What Is Crew Resource Management?

What Is Crew Resource Management?

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If you are interested in becoming a pilot and working for a commercial airline, you may have heard of Crew Resource Management (CRM) before. If not, it is essentially the effective use of any resources available for the flight crew to ensure safe and efficient operations to minimize errors and reduce stress or anxiety during operations. 

This involves extensive training procedures to promote teamwork, decision-making skills, problem-solving, and situational awareness for flight crews, cabin crews, air traffic control, and maintenance to ensure the integrity and safety of an aircraft, its crew and passengers during operations. If you are unfamiliar with the goals behind CRM, here are a few key things that you need to know before taking to the skies. 

Origin of Crew Resource Management 

CRM protocols were developed in the 1970s after a team of NASA researchers discovered that over 70 percent of airline accidents were due to human error. In response to these findings, they developed what was then known as “cockpit resource management” to encourage airline crews to take a more teamwork-oriented approach to aircraft operations. These protocols have since evolved into what is now known as CRM and are an international standard for aviation safety. 

Safety in the Skies

CRM is an integral part of any airline’s operations, both on the ground and in the skies. To ensure everyone is on the same page and working cohesively and safely as a team, these are the goals that CRM protocols aim to promote: 

  • Situational Awareness 

In aviation, situational awareness can be understood as the ability to accurately assess what is occurring both inside and outside the aircraft and to comprehend what they mean and how they can affect the status of the aircraft throughout operations. 

If the crew is unable to accurately assess a situation, it could result in a fatal error that may have otherwise been avoidable had they assessed the situation more accurately. That is why crew members must work together to plan, problem-solve and assess the status of an aircraft together to minimize stress and reduce the risk of human error. 

  • Problem Solving & Decision making 

Being able to solve a problem and quickly make critical decisions is an important trait for all crew members to have. If a complication or problem arises while in flight, the ability to quickly find a solution is imperative for the safety of the crew and any passengers on the aircraft. To that end, CRM teaches crew members to make quick decisions during operations and solve problems safely and effectively. 

  • Teamwork & Allocation of Responsibilities 

Every crew member plays an integral role during operations and in ensuring the safety of the aircraft during transit. Being able to work together is essential for the aircraft to safely reach its destination. CRM provides guidelines on how to effectively collaborate with the rest of your crew and develop an understanding of how to efficiently allocate tasks among crew members to achieve the best results throughout operations. This will ensure nobody is overburdened and everyone can work to the best of their ability. 

  • Communication 

Most flight incidents occur because of incorrect or incomplete communications between pilots and members of their crew or air traffic controllers. CRM aims to help crew members develop the necessary communication skills to prevent any accidents from happening and ensure crew members are communicating effectively with each other. Communication skills are integral in all aircraft operations and interactions and are one of the most important skills a crew member must have. 

Learn More About Crew Resource Management 

Airline Flight School is an FAA-certified flight school where you can earn your pilot’s license and begin your career in aviation. Training includes both flight and ground lessons and instruction in CRM. Register today to start your journey into aviation.