Sample Aviation Paper on Emergence of Crew Resource Management


Crew Resource Management (CRM) remains one of the most exciting and crucial parts of study in the aviation industry. This paper is intended to bring to light the strengths of employing good CRM and the ills that follow bad CRM. In this edition, we have used Airbus A330-202 that due to bad CRM it crashed on its approach on Tripoli leading to massive loss of lives. In contrast to that UAF 232 exhibited proper leadership, effective communication that resulted in saving lives after an emergency landing of UAF 232 in Sioux City. On this paper, CRM can be highly recommended for the case study and various benefits that tag along learning of the discipline.

Emergence of Crew Resource Management


Crew resources management involves a set of training methods that are used where human error can have catastrophic effects; it is meant to optimize human and team performance. CRM has a central focus and interest in decision making, communication between personnel and leadership in the cockpit. Essentially, CRM creates an avenue to question authority and to equip cabin crew members with the ability to put their heads together in case of a crisis. My case study will involve Airbus A330-202-where the tragedy is shifted towards poor implementation of CRM, and UAF 232 that through proper implementation of CRM it managed to save lives.

Emergence of CRM

The development of CRM is dated back to the early 1980s it is traced to the six phases of emergence as a management system. On the first step, it was introduced formally in 1981 the primary focus of this training was to; Optimize the performance of the cabin crew members; to understand how the behavior of the employees affected safety; to have an efficient and hands-on training for team members where learning is coupled with participation. On the second generation of cockpit crew management, the emphasis was put on team training and sought to better the predecessor course; which had earlier on faced resistance by pilots who felt superior and insisted that it was their mandate to make decisions for everyone in the crew. It was again discovered during the same period that a comprehensive training would boost the performance in the said field. On the third phase; the scope of learning was expanded to address further and suit organizational culture and issues targeting the aviation system. The mergence f this thorough training is considered to be a major breakthrough in the field of aviation where competency and keenness are really needed.

 The fourth generation of integrated formal procedures to CRM in the 1990s contributed to the requirement for all Carriers in this industry to abide by the technical training needs. The Christians had to do their development to suit human resources in each training aspect; carriers were also entitled to the provision of CRM to all flight crew members. On the fifth generation, the field grew, and emphasis on this new phase was how to control error. Dr. Robert Helmriech (2004), would later come up with a more elaborate definition of CRM as a way to avert error. In the fifth-generation CRM, would lead to introduction and emphasis of the concept of error-acceptance and they it recognized that indeed human error was inevitable and priceless; as it always gave information. Therefore, in the fifth generation, CRMs central focus would be ways to avoid and counter this errors. In this fifth generation, then; the carriers would learn to adopt punishment modes for willful errors committed and to accept that indeed error is inevitable. The sixth and current phase of CRM is built up from the previous version of that concentrates on error management, and scope widened to threat management in the current era. It seeks to identify, control and prevent systematic errors-Thus lean on ensuring safety in the aviation industry.

Accident with Good CRM

In 1989, UPI paper published an article UAF 232 plane crash in Sioux City with 289 people on board, due to total hydraulic failure and a complete failure in its tail engine that resulted in the failure of so many flight controls that led to its breaking apart an explosion. The paper reports from survivors indicate there had been communication between the cockpit crew to the passengers and had prepared them for an emergency landing that however didn’t turn out as successful as expected though saved it saved 123 lives. Further much later it was discovered that indeed the cabin crew had employed the CRM training they had received earlier, Good CRM focuses on optimization of performance from all, the cabin crew was able to devise a strategy of landing through the whole period of calamity. Catastrophe requires immediate and objective action plans. It is also noticeable that indeed they all have a joint action plan that is synched throughout till its implementation stage. CRM is demonstrated by the situational awareness and the ability to understand that indeed the whole problem was a total hydraulic failure and the same was communicated through to the passengers to prepare (Flin, 1997).

The junior crew must have contributed to finding the solution, and besides through all this, the team is seen as able to cope with the stress that comes with crisis and save the lives of the 123 out of 289 which is a significant save. Through the implementation of good CRM. Flin R.H (1997). In team performance management fully explains that in every single group mental stabilization contributes towards their performance in their day to day activities. It is evident that through good CRM the crew was able to overcome communication barrier and indeed come up with a suitable solution after identification of the problem at hand during that time. According to scholars Helmreich et al. (2002), CRM is a ‘force multiplier’ adding to the optimal achievement of specific tasks at hand. Further, the same crew is seen as having a central command which is evidence to real and efficient leadership all through the crisis resolution time in the airplane. During the plane crash, an analysis of the conversation reveals that indeed there was a systematic flow of information from the ends in the crew-Good CRM results to clarity and gives each a chance to contribute reasonably to the result end decision made from their discussions and analysis of the problem.

 CRM has led to the realization in this case that indeed real human interaction can lead to individual errors that can be avoided through training of persons in this field. CRM gives way to an observation of all modes of situational analysis, and absorption of pressure within. CRM is credited for the many lives saved as opposed to the ones lost during the fatal accident. Communication is essential when it comes to problem-solving in the crew cabin, and all this minimizes human error thus the importance of CRM which is tied to this particular function-CRM saved the day. The beauty of good CRM is that more often lives are saved during the accident. The crew must do whatever it takes to correct the situation leading to the accident. To ensure that good CRM is instilled in everyone, normally a rigorous training is given to all target persons. After such training, everything now depends on one’s willingness ad urge to go the extra mile of doing all it takes to save lives. One rule in the hearts of such person is that there is no harm in trying to do the best.

Accidents with Bad CRM

12th May 2010, Airbus A330-202 carrying 104 passengers crashed on approaching Tripoli international airport. With 11 crew members and 93 passengers, only one person survived the crash of the flight headed to South Africa carrying Dutch citizens on board; aviation continues to explain further that indeed poor CRM was part of the leading causes of the accident. The blame is shifted to the captain who didn’t verbally communicate with his co-pilot whom he had asked to take control earlier, but instead, he left and pitched up and pitch down that its result was disastrous and the plane hit the ground (Myers, 2002) 

In a scenario where good CRM would have been implemented, then there would be communication throughout the aircraft to prepare the passengers, and the captain wouldn’t have decided to make a decision alone. Instead, the whole crew should have been involved in the situation, and together they would freely express themselves in the best way possible to avert human error during the entire crisis as seen earlier when they noticed fog patches on the runway. Good CRM emphasizes on collective responsibility in those in the cabin. Bad CRM results to tragic escapades either knowingly or unknowingly, for instance in EAL 147 the pilot carelessly lean on a yolk, and its result was disastrous. In this particular case study, it is evident that there was an inconsistent flow of information among the crew members. Moreover, the pilot and captain had limited communication thus resulted to different action plans amongst this two key members of the team, there poor CRM didn’t provide other members with the opportunity to realize default in the whole movement before the crash. From an investigation, it was found that the crew had failed to observe the company’s operation manual, and they had a little background when it came to CRM (Helmreich & Davies, 1996). The belittled CRM didn’t allow them to monitor the flight path as required; On the detection of the mishap; it should have attracted a CRM that would affect corrective measures on board that didn’t come to happen (Sexton & Helmreich, 2003). 

It is evident that the plane lacked proper leadership the pilot should have been a good leader and served the rest of his crew with information that would help come up with direction and an elaborate action plan all the same to evade the ugly scene. The captain’s actions are a clear indicator of confusion and panic which would have been evaded suppose they had adequate knowledge of CRM since they would have put their heads together to come up with one solution for the same problem. Good CRM promotes ethical ways to problem-solving, and it encourages promptness and objectivity during a crisis (Cooper et al., 1980). 


CRM remains a very significant tool to manage and control human error in the aviation industry since its inception it has played a very vital role in air safety. CRM is about teamwork, situational awareness, effective communication and a way to decision making. Good CRM has resulted in life-saving activities in the aviation industry from the case studies where it has been employed. Degrading CRM results to no good in the airline industry, it leads to confusion and lack of standard action plan Bad CRM leads to fatalities and destruction of property due to simple human errors that are at times can be evaded. In the aviation industry then CRM should remain mandatory ad it is a solution to the usual human errors committed during travels on air. CRM could evolve further to precision and avoid human error through practical training and motivation to those that apply to maximize safe travels by air. In my opinion, it should be taught gradually and more suitable approaches taken during its teaching and learning CRM could also go further to have its principal focus taught in other courses of study to affect its applications in everyday activity in society.

The genesis of cockpit resource management is the high probability of human error during flight. The greatest concern is the loss attached to such errors. Proper management of resources to ensure safety all the time is the sole mission of CRM. The cockpit team has the advantage of enhancing their communication skills as well as interpersonal abilities. The members of the troop always have different technical know-how, for this reason, they must have proper and basic means of communicating without causing confusion. The roles of every person must be considered vital for smooth operation. The training aims at ensuring all the members of plane cockpit can handle any situation comfortably. Achievement of the objectives of the training reduces the occurrence of tragedies ultimately making air travel more desirable. CRM aims at improving safety during flight, improving communication in the cockpit, having sane leadership for the aircraft crew and making proper decisions in case of any dangerous conditions. In a nut shell, CRM covers all aspects of air travel.


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