CRM, Crew Resource Management – 5+ Stages

CRM 1: Cockpit Resource Management was the first step. It meant that the cockpit crew, Captain, Copilot, third Pilot/ relief Pilot and Flight Engineer was a team and everyone should participate to make the flight safe.

My first years in an airline was based on the authority of the captain, his will, decision and attitude. A copilot was an assistant, servant and trainee to become a captain. The training was to observe the captain´s management, skills and attitude, which no common leads to culture, but rather free spirits who should follow the manuals of course, but with their own interpretations. Most of the Captains were well qualified with the right attitude and great mentors for a new copilot. I would say detrimental in qualifying to be a STOL captain in the Himalayas.

However, there were a few “rotten apples» with an attitude and behavior which in my opinion, should never have been captains. Others did not subscribe to the principle of CRM in the beginning, which made them vulnerable with regards to faults. I remember one copilot who had the courage to tell the captain he was on the wrong «track». The captain replied with the classic phrase «Who is the Captain here?, we are on the right track (cause I say so)». The copilot´s reply was simply «Ok, I accept that you are right, and you can sit there and be wrong!» Hilarious and a wake-up call for the importance of CRM. The captain accepted the «wake-up call».

CRM 2: Crew Resource Management. The next step was to understand that every crew member onboard the aircraft is a resource who can contribute to improved safety when flying. There was a time when cabin personnel would be reluctant to communicate possible errors and risks to the cockpit crew. One sample is snow and ice on the wings or fumes outside or inside the aircraft. Today it is not only expected but a part of their duty to be a part of the CRM.

CRM 3: Company Resource Management. This step is simply that not only crew members can and shall contribute to safety through alertness and reporting potential safety risks. This requires a just culture instead of a blame culture.

CRM 4.1: Community Resource Management. This address each member of the aviation community to contribute to higher safety standards through sharing, communicating and promoting safety issues and standards.

CRM 4.2: Community Resource Management. The second step is to involve the customers, the users of the the aviation community´s services. Their view and observations can be of great value to improve safety as well as the commercial aspects.

CRM 4.3: Community Resource Management. Ad the whole community which is directly and indirectly affected by the aviation activities and we are reaching a fifth level which is:

CRM 5: Complete Resources Management. Every one onboard, everyone on ground involved.

Regards Stein Arne Fossum (retired captain)

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