7.4 CRM in Line Operations
Pilots should be able to recognize when flight management task activities need to be performed, implement strategies for performing these activities, and utilize techniques for assessing their effectiveness in the achievement of flight objectives. The AQP process offers a formal analytical methodology for developing and maintaining effective training programs towards that end. It provides a concrete approach to defining, training and evaluating CRM. In particular, it supports skill-oriented training intended to provide crews with realistic strategies for effectively managing flight situations in accordance with corporate standards for safety and efficiency. Further, it encourages the use of a comprehensive strategy for training pilots, instructors, and evaluators to help ensure that a common corporate standard is followed by all.
However, even with the best of training and evaluation strategies, the extent to which skills are regularly applied during normal operations must be determined. The ability to demonstrate the successful application of CRM skills in training does not ensure their use outside this setting. It is therefore important that air operator develops mechanisms to assess CRM practices during line operations. AQP requires full crew OEs as one source of information on CRM practices during actual line operations. Additional sources of feedback are strongly recommended. The following are among some of the vehicles that have been effectively employed for that purpose:
Anonymous surveys to measure acceptance of CRM concepts;
Periodic non-jeopardy audits of line operations to observe CRM practices and Threat and Error Management techniques;
Pilot non-punitive self-reporting programs;
Company-based incident reporting systems that can be supplemented by data from other outcome-based systems; and
- Formalized programs (such as the routine analysis of data from a Flight Operations Quality Assurance – FOQA program and/or a Line Operations Safety Audit – LOSA program).
Ultimately, the effectiveness of CRM in the operational environment depends upon the extent to which an air operator treats CRM as an integral part of its culture. The commitment of corporate management to this integration is critical to its achievement. A corporate decision to implement AQP is a clear indication of that commitment. It is expected that good CRM will be adopted as a cultural norm and seen as important as good stick and rudder skills. A measure of the successful achievement of that norm is the extent to which a pilot’s competence, as perceived by peers, is determined by flight management skills as well as by technical skills. AQP provides a highly effective vehicle for achieving such an organizational culture.
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