DTWSAN
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Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:58 am

Crew Resource Management question

Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:42 am

Can someone explain CRM to me; like how does it balance the captain's authority with more authority for the crew to challenge him/her? There sti ll has to be a leader.
 
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BreninTW
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Re: Crew Resource Management question

Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:57 am

For me, crew resource management is not about having no leader -- it's about the leader listening to, and respecting, those around him/her. The captain still has ultimate authority and has ultimate responsibility for safe completion of the flight. It's his/her head on the block if something goes wrong.

However, CRM is about recognizing that different people have different knowledge and experience -- and making use of those differences to ensure that the flight is completed as safely, efficiently, and on-time as possible.

I'm not in the airline business at all, but there are also analogies to be drawn from the corporate world that I operate in. A previous manager of mine would ask all those around him/her for their ideas, then go ahead and do the thing he/she had decided on before soliciting input: Then get upset when things invariably went wrong. To my mind, that's poor 'CRM' -- the manager (pilot) didn't listen or respect the knowledge and experience of the team (crew). They always thought they knew best and bulldozed their own ideas through.

When I was in a similar management role, I made a point of learning from my previous manager and listening to the input of my team. They knew they could challenge me at any time (and often did), knowing that I would take note of what was being said and consider it in formulating my next steps.

Good CRM is not about abdicating responsibility or authority -- it's about showing leadership through being able to listen to the rest of the crew and factor their input into making the best decision possible.
 
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TripleDelta
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Re: Crew Resource Management question

Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:46 am

DTWSAN wrote:
Can someone explain CRM to me; like how does it balance the captain's authority with more authority for the crew to challenge him/her? There sti ll has to be a leader.


CRM has nothing to do with a shift in authority - but, as BreninTW said, inviting and being receptive to the opinions and observations of other crew members (both cockpit and cabin). The CRM concept always acknowledges that the Captain is the final authority for all matters aboard the airplane; it only encourages him/her to bring the rest of the crew into the discussion and ask for their view on the matter.
No plane, no gain.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Crew Resource Management question

Sat Apr 08, 2017 2:13 pm

Authority gradient is an important concept. The Captain is in charge, but the gradient towards the first officer should not be too steep or too shallow.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Crew Resource Management question

Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:01 pm

Historically, aviation was similar to the medical field field in that the Dr./Capt is God and not to be questioned. Somewhere around the early 80s the airline industry suddenly had this epiphany that many crashes in the past had a common thread which was a lack of communication between crew members and started looking into a change. I was first introduced in the early 80s with someone, not a co. employee but a Dr. (psychologist) riding my j/s and observing our techniques and procedures. During the forthcoming recurrent trg he would give a talk to the class on how he saw our "teamwork" at our airline and offered historical facts and data paired with this new idea of better communication. It was great and I enjoyed it immensely. As the years passed and CRM trg grew it began to take on a real touchy-feely attitude that began to turn pilots off. Thankfully it again changed direction to a more professional oriented class and in my last 3 yrs it morphed into the "Blue Threat" classes which got into diet, hydration and self analysis of your own performance. The classes were also appropriate with your everyday life such as how do you drive you car. I found it to very helpful. One of the great morals handed down from a neat story they told was "Stuff that never happens, happens everyday." Today you could related that to "I can text and drive because it will never happen to me!"
 
agentskelly
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Re: Crew Resource Management question

Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:19 am

The major turning point into the use of CRW was United Airlines 173 back in 1978. While on approach to PDX, the indicator light for I think one of the rear wheels showed it wasn't down so the crew kept the plane in a holding pattern while they tried to address it, while failing to realize they were low on fuel and well, they crashed.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Crew Resource Management question

Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:31 am

One important aspect of CRM is the acceptance of the fact that errors will happen. Not talking massive negligent stuff but the everyday little misses we all make. Once a crewmember accepts that he will make mistakes, being corrected isn't seen as an erosion of authority, but as a way for the crew to work together in order to catch errors and correct them.

Example: I was third crew sitting in the jump seat on an arrival. Due traffic, approach asked us to continue straight instead of taking the next turn. The FO flying PM acknowledged. Once at the turn, both guys in the front forgot to pull for heading mode and we started the turn. I pointed out the error. The captain flying PF corrected the error. This was not me trying to find fault, but catching a mistake. Keeping my mouth shut so as not to "embarrass" the captain would have been the wrong action.

agentskelly wrote:
The major turning point into the use of CRW was United Airlines 173 back in 1978. While on approach to PDX, the indicator light for I think one of the rear wheels showed it wasn't down so the crew kept the plane in a holding pattern while they tried to address it, while failing to realize they were low on fuel and well, they crashed.


That was one of the turning points. A more well known one was the Tenerife disaster in 1977.

An earlier event but still very significant was the Staines disaster in 1972.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Crew Resource Management question

Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:16 pm

true on the "turning points" from both Starlionblue & agentskelly. Don't forget the Eastern L1011 in the Everglades. They crashed because all attention was on a gear light and no one was flying the jet.
 
26point2
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Re: Crew Resource Management question

Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:13 pm

CRM is a Democracy.

Without CRM it is a Dictatorship.
 
thepinkmachine
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Re: Crew Resource Management question

Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:22 pm

CRM is NOT a democracy. It's still a dictatorship, but with some checks and balances, improved communications and some degree of freedom of speech.

Still, the airplane is not managed by a comitee, but by the Capitain, who has pretty much absolute power on board.

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