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Crew Resource Management

Crew Resource Management Free Essay


Considering aircraft management realized by a human operator, it should be noted that this interaction is piecewise continuous in nature and represents a set of individual operations. Thus, crew resource management is frequently understood as what human actions are during the management of the aircraft. This term also presupposes the set of conditions that determine its beginning and its end. The concept of crew resource management does not involve mandatory continuity of human activities in time for consideration of this element of the process. The operation of crew resource management may consist of several stages with variables depending on the current state of time slots between them. The possibility of such nature of the property is determined by the inertia of managed objects, as well as human property to consistently implement the elements of the various operations.

Keywords: aircraft, crew resource management, good CRM, bad CRM, human.

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Crew Resource Management


The essence of crew resource management (generally abbreviated to CRM) consists in a set of activities and measures, which are called for ensuring the safety of the aircraft and flight. To properly evaluate the CRM approaches and their necessity within the aircraft framework, it is significant to concern various steps in emergence and development of this field in aviation. Also, giving the examples of good CRM and bad CRM allows noting the nature of approaches to be applied when performing the CRM and the flight. Hence, the CRM aspect pays a significant role in aviation.

The Emergence of CRM

The emergence of CRM took place in several stages. The first period (the beginning of the 20th century – the 1930s) is characterized by the fact that the task of the control system as a whole was to ensure aircraft flights over short distances at horizon and landmarks. Under these conditions, almost all control functions of the system were carried out by the crew. A small number of simple flight and navigation instruments served to clarify the crew submissions received through the senses upon the values of certain flight parameters.

In the early 1930s, the intensively created aircraft started to become capable of carrying large loads over long distances. It was necessary to provide round the clock flying of these aircraft out of sight of land in any geographical and meteorological conditions (Chan et al., 2016). The solution to these problems was found by the start of the second period of CRM, which was marked by the introduction of the system of two new structural technical elements. They are, first, an autopilot (which is the pilot unload from the tedious manual work to stabilize the set mode on the shuttle flight) and, second, the information model of the process, which was designed to compensate for the inability of the human senses to deliver all the information needed when flying out of sight of land.

The third period of the CRM development began in the mid-1950s. It was characterized by a sharp increase in the requirements for accuracy of control of the flight path out of sight of land. It is connected with the production for such aviation tasks as take-off, flight, landing approach in bad weather conditions, and many other circumstances (Chan et al., 2016). Implementing these requirements was possible only due to the introduction of a fourth structural element management system, i.e. onboard computers designed to compensate not sufficient speed and accuracy of the crew in performing standard mathematical but also logical operations.

Currently, the new features enhance the quality of management offered by the use of on-board computers, especially digital ones (Hefner et al., 2016). This fact demands new approaches to the design of such systems. A number of proposals made in this area are based on a statistical study of management models instead of deterministic as it had been previously (Hefner et al., 2016). This makes it possible, according to experts, to take into account the quantitative aspect of phenomena and serves to increase the control accuracy. The fact that new methods have set themselves the task of developing methods of the system structure forming (however, different from those which were used during the early stages of CRM development) is of particular importance.

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Example of Good CRM

One of the characteristic features of modern scientific and technological revolution is different intensive process of control automation. This fact became one of the most pressing problems of the modern time that creates crew resource management systems problems, which would provide the most effective interaction of human and technical resources. Especially acute this problem is in terms of creating aircraft control systems, where control tasks are so complex that their implementation is impossible without the use of complicated equipment crew called the flight-navigation equipment. Hence, it is necessary to concern the issue of good and proper CRM.

One of the examples of positive CRM is represented in the movie Sully (Eastwood, 2016). When watching the movie, it is possible to figure out that the control of onboard systems refers to activities in which control actions are generated by a discrete type of controls. Such an approach is called a formalized mode of operation of on-board systems. Such management mode presupposes the sequence and timing of operating influences supply using a discrete type of controls. The latter are mainly based on the current actual state of on-board systems and can be incorporated into the system of automated control of the operator activity.

In addition, it is possible to see from the movie that management of the on-board systems in formalized modes can be controlled on the basis of information on changes in the state of administration and the current state of the on-board systems. Hence, the main activities of CRM consist in management of on-board systems. They include: forming the individual control of signal or sequence with time constraints and logical connections; the choice of alternative ways of development managing process based on the current state of the object; receiving the notification signal of completion of commands in the on-board systems of actuation switches; switching on and off individual equipment units. Also, according to the movie Sully (Eastwood, 2016), good CRM approach is aimed at reception of warning or alarm about the emergence of failures, malfunctions, or emergency.

The appearance of such signals entails necessarily the interference in the crew resource management process in a motor action of adopting appropriate measures. Control parameters of the on-board systems and the dynamics of change involve several basic steps. Firstly, this is the acceptance of light and sound signals characterizing the state of systems without response to them. Secondly, it comprises the readout of scale instruments, and the analysis of resulting information may be subsequently control actions. Thirdly, it presupposes tracking of dynamic changes of the individual parameters. These actions, if they do not cause an appropriate intervention of the crew in the work systems, are not formalized. Such activities can be controlled only by the instructor. Hence, it is possible to state that if these activities are managed properly and each of them is included into the system of management, CRM approaches are believed to be properly managed and performed.

Example of Bad CRM

The example of bad CRM can be found in the movie The Cabin Crew (Xiaojie, 2014). The movie depicts the approaches to CRM which are regarded as negative or bad. In accordance with the scenes depicted, it is possible to make a conclusion that the most frequently recurring hazards during manual flight and air traffic control are the consequences of the improper CRM. They are likely to comprise the loss of control of the aircraft in the air. They may also include incorrect assessment of the air situation in the area of ​​flights, leading to a dangerous proximity of aircraft and their deviations from the prescribed route (zones) and trains (altitude). Next, these are the incorrect assessment of the status and potential changes in weather conditions and ornithological situation in the flight area. Some alternate aerodromes may be used in situations and in the areas leading to the ingress of crews in dangerous situation, which do not comply with the actual level of their flight training in present flight weather conditions. Finally, the negative consequences of bad CRM include the lack of control availability of alternate aerodromes to receive aircraft and incomplete information to crews in the air, terrestrial, meteorological, and ornithological situation in the areas of flight.

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Also, as the movie depicts, there can be the error group flight guidance in helping the crews in distress (especially in flight) and the lack of control of readiness and efficiency of means of flight to help the crew in harsh situations. Thus, when watching the movie, it is possible to analyze that in order to eliminate the hazard, data is recommended to be applied in the workouts (exercises’ complex), wherein the group operational control is carried out to simulate the action in the following main specific situations. These situations can comprise leaving the crew of the aircraft; loss of crew management; dangerous aircraft proximity; the crew’s loss of orientation; an error of the crew during takeoff, approach, or landing; an error of the crew in carrying out their application at the site; getting the crew in danger; weather conditions which are not relevant to the actual level of training of the pilot. Also, these situation caused by the bad CRM can consist of the landing on an alternate aerodrome, aviation equipment failure in flight, and risk of collision with birds.

One more instance of the bad CRM in the movie The Cabin Crew (Xiaojie, 2014) is the fact that during the long-term night flights, which are not accompanied by significant changes in the air situation, the pilot can feel the boredom and even regard it as fatigue. In the absence of the phase of an ‘execution,’ he/she inadvertently reduces the quality of the first two stages of the control process of the aircraft and even has sometimes short distraction from monitoring the progress of the flight. According to the movie, in the absence of a permanent and rigorous implementation of the first two aircraft traffic control phases, a pilot is not able to quickly master the situation and make the right decision in the case of failure of the on-board automated control system. He/she either misjudges the existing situation, is likely to make a wrong decision, or spends too much time on the assessment of the situation, decision making, and executing that decision when allotted time limit no longer exists.


The paper considered the history of development and the approaches of good and bad CRM. The analyzed data showed that in the majority of the cases of bad CRM, the emergency situations could have been omitted if the pilots had obtained the necessary degree of training and if they had worked with the psychologists. Certainly, the good CRM is an essential aim of all the aviation institutions; however, there are unfortunately the cases wherein the work of the aircraft crew is not sufficient and should be improved in order to prevent numerous negative consequences.

Having the history of CRM reviewed, it is possible to claim that due to its rapid development, the field of CRM is currently evolving. This happens due to the fact that the technologies and science proceed in their development. Currently, there are numerous gadgets and tools to make the flight safer and ensure the proper CRM training for the aircraft professionals. It means that the constant development of the field is a great advantage; however, it should presuppose numerous approaches to the crew training in order to ensure that the team members are qualified enough and have all the required skills to manage the aircraft. These aspects are to be ensured by constant training of the aircraft workers.

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