Crew Resource Management

Research Paper Crew Resource Management Rhandy Hurley Advanced Aircraft Systems Professor Ballard Barker October 25th , 2010 Index Background3 Definition3 Cognitive Skills4 Interpersonal Skills5 Concept6 Categories7 CRM Training11 Conclusions13 References14 BACKGROUND CRM was originally developed as a response to the finding of the causes of various aircraft accidents which were attained after the introduction of flight recorders and cockpit voice recorders into aircraft.The Information retrieved from these recording devices suggested that the majority of these accidents result not from a technical malfunction of the aircraft or its systems or from a failure in aircraft handling skills or knowledge on the part of the crew.

It showed instead that they are primarily caused by the inability of crews to respond accordingly to the situation in which they are. Things like, for example, deficient communications between crew members lead in turn to a loss of situational awareness, disrupt the teamwork in the aircraft, and ultimately may lead to a disastrous situation. DEFINITIONCRM comprises a wide range of knowledge, skills and attitudes including communications, situational awareness, problem solving, decision making, and teamwork.

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Of course with all the sub-disciplines that each of these areas include. The parts that conform CRM are not new; actually they have been recognized or implied in aviation since the beginning. The difference is that now they are defined, structured and articulated in a formal way. CRM can be defined as a management system which makes optimum use of all available resources, including: equipment, procedures and people, to promote safety and enhance the efficiency of flight operations.CRM is not much centered in technical knowledge and skills to fly and operate the aircraft but rather with the cognitive and interpersonal skills required to manage the flight within an organized aviation system. Cognitive skills are the mental processes used for gaining and maintaining situational awareness, solving problems and taking decisions. Interpersonal skills are the communications and a range of behavioral activities associated with teamwork. COGNITIVE SKILLS Situational awareness Situational awareness includes consciousness and recognition of all the factors and that affect the safe operation of an aircraft.

In order to establish situational awareness, humans take in information through the 5 senses: touch, hearing, smell, sight and taste. This information is then transformed by the brain into a mental model of the situation, a process known as perception. Perception depends not only on current information, but also on past experiences and sensations. Perception is therefore a product not only of immediate sensations but also of cultural and social influences acquired through a life-time of experiences.For a pilot, much of the information from which situational awareness is derived comes from the flight instruments and the navigational equipment on board, so the process of constructing an accurate mental image of the position of the aircraft is subject to a number of degrading influences such as inattention, distraction, stress, boredom, fatigue and others.

Planning and Decision Making One of the most important aspects of CRM is to ensure that high quality decisions are taken across the whole spectrum of flight operations. Preflight planning increases situational awareness and also allows all embers of the crew to manage successfully their own specific areas of responsibility. Understanding the plan also allows individual crew members to contribute in the most effective way to decisions made in flight. As the flight progresses, the captain should update the crew at regular intervals on any changes to the original plan, so that individual crew members can maintain good situational awareness. INTERPERSONAL SKILLS Communications It is evident that effective communication between crew members is an essential prerequisite for good CRM.Research has shown that in addition to its most widely perceived function of transferring information, the communication process in an aircraft fulfils several other important functions as well. it also allows problem solving to be shared among crew members by enabling individual crew members to contribute to the decision-making process.

Most importantly, it establishes the interpersonal climate between crew members and is therefore a key element in setting the tone for the management of the flight. TeamworkGood teamwork is achieved when the output of the team is greater than what could be developed by the sum of all the individual efforts. This process is known as synergism. Synergism is produced by a process of interaction between crew members, in which each individual is empowered and encouraged to contribute in the most effective way to the overall task of the team.

Good communications within the group, a high degree of situational awareness and a comprehensive understanding of the decision-making process by all members of the group are all prerequisites for the creation of synergy and the effective performance of the team as a whole.It is also evident that a healthy organizational culture, which actively promotes CRM, will also induce good teamwork, since CRM and teamwork are inextricably intertwined in the realm of effective flight management techniques. CONCEPT Pilots must understand today’s more complex aircraft and associated systems in order to operate them in a more demanding ATC environment. In order to comply with the workload inside and outside the flight deck, the pilot has to be a resource manager.

To manage a flight resource effectively a pilot ust first know the resource exists and then understand its uses and limitations. The types ad availability of flight resources vary widely and are dependent on factors such as aircraft type and equipment, crew composition, operating environment and geographical location pilots should be familiar with as many types of resources as possible. The natural tendency is to use those resources which are most familiar. However the use of all available flight resources gives the pilot more influence in the progress of the flight. Every pilot has a maximum workload capacity.

This capacity is a function of many factors including experience, proficiency level, specific training, motivation, emotional health and others. Maximum workload pilot capacity can be degraded by many factors such as fatigue, family problems, job stress, illness, lack of training, lack of proficiency and others. A pilot cannot decrease workload by simply doing less when the situation requires more. Such an action would only increase the future workload. The required workload is more or less fixed and a pilot must have the capacity to deal with it effectively.As a result of crew resource management, a shifting of the workload occurs and the actual task loading of a pilot is decreased. As a matter of fact, the pilot’s workload capacity has been increased and an acceptable margin of safety is restored. High levels of situational awareness allow a pilot to operate at peak capacity while keeping task loading to a minimum.

CATEGORIES Flight resources are placed in four major categories: * Human resources * Operational information * Equipment * Consumable Resources Human Resources Human resources are those people who, with their individual skills provide valuable support.Human resources skill areas can be categorized as follows: * Technical: the particular knowledge and ability associated with a specialty and the aptitude to apply it in a consistent and productive way. * Interpersonal: Interactions between people. On must develop the ability to manage other and communicate with them in ways they understand.

It is equally important to listen and to understand what they are saying. Effective two-way communications is absolutely necessary. Even the pilot of a solo aircraft is required to interact with others during flight. Conceptual: the analysis and integration of all associated activities towards a common objective. In aviation on must be able to able to view a flight as a whole and recognize how various faces must be fin in relation to the entire profile. Conceptual skills include the ability to project the consequences of current situations, analyze available options and alter the flight profile accordingly. Human resources can be further categorized as: * Flight crew * Ground services * Flight services Operational information Operational information is data that provides the pilot information needed for effective planning and decision making.Operational information includes the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), checklists, FAA-approved aircraft manuals, performance manuals, Pilot Operating Manual (POH) or Airplane Flight Manual (AFM), Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs), navigation charts airport directories, Flight Operation Manuals (FOM) and Minimum Equipment Lists (MEL).

Many of these resources must be carried onboard the aircraft for easy access. Operational information is also accumulated as the result of trip preparation and includes weather briefings, flight plans, NOTAMs and weight and balance computations.To be effective, operational information must be: * Current * Readily available * Applicable An expired weather forecast, obsolete navigational charts, out-dated instrument approach charts, old manuals and publications not consulted or left in the office are not dependable resources. Incomplete or invalid operational information actually increases workload by contributing to poor planning and decision making, as today’s flight environment becomes more demanding, effective management of operational information becomes critical to the safety of flight.Because of the volume of operational information available and the many sources providing it, companies now offer operational information services to operators without in-house dispatch.

Typical services include complete flight planning, flight plan filling, weather services and arrangements for servicing and accommodations en-route. Equipment To help the pilot operate in a more complex environment, sophisticated equipment has been developed. Equipment resources are categorized as: * Communications equipment * Status indicators * PredictorsLabor saving devices, like all flight resources, these various categories of equipment overlap and support one another. Alone or in support of one another, equipment resources help pilots achieve and maintain high levels of situational awareness. Communication equipment, status indicators and predictors are the basis of many of the actions a pilot may take. Pilots may develop increased situational awareness as a result of communication with others, throughout monitoring and analysis of status indicators and by warnings or information received from predictors.

If a pilot has already achieved a high level of situational awareness, these resources will continue to provide the necessary information for maintaining that level of awareness. The load sharing and distribution of workload provided by labor saving devices help decrease the demand on pilot’s capabilities. In doing so, they provide the pilot with more time to collect, monitor and analyze information.

Consumable Resources Consumable resources are resources expended during the flight. Because they are expended, consumable resources impose limits on a flight.The three most important resources are fuel, personal energy and time. Efficient management of each is critical to flight. The key to effective use of a consumable resource is careful planning: * How much is required? * How much is available? * How to use it efficiently? * How to ensure reserves are available? Resource management, to a degree, defines the limits which are imposed on a flight. There are ways to maximizes consumables resources and expand those limits. Fuel is on such consuming resource which imposes limits on a flight.

Careful planning and management of fuel can extend the range limit of a fixed fuel load, while poor planning and management can do just the opposite. Although a pilot can define certain limits through effective resource management, there is always un ultimate limit dictated by the resource itself. Personal energy is a consumable resource which frequently does not receive much attention. Energy fuels the body.

In the same way that an aircraft requires fuel, a body requires energy to perform. Hugh energy levels allow a crew to remain alert and physically capable of performing their duties.As energy levels are depleted, fatigue sets in and mental awareness deteriorates. Personal energy can be preserved by getting enough rest proper nutrition, drinking sufficient quantities of water, using proper relaxation techniques and maintaining good physical conditioning. Time is a resource when considering departure slots, approach times, holding, airport operating hours and other time constrained factors. Time is a non-renewable resource, once time is lost , it cannot be regained. New departures slots and approach times come at the expense of fuel reserves.

Adherence to schedules may result in fuel consumption.Departure delays, holding and diverts not only use excess fuel but increase crew duty time and can lead to fatigue. Establishing realistic targets amd practicing time management throughout the flight will help pilots avoid time related losses and manage other consumable resources more efficiently. CRM TRAINING To maximize crew’s effectiveness in the aircraft, they not only need to get as familiar as possible with their particular role in the aircraft, but they also need to understand and develop the cognitive and interpersonal skills which are a prerequisite for good CRM.This cannot be taught by the didactic training methods normally used to impart technical knowledge about the aircraft and its systems. CRM skills are mostly concerned with understanding and interpreting behavior, particularly behavior which occurs in a group context, so they are more appropriately developed through a process known as experiential learning. Consequently, CRM training usually takes place in groups and is often assisted by a trained facilitator who is equipped with the relevant knowledge, skills and techniques to foster the learning rocess. For both historical and practical reasons, CRM skills have up to now been taught separately from technical knowledge and skills, but the considerable area of overlap between the two disciplines suggests that the training would be more effective if it was integrated from the earliest stages of the aircrew training regime.

CONCLUSION All of the factors contributing to situational awareness must be integrated in a systematic manner. This is accomplished through crew resource management.Crew resource management is the use and coordination of all the skills and resources available to flight crew to achieve and maintain situational awareness.

As a result, we reach the established goal of safety, efficiency and comfort flight. Pilot training traditionally has concentrated mainly on developing our physical flying skills, aircraft systems knowledge and spatial orientation skills to expand our experience base. We must certainly continue to improve our physical flying skills, aircraft systems knowledge and build upon our experience.

To neglect these vital areas would be a giant step back in aviation safety.On the other hand, technology is continually changing and expanding the role and responsibilities of the pilot. It is not enough to be just a good control manipulator with knowledge of the aircraft systems. Recent statistics on aviation mishaps indicate that these traditional skills alone do not necessarily ensure safety of flight.REFERENCES * Royal aeronautical Society http://www.

raes-hfg. com/ * Airline Safety http://www. airlinesafety. com/ * The Turbine Pilot’s Flight Manual by Gregory N. Brown & Mark J.

Holt * Instrument Flying Handbook * The First Officer’s Guide by Michael F. Wilson

Author: Felicia Marsh


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