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Crew Resource Management


Resources to be managed

People Information Equipment Consumables fuel, time, energy

Basic personal skills needed to effectively, efficiently function in the cockpit

Communication Coordination Conflict resolution Critique

To be effective in communication, pilots should be able to:






Communicate messages, actions and intentions clearly Encourage questions regarding crew actions and decisions Confirm messages are received and understood Provide non-defensive answers to crew members questions Actively listen to crew members input

I know you thought you understood what I said, but what bothers me is that what you heard is not what I meant.


Three parts

Sending Receiving Feedback must be looped


Provides information message

quickly efficiently

Allows coordination of efforts and actions If done well, message will be understood & accepted grid styles will affect this


Several decisions must be made

What to say How to say it command, question, statement Non-verbal tone, inflection, expression, body language Length Reaction desired Mode of transmission face-to-face, radio, body language, hand signals


Aspects of sending that can interfere with good communication

feeling that all is not right but cant explain failing to reveal intended actions failure to share significant information that everyone should know

Sending barriers

Poor choice of words Silence Assumptions Tone Over load Volume Negative body language Dark Seat positions

5-Step Respectful Assertive Statement

1. Opening

Address the crewmember by name. This alerts the person that you want his or her attention.

2. State concern

State what you feel or think, take ownership: Im uncomfortable with . . .

5-Step Respectful Assertive Statement

3. State problem

As clearly and succinctly as possible, define the problem.

4. Offer solution

Suggest at least one alternative for solving the problem.

5-Step Respectful Assertive Statement

5. Obtain agreement

This is your feedback; it lets you know that the receiver recognizes the concern.

Verbal Tools

Rushed Overload Back to business Are you OK? Safety, Not safe Im uncomfortable, Im concerned

Other tools

Briefing Touch Debrief or critique


Acquire information, data, feelings, concerns that others are sending Listener must:

hear what is being said observe non-verbal indicators posture, gestures, facial expressions, tone, body language

The process of listening

Receive hear, see, touch Analyze Assign meaning Understand

Question validity of information

When you hear:

probably possibly I think so I hope so maybe should

Listening barriers

Boredom Complacency Distractions Impatience Anger Dark Seat positions

Distortions to communication

Distortions can occur both with sending and receiving grid styles will affect Preconceived ideas Lack of attention Trigger words or topics focus on them instead of message


Communication should be looped or completed. Listener must hear and understand the message sender needs to know. Looped communication demands a confirmation of receipt.


Important to both sender & receiver Unlooped communications can cause accidents/incidents Recognize your responsibility to give or receive feedback When in doubt ASK! Dont assume anything

What is feed back?

Ask for clarification until understand Acknowledge Restate Confirm Observe

Question Disagree Answer Resolve conflict Restate

Sensitivity in communications

Tone of voice Inflection Facial expression Sensitive to what goes on in and around aircraft

flight attendants, ground personnel, ATC

Open atmosphere

Allows free flow of communication Encourages input Contributes to likelihood that all available information will be considered

Barriers to communication


rank attitude choice of words misinterpretation

Barriers to communication

Internal, continued


hear what you want to hear numbers expecting dont change altitude alert mixing/switching 200-220, 120-210 assuming other pilot heard the clearance

Barriers to communication


high noise uncomfortable temperatures high workload uncertain policies/procedures unable to see each other smoke, dark, seat location

When the rear-seat pilot of a dual-piloted T-33 aircraft attempted to adjust his position, he inadvertently deployed the life raft in the seat bucket survival kit. As the raft inflated, it pushed the stick forward, which caused the aircraft to pitch nose down. The front seat pilot attempted to correct the dive, but met resistance when he pulled the stick back.

Communication, continued
Meanwhile, the back seater found and deployed the raft deflation tool. The front seater, trying to solve the control problem, heard an explosion as the cockpit filled with talcum powder from inside the raft, which looked very much like smoke. He identified the problem as an engine failure, closed the throttle and secured the engine.

Communication, continued
As the haze cleared in the back, the back seater noticed the apparent engine flameout and ejected. The front seater then deadsticked the aircraft into a field. Throughout this entire sequence, not a word was spoken.


Process used to share and consider information, plans, operational activities Reduces potential for error because of overlooked or disregarded information Enhances early detection of deviations


The way coordination takes place affects the ability of the crew to function, follow the plan, react to problems As with communication, grid style affects quality and effectiveness of coordination

Conflict resolution

Definition of conflict anytime two sources dont agree - people - instruments - information

Conflict resolution

Conflict is inevitable!

differences in thoughts, feelings, opinions, values may lead to disagreement or disputes

Not necessarily bad depends on how it is handled

Conflict resolution

Conflict must be resolved

At time of conflict if time permits or On ground if necessary or With management if necessary


Joint examination of an activity or flight to improve both individual and crew effectiveness Discussions about flight informal, constructive, descriptive


Learning from experience Occur during flight or on ground after Focus on problem not person Debriefing is part Expand debriefing = critique Non-judgmental Others describe how they perceived actions


During flight

Problem solve among crew Aid crew in summarizing what went well and why Examine ways problems might more effectively be resolved

After flight

Feedback is the heart of critique

Advanced skills

Inquiry Advocacy

Both are forms of sending and require feedback


Request for ideas, opinions, information, or suggestions specific to a situation Raise ones own situational awareness Attitude of checking and rechecking as well as the action of asking a question not only verbal but a state-of-mind


Curiosity Skepticism Interest Not complacent Maximize learning and awareness Ensures larger gains in knowledge

Effective Inquiry

Decide what, how and who to ask Clear and concise question Relate concerns accurately Specifically ask for feedback Keep an open mind Draw conclusions from valid input

Disregard maybe I think probably


Every crew member is responsible Take nothing for granted


The act of expressing information, opinions, suggestions about a particular situation to someone in order to gain acceptance of ones view Used to raise someone elses situational awareness

Effective Advocacy

State position Suggest solutions Be persistent Use quality communications Appropriate timing Honesty Listen carefully Keep an open mind


Assertive form of communication Obligation of every crew member to advocate

What is a role?

Position Set of behaviors


Position defined by the relationship to other positions

Captain Co-pilot Second Officer


Position includes

Title Status level Left seat

Position behaviors

Expected to behave like a Captain, FO, etc. Behave the way other people expect a Captain, FO to behave

Role senders

company FAA other pilots controllers

maintenance flight attendants instructors passengers

The person him/herself has expectations

Role senders

Some more important than others

superiors those who can reward or punish those who work closely with the person

Role senders communicate expectations Some expectations are always part of a role Captain is in command always

The role of Captain

authority, command person in charge leader responsibility obligations importance also cockpit/flying tasks

Role of the FAA

FAA establishes regulations minimum levels of safety that all aviation companies must meet Carriers must operate at the highest practical level of safety operate above the minimum standards. Prevents chaos

Operate at a higher standard


Costs Reputation Require more


training home study Initial Operating Experience (IOE) many pilots demand more of themselves

Role of the Flight Operations Department

Ensures regulations are administered and followed Ensures corporate objectives are followed (safety, profitability)

Managing cockpit roles

Making sure each crew member is working on the right tasks for the particular situation Must have some way of setting priorities

System for managing tasks

A tasks immediately critical to successful operations B tasks not immediately critical but will become critical (an A task) if not accomplished in near future C tasks productive and useful but will never become an A task

Role ambiguity

Unclear or confusion about what each crewmember is supposed to be doing

Unstated expectations

Whos flying the airplane? Whos looking out the window?

Auto-pilot complacency no monitor

Role conflict

Get conflicting signals from different role senders Must be clear about priorities Captain must help others manage role conflict

Role overload

When a person has more to do than is possible for him to do

Stressful Increases possibility of error help each crewmember manage inputs balance workload among crew

Captain must:

Boundary management

Cockpit boundary

ATC communications cross boundary FA entering crosses boundary

Sterile cockpit one way to manage the inputs to the cockpit



First Officer

Second Officer

Boundaries poorly managed

Cockpit A1 A2 A3 A4 B1 B2 B3 C1 C2 Fly airplane Exercise command Monitor ATC Manage cockpit roles Plan landing, study approach plate Compute fuel dump Monitor systems performance Send list of passengers to company Other low-priority tasks

Captain A1, A2, B1

First Officer A3


B2, B3

Second Officer

Factors that repeatedly contribute to incidents/accidents

Lack of response to warning systems Over reliance on automated systems Chart reading errors Communication errors Diffusion of responsibility Crew monitoring failures

Common failure areas


2. 3.

4. 5. 6. 7.

Preoccupation with minor mechanical problems Inadequate leadership Failure to delegate tasks and assign responsibilities (flying) Failure to set priorities Inadequate monitoring Failure to utilize available data Failure to communicate intent and plans

Six rules for improving workload management

1. In any abnormal situation, positive delegation of flying and monitoring responsibilities must be the top priority and action item.

Six rules for improving workload management

2. A positive delegation of monitoring responsibilities is just as important to safety as a positive delegation of flying responsibilities.

Six rules for improving workload management

3. The pilot flying an aircraft must not attempt to perform secondary tasks during dynamic flight situations.

Six rules for improving workload management

4. When there are conflicting interpretations of fact, external sources of information must be used to resolve the conflict. Do not rely on confidence to resolve the ambiguities.

Six rules for improving workload management

5. Whenever there is conflicting information from two sources (or questionable information from one source) cross checking from an independent source is a necessity.

Six rules for improving workload management

6. If any crewmember has a doubt about a clearance, procedure or situation, he/she must make that doubt known to other crewmembers.

Capt. Al Haynes UAL flight 232, DC-10

We had 103 years of flying experience in that cockpit . . . But not one minute of that 103 years had been spent operating an airplane the way we were trying to fly it. If we had not worked together, with everybody coming up with ideas and discussing what we should do next and how we were going to do it, I do not think we would have made it to Sioux City.