Crew Resource Management
eBook - ePub

Crew Resource Management

Barbara G. Kanki,José Anca,Thomas R Chidester

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  2. English
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eBook - ePub

Crew Resource Management

Barbara G. Kanki,José Anca,Thomas R Chidester

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À propos de ce livre

The new edition of Crew Resource Management reflects advancements made in the conceptual foundation as well as the methods and approaches of applying CRM in the aviation industry. Because CRM training has the practical goal of enhancing flight safety through more effective flight crew performance, this new edition adapts itself to fit the users, the task, and operational and regulatory environments--all of which continually evolve. Each contributor examines techniques and presents cases that best illustrate CRM concepts and training. This book discusses the history and research foundation of CRM and also stresses the importance of making adaptive changes and advancements. New chapters include: CRM and Individual Resilience; Flight and Cabin Crew Teamwork: Improving Safety in Aviation: CRM and Risk Management/Safety Management Systems; and MRM for Technical Operations. This book provides a deep understanding of CRM--what it is, how it works, and how to practically implement an effective program.

  • Addresses the expanded operating environment--pilots, flight attendants, maintenance, etc.
  • Assists developers and practitioners in building effective programs
  • Describes best practices and tools for supporting CRM training in individual organizations
  • Highlights new advances and approaches to CRM
  • Includes five completely new chapters

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Academic Press
Part I
The Nature of CRM
Chapter 1

Why CRM? Empirical and Theoretical Bases of Human Factors Training*

Robert L. Helmreich† and H. Clayton Foushee, Office of Audit and Evaluation, Federal Aviation Administration, Washington, DC, United States


In seeking the answer to “Why CRM” this chapter begins with the historic, single-pilot tradition in aviation, the causes of error and accidents in the system, and what it means to apply basic human factors concepts in flight operations. It presents a focus on crew level (as opposed to individual level) of training and describes the tools necessary to train these concepts operationally. A conceptual framework, rooted in social psychology provides a context for understanding basic components of CRM training such as team formation, problem-solving, decision-making, and maintaining situation awareness. In this context the chapter discusses the progressive efforts to improve crew coordination and performance through training, presenting case studies, and research that have informed and shaped CRM training over the years. Finally, the chapter discusses the evolution of CRM training, how it was adapting to different cultures, integrating with safety programs, and expanding into new domains.


Crew management theory; human error; resource management; nontechnical skills training; crew coordination; team formation; single-pilot tradition; aviation accident causes; behavioral markers; crew performance

1.1 The Evolution and Growth of CRM

1.1.1 Introduction

One of the most striking developments in aviation safety during the past decade has been the overwhelming endorsement and widespread implementation of training programs aimed at increasing the effectiveness of crew coordination and flightdeck management. Civilian and military organizations have developed programs that address team and managerial aspects of flight operations as complements to traditional training that stresses the technical, “stick-and-rudder” aspects of flight. The original, generic label for such training was cockpit resource management, but with recognition of the applicability of the approach to other members of the aviation community including cabin crews, flight dispatchers, and maintenance personnel, the term crew resource management (CRM) is coming into general use.
Just as CRM has evolved from “cockpit” to “crew” over its short history, the field of human factors has similarly changed in its scope. From an initial marriage of engineering and psychology with a focus on “knobs and dials,” contemporary human factors has become a multidisciplinary field that draws on the methods and principles of the behavioral and social sciences, engineering, and physiology to optimize human performance and reduce human error (National Research Council, 1989). From this broader perspective, human factors can be viewed as the applied science of people working together with devices. Just as the performance and safety of a system can be degraded because of poor hardware or software design and/or inadequate operator training, so too can system effectiveness be reduced by errors in the design and management of crew-level tasks and of organizations. CRM is thus the application of human factors in the aviation system. John K. Lauber (1984), a psychologist member of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), has defined CRM as “using all available resources—information, equipment, and people—to achieve safe and efficient flight operations” (p. 20). CRM includes optimizing not only the person–machine interface and the acquisition of timely, appropriate information, but also interpersonal activities including leadership, effective team formation and maintenance, problem-solving, decision-making, and maintaining situation awareness. Thus training in CRM involves communicating basic knowledge of human factors concepts that relate to aviation and providing the tools necessary to apply these concepts operationally. It represents a new focus on crew-level (as opposed to individual-level) aspects of training and operations.
This chapter’s title inquires why an industry would embrace change to an approach that has resulted in the safest means of transportation available and has produced generations of highly competent, well-qualified pilots. In seeking the answer, we examine both the historic, single-pilot tradition in aviation and what we know about the causes of error and accidents in the system. These considerations lead us to the conceptual framework, rooted in social psychology, that encompasses group behavior and team performance. In this context we can look at efforts to improve crew coordination and performance through training. Finally, we discuss what research has told us about the effectiveness of these efforts and what questions remain unanswered.

1.2 The Single-Pilot Tradition in Aviation

The evolution of concern with crew factors must be considered in the historical context of flight. In the early years, the image of a pilot was of a single, stalwart individual, white scarf trailing, braving the elements in an open cockpit. This stereotype embraces a number of personality traits such as independence, machismo, bravery, and calmness under stress that are more associated with individual activity than with team effort. It is likely that, as with many stereotypes, this one may have a factual basis, as individuals with these attributes may have been disproportionately attracted to careers in aviation, and organizations may have been predisposed to select candidates reflecting this prototype.
As aircraft grew more complex and the limitations and fallibility of pilots more evident, provision was made for a copilot to provide support for the pilot, to reduce individual workload and decrease the probability of human error. However, these additional crewmembers were initially perceived more as redundant systems to be used as backups than as participants in a team endeavor. Ernest K. Gann (1961) and other pioneers of air transport have documented the distinctly secondary role played by the copilot in early airline operations.
The tradition in training and evaluation has similarly focused on the individual pilot and his or her technical proficiency (Hackman & Helmreich, 1987). This begins with initial selection and training, which have historically used aptitude and performance standards developed for single-pilot operations. Indeed, the first critical event in a pilot’s career is the solo flight. Even in multipilot operations, the major emphasis continues to be on evaluating the individual proficiency of crewmembers. Regulations surrounding the qualification and certification of pilots reinforce these practices and can even result in negative training. For example, in crewmembers are cautioned not to provide assistance to pilots whose proficiency is being evaluated, a model of individual instead of team action is being reinforced. Indeed, in 1952 the guidelines for proficiency checks at one major airline categorically stated that the first officer should not correct errors made by the captain (H. Orlady, personal communication cited in Foushee & Helmreich, 1988). The critical point is that the aviation community has operated on the assumption that crews composed of able and well-trained individuals can and will operate complicated aircraft in a complex environment both safely and efficiently.

1.3 Human Error in Flight Operations

The introduction of reliable turbojet transports in the 1950s was associated with a dramatic reduction in air transport accidents. As problems with airframes and engines diminished, attention turned to identifying and eliminating other sources of failure in flight safety. Fig. 1.1 gives statistics on the causes of accidents from 1959 through 1989, indicating that flightcrew actions were casual in more than 70% of worldwide accidents involving aircraft damage beyond economical repair. Recognition of this human performance problem stimulated a number of independent efforts to understand what the term “pilot error” encompassed and what could be done to reduce it.

Figure 1.1 Primary causes of hull loss accidents (excluding military and sabotage): worldwide commercial jet fleet, 1959–89. Data from Boeing Aircraft Company.
The formal record of investigations into aircraft accidents, such as those conducted by the NTSB, provides chilling documentation of instances where crew coordination has failed at critical moments.
  • ‱ A crew, distracted by the failure of a landing gear indicator light, failing to notice that the automatic pilot was disengaged and allowing the aircraft to descent into a swamp.
  • ‱ A copilot, concerned that take-off thrust was not properly set during a departure in a snowstorm, failing to get the attention of the captain with the aircraft stalling and crashing into the Potomac River.
  • ‱ A crew failing to review instrument landing charts and their navigational position with respect to the airport and further disregarding repeated Ground Proximity Warning System alerts before crashing into a mountain below the minimum descent altitude.
  • ‱ A crew distracted by nonoperational communication failing to complete checklists and crashing on take-off because the flaps were not extended.
  • ‱ A breakdown in communication between a captain, copilot, and Air Traffic Control regarding fuel state and a crash following complete fuel exhaustion.
  • ‱ A crew crashing on take-off because of icing on the wings after having inquired about deicing facilities. In the same accident the failure of a flight attendant to communicate credible concerns about the need for deicing expressed by pilot passengers.
The theme in each of these cases is human error resulting from failures in interpersonal communications. By the time these accidents occurred, the formal study of human error in aviation had a long tradition (e.g., Davis, 1948; Fitts & Jones, 1947). However, research efforts tended to focus on traditional human factors issues surrounding the interface of the individual operator with equipment. This type of investigation did not seem to address many of the factors identified as causal in jet transport accidents, and researchers began to broaden the scope of their inquiry.
In the United States, a team of investigators at NASA–Ames Research Center began to explore broader human factors issues in flight operations. Charles Billings, John Lauber, and George Cooper developed a structured interview protocol and used it to gather firsthand information from airline pilots regarding human factors in crew operations and “pilot error” accidents. At the same time, George Cooper and Maurice White analyzed the causes of jet transport accidents occurring between 1968 and 1976 (Cooper, White, & Lauber, 1980), while Miles Murphy performed a similar analysis of incidents reported to NASA’s confidential Aviation Safety Reporting System (Murphy, 1980). The conclusion drawn from these investigations was that “pilot error” in documented accidents and incidents was more likely to reflect failures in team communication and coordination than deficiencies in “stick-and-rudder” proficiency. A number of specific problem areas were identified, including workload management and task delegation, situation awareness, leadership, use of available resources including other crewmembers, manuals, air traffic control, interpersonal communications (including unwillingness of junior crewmembers to speak up in critical situati...

Table des matiĂšres

  1. Cover image
  2. Title page
  3. Table of Contents
  4. Copyright
  5. A Story of Robert L. Helmreich: A Convergence of Friends and Colleagues
  6. List of Contributors
  7. Foreword
  8. Preface
  9. Part I: The Nature of CRM
  10. Part II: CRM Training Applications
  11. Part III: CRM Perspectives
  12. Index
Normes de citation pour Crew Resource Management

APA 6 Citation

Kanki, B., Anca, J., & Chidester, T. (2019). Crew Resource Management (3rd ed.). Elsevier Science. Retrieved from (Original work published 2019)

Chicago Citation

Kanki, Barbara, Jose Anca, and Thomas Chidester. (2019) 2019. Crew Resource Management. 3rd ed. Elsevier Science.

Harvard Citation

Kanki, B., Anca, J. and Chidester, T. (2019) Crew Resource Management. 3rd edn. Elsevier Science. Available at: (Accessed: 15 October 2022).

MLA 7 Citation

Kanki, Barbara, Jose Anca, and Thomas Chidester. Crew Resource Management. 3rd ed. Elsevier Science, 2019. Web. 15 Oct. 2022.