Showing posts with label CRM. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CRM. Show all posts

Saturday, May 26, 2012


G R Mohan | 12:05 AM | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

In life, one makes decisions of various kinds, some routinely, and some after deliberate considerations. In aviation too, decision making is an essential pilot skill. While pre-flight situations are static in nature and under time pressure, inflight scenarios are constantly evolving and are dynamic in nature that needs immediate decisions and constant review.  The basic skill sets that a pilot need to fly the airplane safely can be categorised as :

Monday, April 30, 2012


Srinivas Rao | 12:05 AM | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

 Inquiry is “A search for knowledge, or an instance of questioning” and Advocacy is “Active support of an idea or cause etc.” as per Webster dictionary.Inquiry and advocacy has been jointly addressed by Human Factors experts and lets examine its importance in the cockpit.


There is a dire need for inquiry in the cockpit and the need for crew to be in the loop and only way is for either crew to communicate and inquire. Typically, Captain must encourage inquiry from the fellow crew member to enhance safety and make the fellow crew comfortable in doing so without any fear of  reprisal or retribution.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Srinivas Rao | 12:06 AM | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

Key to conducting a flight efficiently and safely is to effectively manage the workload one is faced with during different phases of the flight.
Flight crew workload is typically shared between a Captain and a First Officer.Whilst one takes up the mantle of pilot flying, the other crew carry out the pilot not flying/ pilot monitoring duties.
Workload management is regulated within the frame work of operations by promulgating standard operating procedures, task sharing principles,time management and so on.

Workload is the highest for flight crew during preflight, taxi out, take off and climb to cruise level, before top of descent, during descent, approach, landing and taxi in to bay.
Procedures detailed ensure that they clearly define various tasks carried out during these times and by whom it is executed to regulate the workload and lessen the burden.

Not withstanding the above, during emergency and multiple emergency situations, despite the crew being trained in handling situations in various scenarios, one is faced at times with situations wherein the crew need to dig deep and face occasionaly tremendous increase in their workload, also termed as task saturation. Only way to manage highly increased loads is to prioritise the tasks, work  with fellow crew,share the work  load and seek similar assistance from cabin crew, ground control and others , to manage the emergency to ensure a safe landing.
Workload management forms part of Crew resource management(CRM) training and equips one with dealing in situations which he hasn't dealt before.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Srinivas Rao | 12:34 AM | | | | | Best Blogger Tips
Why do they occur??

As per Airbus Briefing notes, the following
are the main reasons identified:
·      Communications
·      Head down activity
·      Abnormal condition or unanticipated situation

When do they occur??
They occur during high workload times, such as during pre-flight preparation, taxi for takeoff, approach  preparation, during briefing prior to descent, descent, during approach, and landing phase.

How can it be addressed??

It can be addressed by robust procedures and policies and adherence to them.
During pre-flight, there is a lot of activity around the cockpit and this is the crucial time that the  interruptions due ground personnel, load and trim sheet, fuelling and techlog  activity, cabin crew coordination, passenger boarding,and so on tend to throw the crew away from the task at hand. Thrust should be on regaining the thread effectively from where it was left and pick it up. Most airline procedures advocate going back to the beginning of the checklist to resume, once the checklist is interrupted.
Crew have made errors in entering wrong load sheet data, due to distraction or interruptions, which in some cases have lead to incidents/accidents.
Also, noted is the case of Eastern L1011 crash at Everglades, which was due to distraction of crew from primary task due to landing gear light bulb malfunction.

What are industry line of defense to counter this??

  • ·     Company SOP
  • ·     Company policy
  • ·     Effective communication
  • ·     Sterile cockpit below 10,000ft AAL in flight, and during ground operations
  • ·     CRM

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


G R Mohan | 7:32 AM | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

Today's cabin crew are highly trained, highly skilled, and centre on safety as the core of their job function. And, just like the pilots, many have been trained in crew resource management principles. However, some recent findings have uncovered some disturbing facts about the division of responsibilities and safety issues between the cockpit (pilots) and the cabin crew (Cabin crew). The underlying goal for both the pilots and Cabin crew is the safe and efficient completion of a flight. Yet, there has been an unrelenting division of these groups in times of emergencies as well as routine operations. How could this be? As a layperson, you would assume that these groups would be highly cohesive by nature, and yet the opposite has been shown to be true.

The problem with pilot and flight attendant teamwork, particularly in the area of communications, has its roots in the disparate job functions of both groups. When speaking of pilots, it is a mostly male dominated profession. Conversely, when speaking of Cabin crew, it is a mostly female dominated profession. It should be noted, however, that there has been an increased percentage of "gender balancing" over the last few decades for both groups. Theoretically speaking, and this comes from basic innate gender characteristics, male and female thought processes could be somewhat divergent. This is not to say that there is an abundance of testosterone in the cockpit or that females may be influenced by their inherent affective nature, but the gender differences do have to be considered when groups are segregated into mostly male versus mostly female categories.

Besides gender influences, the most salient reason for division in these groups appears to lie in the division of job functions and responsibilities. The cockpit crew is separated from the cabin crew by not only physical barriers (the door), but also communicative barriers (most communication is conducted through an impersonal interphone). Until relatively recently, pilots considered the cockpit "their territory" while the Cabin crew considered the cabin "their territory." Typically, the only times that these two groups would interface was when the pilots needed to be fed, or in the event of an emergency.

"the basic problem is that these two crews represent two distinct and separate cultures, and that this separation serves to inhibit satisfactory teamwork."

Well, we have - the pilots and the Cabin crew have respect amongst one another as friends but when it comes to working as a crew, we don't work as a crew. We work as two crews. You have a front-end crew and a back-end crew, and we are looked upon as serving coffee and lunch and things like that.

By now you have seen the magnitude of the problem; two groups, two cultures, and two completely separate job functions. The pilots, who work in the small but highly complex cockpit—and the Cabin crew, who come from the service-oriented and spacious cabin—having difficulties bringing their environments closer together and working in harmony.

Pilots and Cabin crew need to understand the basic psychology of group dynamics and the positive effect that pre-flight briefings can have between groups. Many pilots and Cabin crew may have never worked together before and yet both of these groups tend to remain isolated before, during, and after a flight. Some captains are better with an introduction and a briefing than others. But overall, there tends to be a "chill in the air" during pre-flight routines.

Friday, December 23, 2011


Srinivas Rao | 1:04 AM | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

Captain is pilot in command vested with  a legal responsibility and is overall incharge of the flight.
Aviation has evolved from a single pilot operation to a  co-pilot being introduced who was generally a backup, should the Captain be unable to discharge his duties. An element of safety being introduced  or enhanced, with a backup pilot in the name of co-pilot. The co-pilots during earlier days of introduction were not allowed to handle controls by the captains.

From the earlier concept of backup pilot, the role of a co-pilot has undergone a sea change.  With modern aircrafts and introduction of complex aircraft systems, the Captain needed an active helping hand to share the workload. The role of copilot  evolved from a backup mode to that of  an active crew member, opportunity in handling the controls as well, and last but not the least, in taking command decisions under Captain grooming for the role of captaincy.

Copilot in his new avatar is being viewed as Captain in waiting and is being accorded all the exposure in decision making and handling the controls.
The power gradient between a Captain and co-pilot seemed to have reduced over a period of time and the role of a co-pilot being accorded equal importance.

I wouldn’t be surprised if one comes across a old pilot who still believes the role of a copilot as a backup only!!!!!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

COMMUNICATION. : Expectation Bias and Hear Back Errors

Srinivas Rao | 4:30 PM | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips
 Crew suffer from expectation bias if they are very familiar with say a clearance on a particular route which they have been frequenting more often.Crew tend to transpose information/clearance received with what is expected by them based on their familiarity or routine experience. This coupled with hear back error by ATC or in other words no correction by ATC to the misread clearance/ instruction could result in breach of safety and catastrophic consequences.  Share your thoughts, experiences and feedback on this topic by commenting on the same.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Srinivas Rao | 1:10 AM | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

   Standard Calls

Standard calls in a cockpit enhance crew coordination and ensure effective crew communication. They also serve to reduce the startle effect by conveying the approporiate information/meaning during high workload.

It also updates the situational awareness in crew, which is very essential as major accidents have been caused due to lack of situational awareness or loss of the same in operating crew.

Automation state awareness in crew increases with Standard calls and brings the crew back in loop with the current condition enhancing safety.

Have something to say on Standard Calls and their benefits??

Send in your comments.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

AUTOMATION -- Automation in the Cockpit

Srinivas Rao | 12:45 PM | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

Is Automation in cockpit a boon or bane???

Increased automation in cockpits has changed radically how our cockpits look and work is carried on.
Either the automation is either too complex for human operators to comprehend, or is the information in the manuals inadequate, or is it the automation integration that seems to be the problem, or is it the lack of enough emphasis on the use of automation in the training curriculum the problem, or is it the complacency that sets in with overuse of automation and skills degeneration with overuse of automation the problem, or is the problem with operating procedures not adequately  addressing the use of automation in cockpits???

Send in your views

Friday, November 18, 2011


Srinivas Rao | 10:53 PM | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

  1. If a go-around is initiated, the flight crew must not reverse the decision and retard the throttle/thrust levers as it is proven to be detrimental to flight safety.
    Reversing a go-around decision usually is observed when the decision to reject the landing and to initiate a go-around is taken by the one crew member, but is overridden by the other crewmember.
    Runway overruns, impact with obstructions and major aircraft damage (tyre burst,wing tip scrape or post impact fire) often are the consequences of reversing an already initiated rejected landing.