasn't it important enough to adress in actual operations?

As for reduced workload that is not the case. If anything workload is increased when airlines shorten ground times, in order to increase utilization, and then don't provide adequate means to plan flights and brief cabin crew, etc. Often times one enters an already boarded aircraft and then has to find, or make, the time to pre-flight the aircraft interior, find cabin crew to brief, and all the other stuff that goes along with proper pre-flight activity. At other times it is necessary to travel relatively long distances just to retrieve weather packets and flight plans. This of course is time that is wasted. Time that could be used to pre-plan and pre-flight.

Another problem is that cabin crew procedures and flight crew procedures are not the same. Cabin crew often don't know what we do up front and we don't know what they may do in the back. A good crew briefing obviates some of these problems, but not all of them.

Often times a flight crew will have a cabin crew change on every leg. This makes it even more difficult to manage if there are no common procedures.

In other words- CRM is a two way street. management must take some of the responsibility.

10th May 2001, 04:39
I'm very heartened by some of the replies here,on my favourite subject.As new to the industry I was horrified how far the Airlines are behind Industry in the UK, 10 to 15 years perhaps. CRM principles have been alive and kicking to forge effective safe and productive working relationships in blue chip companies I have worked for, and been sustained with training courses, refreshers and appraisals. Complaints? Of course the unknowingly incompetent sit there and say "yes yes I know" and they are the dangerous ones, but at least in the small minority.But in the Airlines? Bigger problem.
Having recently sat through an abysmal CRM induction which bored the pants off the flight crew, delivered by a well meaning but insular 35 year + experienced pilot who has never known anything better, I then proceeded to be told by a Captain on a jumpseat ride (I am an FO) to only speak when spoken to. Interestingly I observed him give a FATALLY flawed incorrect safety brief, miss switches despite 3 challenges and responding "on" (incorrect) and trot through controlled airspace unsupported as he missed the handover and went off frequency. (yes it happens) He fell into the familiar trap of thinking good CRM was all about checklists ticking boxes and social chitchat. No wonder such incompetence and distraction. For myself and the rebuffal, I can only be reminded of the tragic Sonia Hardwick who failed to warn the Air Ontario Capt about snow on the wings because a previous Cpt had said a similar dismissive with fatal results.
I can't wait to see our Captain's reaction when he finds out I am a CRM instructor
Waco I can only endorse that CRM courses with Flight, cabin, Ops and maintenance crews does work. I did several for a forward thinking middle east airline and it was BRILLIANT. Quite the best and productive I have done and the groups were really very appreciative and got a lot out of it.
Critcaart, I agree too that pilots get too insular and think it's all about them, although of course they are the ones to stop them (let's not forget it's still 70-80% human error despite automation, which brings in other problems such as passive monitoring ) There is always a chain and unfortunately poor administration and management can start the ball rolling. A certain US Airline with a poor accident record has a checklist that panders more to the insurance companies than being a sensible operation in the cockpit. No wonder corners are cut.
We could go on, but I really would like to say a word for Pprune. In general many pilots lead a "ships that pass in the night" lifestyle unless they forged personal ties outside of work, so problems anxieties are rarely aired in a confidential form, so any worries are difficult to share with work colleagues, except for CHIRP and good old Pprune. A great forum if only some mischief makers could be ignored. I do encourage the CRM groups to use Pprune if not openly in posts but direct to Emails as a way of sharing a problem and thereby perhaps halving it. Small steps

10th May 2001, 11:21
Problem is not CRM, that is a given, however you describe it - either in jargon yuckspeak psychobabble, or as someone said, airmanship, common sense and communication, teamwork etc etc.
Problem is the industry growth, the empire building by CRM barons who, by boring the pants off people in irrelevant and monotonous ways, devalue the subject, and give it a bad name.
Its all encompassing. With the new LPC status, training captains are now supposed to evaluate and pass us on "behavoural markers" and CRM is a pass/fail box, yet an entirely subjective assessment. Sure, abysmal and excellent CRM are obvious to us all, but there is a huge grey area assessed by amateur psychologists building their careers and kissing ass in an attempt to further their careers.
Like the previous reporter, I have sat through several appallingly poor refreshers. This has the danger of degrading the subject matter - even though I KNOW there is a case to be made for learning from it.

12th May 2001, 00:10
I think the essence of CRM is:
1. Captains make mistakes
2. Everyone has a stake in safe operations
3. No one should fear the authority of the captain when making a valid contribution to safety.
4. No one should be offended when his/her mistake is respectfully pointed out.
5. Everyone deserves respect

12th May 2001, 01:11
You left out number......
6. First Officers make mistakes.

And PLENTY of them from what I have seen http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/eek.gif

12th May 2001, 01:39
i think the reason FMA call outs are made ,is in case my piece of plastic with wires in, is showing something different to the independently sourced piece of plastic with wires in my copilot islooking at
agreed. i think

k we may have some similar tee shirts

I. M. Esperto
12th May 2001, 01:40
ANYTHING that in any way diminishes Captains Authority, is wrong, dangerous, and a foot in the door for further incursions.

This is especially true in the major airlines where the Captains have gone through a rigid selection process to get hired, then promoted, and then checked, and rechecked, etc......

12th May 2001, 10:08
Sweeper. There may be something in that, but you can fly the airplane with tape acros the FMA and by observing the basics you can see that the airplane is doing what it should. The FMA is not necessary for safe flight. Again, look at what Boeing says: Monitor the airplane! They do not say Monitor the FMA! Of course, we know better (not!)
Boeing tells you to monitor the speed, alt, heading and EPR. If you (both) do that, you do not need to monitor the FMA.
It is designed to alert you when something changes, and if you are doing your job you will see it, and regard it as confirmation of what you already know. If the FMA is your sole source of information about your airplane performance you have lost the plot. The majority of pilots out there, because of faulty training, are in this category.
When the airplane does a takeoff and SID, you SHOULD monitor that it does as it was programmed to do. Many times (just this morning, in fact) I have had FOs who have not seen a diversion from heading, track or thrust change, because all they monitor is the bloody FMA. If it doesn't happen there, it doesn't happen.
And they ALWAYS miss it when something that should happen doesn't.
We would be safer if the FMA was removed from the airplane, and if that can't be done, let it do it's job and don't call unless it is wrong. That way I just might start listening.
One more comment, if you don't mind; I notice that people who have only seen one way of doing something always defend that way. They are used to it and it works for them, and they do not see the inefficiencies or dangers. When someone like me, who has had the opportunity to see it done the right way (nearly always the way the manufacturer wrote it) they don't even want to listen.

And even though the Ops Manual might be written correctly, there are always those who take extra steps or variations, that have no value and sometimes are negative. But someone sees it and thinks "Ooh, I'd like to do that too!" So that soon everyone is doing it wrong. To the point that eventually the checkers are yelling if you don't do it too!

If you ran a business like that you would be bankrupt in a jiffy.

12th May 2001, 23:18
To 411A
You're right. No. 1 should have read "everyone" vice "Captains". Thanks for the point out.
My airline has a bidding feature that allows you to designate by employee number (Captains only) those you don't want to fly with. It's a nice feature although I never used it. I would think if you received a number of "avoid" bids, you would want to take a look at your methods to determine why. Interpersonal skills aren't universal but they are so important in the smooth functioning of a crew. A captain who makes the effort to get everyone on the team is much-loved and highly regarded.

Mr moto
13th May 2001, 01:07
Esperto. Wrong!

I see from your profile that you are retired.

The dinosaurs died out too.

I've read a lot of that 'when Captains really were captains' bullshit in American magazines.
They were the days but there's no place for it in the modern cock-pit.

Good CRM skills (teamwork) can only ever make a captain's position stronger.

Have a nice day now!

[This message has been edited by Mr moto (edited 12 May 2001).]

13th May 2001, 01:33

The copilot on Alaska 506 got burned for only questioning the captain's authority, as opposed to going to the back to verify the reality of the passenger oxygen masks. He's still trying to get his license back.

The FAA did an emergency revocation on his license and the NTSB Judge ruled that the copilot , holding an ATP Certificate, "..failed to exercise the highest requisite degree of care and responsibility, pursuant to the safety laws governing airline operations."

At the inquisition - I mean hearing, the flight attendants testified that they went to the cockpit, but never actually told the pilots what was going on in the back and that they were scared. Would a little CRM be in order???

Captain's authority - theoretically absolute; no questions on that.

Now go to the Air Mike Flight 985 case -

www.webpak.net/~skydream (http://www.webpak.net/~skydream)

The captain used the regulations, CRM and his automatic and declared emergency authority to effect a safe landing in Hong Kong. He not only got burned by the FAA, but you can't find a record of the event. Amazingly, his first and second officers praised his judgement in applying CRM in their statements. The FAA made the incident disappear. In theory, you need a Freedom of Information Act request to find it; the captain had to send out copies of the original documents to the offices from the white House down through the Inspector General's Office and the Justice department - no investigation. It may have disappeared again. The violation filed on the captain was for a flight taking place 2 days later (fictional. It was a safe landing; that's CRM.

CRM is good for any seat on the aircraft. Debate and rationalization won't change that. History is quite clear. In the past 4 years in the USA, except for EA-990, all the major accidents have been CRM failures. Particularly with respect to rule - 3; "Land as soon as possible." Even Boeing backed that one in hindsight in the Alaska 261 crash.

The bottom line is that CRM saves lives. At least give yourself the opportunity to live long enough to find another profession. CRM does exactly that.

The FAA refuses to push CRM into the cockpits, therefore, the U.S. pilots are on their own; so are the passengers. I recommend living to spend your paycheck; that's CRM.

I. M. Esperto
13th May 2001, 16:03
Skydrifter - You cite one case, which is a controversial one, and then claim CRM can save lives.

Using the same premise, I could claim it could COST lives.

In this case, as in Swissair and God knows how many others, a F/E would have been invaluable.

Mr. moto - I see from your post you are still a kid - a "pilot" who can't spell "cockpit".

Captains STILL ARE Captains. They will always have their foolish critics.

This is a seperate issue, granted, but it is one which I think should be addressed.

[This message has been edited by I. M. Esperto (edited 13 May 2001).]

13th May 2001, 16:56

When you can cite the philosophy -

1. Stabilize the situation.
2. Use all available resources.
3. Land as soon as possible.

Adding the element of dynamic communication -

- as having the potential to cause a crash, you have my undivided attention - HOW DOES YOUR SCENARIO WORK???

Conversely, the failure to apply CRM has cost hundreds of lives in the last few years. 229 on SR-111 alone; they didn't land as soon as possible. They screwed around with checklists which couldn't have worked - not the pilot's fault, of course - and tried to dump fuel instead of immediately descending landing when it was clear that they had a major problem. The copilot tried; but the captain's "authority" ruled.

Even Boeing said, "When it takes 35 minutes to arrive at the conclusion to land, something is inherently wrong (checklist time requirement)."

If you've got something concrete to offer, I'm listening, but in the absence, I hope you'll understand that my conviction is that passionately telling a lie doesn't create an iota of truth.

Back to you -

[This message has been edited by SKYDRIFTER (edited 13 May 2001).]

I. M. Esperto
13th May 2001, 17:34
CRM was not even discussed at the time I retired in 1987. I logged 20,000+ hours and never so much as blew a tire or scratched a wingtip.

If it ain't busted. don't try to fix it, as Murphy would say.

I flew F/O with old cranks that I thought were marginal in their abilities and decision making, but I kept my mouth shut, watched, and learned.

It all worked out fine without CRM. It should continue to do so.

ATP B-707, 720, 727, 747, 757, 767, L-1011.

13th May 2001, 18:03

The rest of us have to fly with an eye to dynamic safety.

I'm not discounting your experience. The concern goes the one's who crashed and why.

Hence; CRM.

No offense intended, but logic and anyone with the experience will tell you that CRM works. Going to the accidents, repeatedly - and criminally on the part of the FAA - when CRM isn't applied, risk is multiplied and CRM failures kill - unnecessarily. The record is clear, even if opinions are clouded.

If you can provide examples of CRM diminishing safety, I'm listening. Please don't confuse ego clashes with CRM.

"Captain, I'm looking at 110.3 as the ILS frequency for the left runway. Are you sure you're on the right plate?" - That's CRM.

"Captain, we've got smoke getting worse back here, we need to land." - That's CRM.

"Captain, we might be able to save the company some money on fuel, but if we get more than four turns in holding or miss the approach, we'll have to go to the alternate. Are you sure you don't want to add fuel?" - That's CRM.

"Captain, we don't have radar in these mountains; the procedure turn is mandatory. I know it's not in out Jepp manual, but it's in the AIM & TERPS manual." - That's CRM.

"Captain, we're diverting for a 'mechanical,' that invokes the emergency authority; we don't need to wait for Customs' permission to land. Let's get this damn thing on the ground." - That's CRM.

I assume it's okay if we use TCAS, that wasn't available in 1987, either.

I. M. Esperto
13th May 2001, 18:37
Shut up kid. We'll debreif over a pint.

13th May 2001, 19:14

Ya gotta deal.

[This message has been edited by SKYDRIFTER (edited 13 May 2001).]

Tom East
13th May 2001, 19:53
I work for an airline where the seeds of CRM has grown into an Empire. Yes it is an important safety tool in preventing the preventable...but, it can also become counter productive if allowed to sprawl as ours has. A prime example is the definition of CRM itself, is it: Cockpit Resource Management, Crew Resource Managment or Cabin Crew Resource Management ? I understood it started as the former, developed to the next and now been taken over into the latter.

In our eagerness to break down the barriers in the flight deck and the cabin, we have begun to create a more insidious situation. My airline has always been a 'cabin crew' orientated airline (our boss has seen to that), but, this CRM enhanced 'familiarity' is now breeding contempt.

We were supposed to break down the barriers, not blow the bloody doors off!

13th May 2001, 21:12
Tom East -

I won't argue that there's a limit to the CRM issue. There's a difference between CRM and power-tripping. As with the sexual harassment stuff, it can get turned into a blind power trip.

As much as I preach the issue, when power-tripping is convoluted as CRM, there's another problem. It's important to separate the two.

I've had a flight attendant over-dramatically describe an unruly passenger as needing cockpit attention. Going back to head off a sky-rage incident, I found only a moderately disgusted passenger who appropriately inferred that he was entitled to be treated with respect. The surrounding passengers suggested that the flight attendant needed a new attitude, as did the other flight attendants.

Conversely, I've had copilots decide that they are in over their heads and ask me to take their landing. I didn't care why they thought what they did; I was glad they made the timely decision.

When the action will clearly enhance safety, go for it.

We're stuck with the fact that good judgement isn't something that can be legislated.

You're correct that distorted issues don't equate to CRM. I would hope that such is academic.

I won't doubt that distorted issues would make another thread.

Mr moto
14th May 2001, 01:21
Wrong again, Esperto!

There seems to be a misunderstanding between a captain's authority and his responsibility.
It is not a captain which flies an aeroplane assisted by a co-pilot.

That's the shift in modern thinking. There is only one crew. If either member of it screws up, they both screw up, if its not picked up, that is.

You see, the business of flying aeroplanes has changed so much as has the politics of air safety.

Remember the dinosaurs? They couldn't cope with the changing conditions. Your reply stinks all over of dino-dung!

By the way, 'I' before 'E', except after C!

I. M. Esperto
14th May 2001, 03:08
CRM is a snot-nosed First Officers wet dream.

De-throne the old Captain, and you have anarchy.

Hey kid, next round's yours. I'm switching to a Dry Martini, Bombay Dry, with an olive, straight up.

Pinch that waitress and see if you can get her attention.

14th May 2001, 06:05
I reckon "bunyip" got to the essence of this subject in his post re the "contamination" of the manufacturers systems and procedures by overzealous Flt OPs and the almost pathological need that most pilots have to demonstrate that "they know better than the other guy".
Who knows better how to fly the aircraft safely, than the manufacturer who built and certified it, you mess with that, at your peril.

FAR25.101 General.
(h) The procedures established under paragraphs (f) and (g) of this section
(1) Be able to be consistently executed in service by crews of average skill;
(2) Use methods or devices that are safe and reliable; and
(3) Include allowance for any time delays, in the execution of the procedures, that may reasonably be expected in service. (my bold)

The recent QF1 was a classic example thereof and I would commend the the "QF1 overun" thread in Dunnunda as an interesting read.

Balancing ego and professional judgement is the trick.

The old joke about doing it "standing up in a hammock" because you can, seems to pervade the issue.

Boeing get right down to the guts of it, "keep it simple when it all turns to grief."

14th May 2001, 11:34
Wow, what a lot to comment on.
One problem with the CRM issue is that in it's early stages airlines tried to enforce a kind of cockpit egalitaianism. But there is a heirarchy of authority and responsibility of command in the cockpit of an airliner. The airline I work for has, in my opinion, been backing away from it's early CRM egalitarianism because Captains have felt, and I belive not without merit, that everyone was being allowed to make his decissions for him. I also think that they have been backing away from their early CRM training because CRM was percieved to be no more than two or three individuals getting along. Or- if we're talking then we're communicating. I think that CRM teaching has muddied the waters more than anything. The issue isn't utilizing the resources available; but some very poor training in how to do just that. CRM is getting bigger and bigger. Soon CRM failures in simulator events will be jeopardy events. I don't have a problem with this if the various airline training departments will do their parts to clean up their acts also. QF1 if it's the event I'm thinking was a good example, as has been pointed out, of this. Unfortunately CRM, as it is preached by airlines, has just, in my opinion, become another method to find a scapegoat in the event of an incident or accident. Not at all unlike how pilot error was the catch all excuse for many years. Having said all that I am sure that I have committed grievous blunders in this area. But none of them were intentional. And that is the rub. Communications failures are almost never intentional. Communications failures are ussually the result of some exteranl factor such as fratigue, poor schedulling, conflicting information, etc. A point that I try to empahasise when I fly with a First Officers whom I've never met before is that I want them to tell me if they think I am not doing my job properly. On the other hand I do think it is only fair and proper that a First Officer, Flight Attendant, Mechanic, Dispatcher, etc. treat me with the respect that my responsibility deserves.

I. M. Esperto
14th May 2001, 15:02
Every time I flew I would make a comment to my F/O and F/E to the effect that they should not hesitate to point out something wrong, if they saw it.

I briefed the Cockpit F/A to let me know if there was something amiss in the cabin that I should be aware of.

That's called "Common Sense".

[This message has been edited by I. M. Esperto (edited 14 May 2001).]

Mr moto
15th May 2001, 00:26
Yep. I gave you just enough rope to hang yourself with,

It was a snot-nosed first officer who was flying with an 'old' captain with marginal ability and decision-making skills who got killed along with everyone else in the Trident accident at Heathrow back in the early '70's.
He was probably just watching and learning.

They are your words. I rest my case.

I. M. Esperto
15th May 2001, 01:18

15th May 2001, 01:29
Esperto is perfectly right about 'common sense' behaviour. The trouble is that common sense is generally notable for its rarity.

CRM as trained for behaviour emerged because the research was clear - there were numerous fatal examples of decision making based on inadequate, distorted, blocked or inaccurately analysed information on the flight deck where good quality information was in fact available. The Heathrow Trident was a classic example.

What seems to me to be clear from the discussion on this thread is that CRM has become distorted by overlays of ideological egalitarianism and its opposite - rigid 'I am my position' authoritarianism; internal company cultures of various dysfunctional kinds (especially those to do with mistrust and lack of mutual respect); and a failure to build the necessary adjunct of leadership skills (especially the capacity to maintain the authority which goes with ultimate operational responsibility AT THE SAME TIME AS fostering and making intelligent use of open and critical communication).

My conclusion is that all sides of this debate can be 'correct' depending on the context. As an abstract concept about information use and decision making in socio-technical systems there is no doubt - it has been empirically demonstrated - that CRM represents superior system design. But it is always a grievous error to disregard culture and personality when designing management systems. Where there is a congruent culture (whether it be in a whole company or within the crew on a specific rotation) then CRM is a major contributor to safe operations. But where the culture is incongruent it only makes things worse. When CRM training in a company becomes associated with things other than a passionate concern for safety, then that makes things worse, squared.

Esperto's point is a great paradox - people with a full hand of the necessary skills and personal attributes don't need training. The converse of this is that CRM training is useless unless it is a vehicle for building the necessary skills and attributes, rather than as the inculcation of just another standard operating procedure.

I had naively thought that the next step had started a few years ago; that after Erebus and Dryden the C in CRM was becoming Corporate Resource Management, that is that whole organisational cultures were being recognised as essential to creating optimal operational effectiveness. It is evident that I was wrong and, in fact, that things may be going backwards.

Very disturbing

15th May 2001, 16:11

As usual from yourself, better and more succintly put it could be not.

Oh that the ones who can effect that paradigm shift were to read that post.

There is a glimmer of hope from our regulator, that they indeed understand that of which you speak.

The recent Ansett exercise was a step in that direction, it is possible that QF1/BKK has driven QF in that direction. The jury is still out.

Our SE Asian neighbours have some way to go in this regard.

Why is it so hard for them all to see what is soooooooooo obvious??


I can't recall whether it was the BAC111 or Trident test crew that reported attempted recovery actions and data all the way down to the ground from a deep stall. Didn't have a tail parachute or at least if they did it didn't work as far as I can remember. True professionals.

However I can't help feeling some sympathy for the individuals on whom we heap the idea of "stupidity". From where we now stand it certainly appears to be "stupidity", but it was not so in the context of the times.

Both Gal Galilei and Nick Copernicus indisputably the greatest thinkers of their time and whose insights into the nature of the universe were the foundation of modern science, had "to keep their heads down" long enough for the world to be ready to accept them.
Nick was on his deathbed before he would allow his work to be published for fear of retribution from the Inquisition.

In the context of the times surrounding the "Staines" event, what chance did ANYONE have of introducing CRM as we understand it today, even suggesting that "The Captain" may occasionally have feet of clay or that a mere FO was useful beyond doing as he was told, was absolute heresy.

Evelyn Waughs' beautiful writing rang the changes on the deep seated social issues and changes that were being resolved during and after WW11. We are only just now, finally, sloughing off these impediments.

15th May 2001, 22:20

Trident Sim
16th May 2001, 05:34

What you assert are facts about the Trident disaster at Staines, in your highly erroneous post, are so far removed from the findings of the Public Enquiry that some correction is necessary.

Let us compare what you say, with the facts as determined by the Public Enquiry.

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size="2">The first offier and Fe at Stains on the Bea Trident had written graffi about the captain being God on the Captains seat...</font>

Public Enquiry: ...it seems to us as certain as anything can be that the graffiti were not the product of anyone aboard Papa India on 18 June.

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size="2">...and they had a huge row over this and the pros and cons of the proposed Bea pilots strike.</font>

Public Enquiry: F/O Flavell asked Captain Key how these efforts were progressing. This question provoked an outburst from Captain Key....S/O Keighley was a witness to this incident....It is not known whether S/O Ticehurst was in the crew-room at the time.

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size="2">The manufacturers recommendation of an airspeed lockout devise to prevent the retraction of the lesding edge slats at a too low airspeed was rejected by Bea.</font>

Public Enquiry: HSA first of all introduced a modification to guard against that particular possibility of mis-selection.

BEA then asked for an extension of the modification to prevent the selection up of the droops in mistake for the flap on any occasion when the flaps had to be selected up.

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size="2">The young cream specially educated and trained fo and fe retracted the leading edge slats prematurely</font>

Public Enquiry: It seems likely that it was either Captain Key or S/O Keighley. S/O Ticehurst had no call to move the lever and if he had, the movement would have been seen and corrected.

Whoever it was who moved the droop lever, the other two, and certainly S/O Ticehurst, should have observed the movement.

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size="2">The Trident did a deep T tail stall from which without a tail parachute used in the flight tests it could not recover.</font>

Public Enquiry: HSA provided us with information on the recovery capabilities of the aircraft in the circumstances which existed in Papa India.

A satisfactory recovery should have been made if any of the following actions had been taken:

1. Speed had been increased by ten knots in the noise-abatement sector.

2. The droop had been selected down at any time before dumping the recovery system.

3. The control column had been held forward of trim position after stick-push.

4. The stick-pusher had been allowed to operate without interference until 200 knots was achieved.

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size="2">So by this the captains employers and the other crew members effectively placed the captain in an unflyable situation.</font>

Public Enquiry: ...we believe that Captain Key was throughout take-off and initial climb, distracted by some degree of pain and discomfort, that the pain was increasing as time went on and that the stage was reached where his powers of reasoning were materially affected...

...The only feasible explanation on the evidence for the steady deterioration in the speed from about second 83 to second 108 is that Captain Key was suffering from pain or malaise which distracted his attention from the speed and also affected his judgement...

...the abnormal heart condition of Captain Key leading to lack of concentration and impaired judgement sufficient to account for his toleration of the speed errors and to his retraction of, or order to retract, the droops in mistake for the flaps.

Acknowledgements to the DETR AAIB, for extracts from Air Accident Report 4/73.

We have learned a lot from that tragic day, when much went wrong, but the lessons we learned and the conclusions we drew were based on fact.

Should you want to learn more about the accident, click here (http://www.aaib.detr.gov.uk/formal/garpi/garpi.htm)

Trident Sim

17th May 2001, 00:25
Trident Sim.
In future my posts will state "Rumour was" so facts are not ass/u/me on a Forum titled Rumour & News.
In short I will be much more carefull in my post as you are on a different check list page headed Facts.
I had read the report and thanks to your steer done so again today.
It is worthy a read by the new generation of pilots as to what they are getting involved with and as to what a nice system our generation of pilots enjoyed.
How the net working system worked then and how things have evolved into todays system.
The human understanding of this reports author, the general forgiving theme is unlikely to be present today in MHO. In fact the whole tone of accommodation is astonishing today. Correct me if I am wrong but this was a British aircraft,certified safe, by the people investigating its crash in service with the national internal airline,does the report reflect this accommodation in some ways?
My rumour about the airspeed lock being refused was a Rumour told to me by the Hsa salesman who tried to sell it to BEA.I was at that time attached as a freelance contract captain to HSA.
A Fact is the accident report once again recommended BEA fit this airspeed lock after their crash and the Trident Sim.training content was improved.
Did they ever fit the airspeed lock?

We will do the drill according to the amendments to the amendments I er think?

17th May 2001, 01:45
I read the accident report and scanscanscan's comments and have concluded that there must have been an enormous amount of tension on the flight deck that night. Three people in addition to the Captain ignored the low airspeed and none said anything when droops (wish we yanks had cool names for parts) were selected up.

17th May 2001, 05:00
There are pages of this drivel now.
Does it not occur to you that I.M.Esperto is a wind up merchant.
Like all con artists he is plausible but we professionals can see through him.
Of course CRM is important. There may well be cultures which cannot handle egalitarianism but, in my neck of the woods, we talk to one-another and know that no-one is perfect and we all can make mistakes.

Trident Sim
17th May 2001, 05:35

Yes, a speed baulk was incorporated into the Trident Droop selector mechanism, to prevent a Droop ‘UP’ selection when the aircraft’s speed was below 205 4 kts IAS. Above this speed, a solenoid was energised to withdraw and withhold the baulk, allowing normal Droop retraction at or above 225 kts IAS.

There still remained the original baulk, which was mechanically connected to the Flap lever, which prevented a Droop ‘UP’ selection with the Flap lever selected to 10 or more. Both baulks could be manually overridden if required.

I try not to express any opinions about the accident, but I do agree that a modern Public Enquiry report would probably have a different tone about it, and probably the tone of the Enquiry itself would also be different.

Is it unusual, however, for an accident to a British registered aircraft, in Britain, to be investigated by British authorities (DoT AIB at that time), or that the Public Enquiry is chaired by a British Judge? Who else might we expect to do it?

Whether, as you suggest, this indicates that some sort of accommodation took place, or was just typical of the way these enquiries were conducted nearly thirty years ago, or reflects the fact that two of the three assessors were pilots, I wouldn't like to say.

I didn't intend to cause offence in my post, and apologise if I did, but merely wanted to set forth the facts, as the Public Enquiry found them.


You've read the report before forming your own views, and that's all I ask of anyone! I don't seek to persuade you to any particular viewpoint or conclusion.

Just in passing, because of the lack of a CVR, we don't know whether anyone commented on the low speed, or realised that the droop had been selected up too early, or if they did, said anything about it.

Boeing got it right by having a single lever.

17th May 2001, 13:37

Sent you those papers you wanted to your email address. Hope you check more often than I do mine.

Sorry for the long delay, didn't check this thread for ages.

17th May 2001, 14:46
Interesting that we practise engine failures, depressurisations and other catastrophes ad infinitum for the off chance that it may happen at some stage in our career but CRM, which we use each day, is not given much of a head of steam.

CRM is NOT just communication, it is team decision making, individual decision making, leadership, followership, interaction with 'glass' cockpits, conflict resolution, team building, task orientation, prioritisation etc etc etc.

Sure it has been going on for the entire time since Wilbur and Orville departed mother earth and reached for the stars but skills such as the ones listed above can NEVER stopped being developed and expounded on. I think CRM is about knowing yourself and knowing how to manage others and continuing to grow all at the same time.

I'm just sorry that I didn't get into this chat earlier!!

Nunc est bibendum

17th May 2001, 16:39

CRM is all too often thought of as a captain's surrender of power; it is not. A major part of CRM is dynamic communication from all parties.

A 'disappearing story' yesterday was a 757 reported as coming into Seattle with an engine shut down an hour out. While the story probably disappeared to skew the ETOPS data, the aircraft should have diverted into Vancouver BC.

Imagine a copilot saying, "Chief I know the company would love us for continuing, but two-engine regs require the nearest airport."

The message is clear and diplomatic.

If that didn't work, "Chief I know you're the captain, but the FAA is doing Emergency Revocations on copilot certificates, also. Push-come-to shove, I don't want to have to hang you to protect myself."

Yes, in my scenario, if the company doesn't issue or even teach the FARs - per regulation - the copilot wouldn't know the regulation. That's becoming increasingly more common - and profitable.

20th May 2001, 14:43

I just love Skydrifter's commitment. I also reckon this thread will appear in its entirety in my next preparation booklet for CRM courses.

Why? Because it is rational, reasonable debate and I believe that all of the participants should be congratulated on the civility of proceedings.

I was reflecting on my first (and best) CRM course that I was subjected to in 1985. Skydrifter reminded me of the key lesson that was left with me then, albeit in a different form:

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size="2">CRM is all too often thought of as a captain's surrender of power; it is not. A major part of CRM is dynamic communication from all parties.</font>

There was an earlier reference to Star Trek - IMHO an excellent reference, particularly regarding Voyager. Every episode contains excellent examples of inclusive communications and participative management styles, yet there has never been any doubt whatsoever as to who is in command.

It doesn't matter if Esperto is winding us up - I know that the attitude is strongly held by many commanders both old and young. Neither I nor anyone else will sway the unbelievers, but I can say that I recognise in myself declining capabilities due to age and other distractions - the inclusion of others in my decision-making helps me to uphold my part in the operation without in any way derogating my responsibilities as a commander. I would go so far as to say that inclusion and participation strengthen my ability to command, particularly as I recognise that I am only a fraction of the one-man band that I once was.

Stay Alive,

[email protected]

20th May 2001, 15:10
It is coincident that the Star Trek comment comes up again in this CRM debate. Back in the late 70s, in the RAF - at StarFleet Command (CFS) - it was always known as the "Captaincy Programme" (sic).

But reviewing some of my tapes - and I have a goodly number of them - this is not so far from the truth, even by today's enlightened standards.

Throughtout the Star Trek series there have been a number of "commander" styles portrayed. But they have all had a very strong theme on CRM or a very similar trait. The asking for, demanding sometimes, of advice. The correlation and the final command. Sometimes combining, sometime abdicating, sometimes not. Nowhere do I see an indication of a loss of command by Kirk or whoever in the final outcome. Sure these are fictional themes, but the message is clear to me. Whoever wrote these had a firm grasp of CRM well before CRM became a popular contraction.

It's just leadership people - that's all. Nothing more, nothing less. It has been called "Command Qualities", "Leadership Potential", even, God Forbid in these heathen times, "Airmanship / Seamanship". Some people are good at it by birthright, some people learn it. The rest I have no hope for at all. If you have it in your cockpit it often passes unremarked. If you don't it is like the voice of doom. Be advised accordingly.


21st May 2001, 14:44

You appear to be a windup artist. CRM is commonsense and communication.

A Captain needs to set the tone from the beginning. He should assure all the crew that their input is encouraged and will be respected. This approach should gain respect and set an appropriate tone for the trip.

A captain’s authority is not being called into question because he/she is letting the crew know they are a valued part of the equation. We all know the Captain is the final authority.

Enjoy retirement.

oriental bloke
21st May 2001, 18:40
ladies & gentlemen !!!!

sit back and READ !!! exactly what crm is about !! I have been quite appauled to read the recent posts on here, with the exception of flygirl28 !!!!!

crm is management ! end of story ! its about how you treat people , its about how you make an effort to get on with people !!!!!!!
its about a good DOSE of common sense !!

example ....... u push back from stand , and you go tech at the end of pushback ! sod the ground engineer he is at our disposal and can wait all day ! you talk to the cabin crew ! then to the pax ( giving the cabin crew their RIGHT to know first !! )THEN to the ground engineer !!!!!! there are so many experienced operators out there who do not have a CLUE how to talk to people!!!!!

crm is about prioritising !

guys and babes ,, please !!! think about our cabin crew , they fly the 200' at the back and have to deal with all the tossers ,

we like to think we've done a good job when the sectors went well and the dunlops do a kiss thing ....but lets think a bit more .???? !!!! ...flygirl ....fancy a beer ..?????

22nd May 2001, 02:26

I appreciate the compliment; thank you.

Having grown up in the Alaskan 'bush' I observed a shocking number of pilots who took off with the obvious conviction that they'd not come back; many didn't.

Some of these left families they clearly loved.

In Viet Nam, I saw the same trend.

My conviction is that all too often, a pilot will die with his image in place, before risking 'dishonor.'

As radical an idea as it is, it holds in an extremely high percentage of CRM failures.

I encourage all to park the ego for a moment and try it on your own experiences with the thought, "What if it's true?"

I passed the idea by one of the JAA officials, he wouldn't commit to a confirmation, but he cited several cases of very fine German pilots who seemed to have fallen into the very trap. In his words, "That's the only explanation I've heard for certain incidents and accidents that makes sense; I'll think about it."

The syndrome isn't limited to pilots - obviously.

Next, examine the cases where the syndrome wasn't expressed - safety resulted.

I encourage all to give that some very serious thought, as opposed to blindly formulating a rebuttal. It's an open idea; I'm here to learn.

22nd May 2001, 13:10
my dad always used to say that the motto of the US Marine Corps was "It's better to be dead than look bad" - sound similar?

"As you now appreciate, termination is in your own best interest..."