Module 7.5 CRM Research Project.

Dwayne M. Johnson

Embry Riddle Aeronautical

ASCI 516

December 3, 2017





















Resource Management, also termed as Cockpit Resource Management (CRM), is the
effective use of all available resources for flight crew personnel to assure a
safe and efficient operation, reducing error, avoiding stress and increasing
efficiency (Skybrary, 2017). CRM has had an enormous impact on aviation as a
whole. The CRM approach has resulted in aviation becoming the safest mode of
transportation available. It has examined the history of aviation, the causes
of accidents within the aviation system as well as group dynamics as it relates
to team performance. Just as CRM has improved aircrew performance and coordination,
the concepts of CRM may also be adaptable to non-aircrew related professions.

In this paper, the researcher aims to discuss CRM concepts and answer the questions
of whether or not CRM concepts are effective when applied to non-aviation
(Aircrew) career fields







Why Crew Resource Management (CRM)

Crew Resource Management (CRM) is the effective use of all available
resources for flight crew personnel to assure a safe and efficient operation,
reducing error, avoiding stress and increasing efficiency (Skybrary, 2017).

In the early days of aviation, it was widely believed that the ability to safely
operate an aircraft was primarily dependent upon each individual pilot’s
mastery of the aircraft. (Helmreich, Foushee, 1993). Over time, advances in
technology changed the dynamics in aviation. Airplanes became more much larger;
jet engines were introduced and many systems had become automated. It became
clear that a pilot’s job was now significantly more complexed than it was in
the past. Before long, it became increasingly more overwhelming for one pilot
to safely operate an aircraft on his/her own (Taggart, 1994). It was estimated
that between 1970’s -1990’s, approximately 65% of all aviation incidents where
caused by insufficient leadership, ineffective communication, poor decision-making
and a lack of crew coordination. In other words; it was not the absents of
technical ability, but rather due to the ineffective use of available resources
(Taggart, 1994).


The Evolution of CRM

Today’s CRM was originated 1979,
by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as a Flight-deck
safety workshop dedicated to Resource Management (Cooper, White, & Lauber,
1980). NASA’s research determined that most aviation accidents were a result of
human error including poor communications, leadership and decision making. NASA
coined the phrase Cockpit Resource Management Black, R.,1993)..  The term CRM is typically used with any
process of training air crew to maximize the effective use of available human resources
within the aircraft flight-deck. Since the time of NASA’s workshop, CRM has
evolved through the years and has become an effective way of changing aircrew
behaviors and attitudes (Black, R.,1993).

first complete CRM program focus on psychological testing, leadership and Interpersonal
behavior (Helmreich
& Merritt, in press; Merritt & Helmreich, 1997). One flaw in the
earliest evolution of CRM was that the focus on interpersonal behavior did not
effectively represent aircrew behavior while in the cockpit. The second Generation of CRM began to address
concepts that were specifically related to aviation and flight operations (Helmreich & Merritt, in
press; Merritt & Helmreich, 1997). Training in the second generation were heavily centered
around team building, situational
awareness, briefing strategies and stress
management. By the third generation, the training target had
expanded to include other flight crew personnel such as dispatcher, flight attendants
and maintainers (Helmreich
& Merritt, in press; Merritt & Helmreich, 1997).

was a major change in the fourth evolution when the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) initiated an advanced qualification program which made CRM
an integral part of flight operations and aircrew training (Helmreich & Merritt, in
press; Merritt & Helmreich, 1997). With the current iteration of CRM
come the realization that it is next to impossible to completely eliminate
errors in aviation operations. Aviation professionals can do as much as
possible to eliminate errors through system safety concepts, checklist and
training; but it is also imperative for aviators to manage risk and attempt to
trap errors before the can occur (Helmreich
& Merritt, in press; Merritt & Helmreich, 1997). Current CRM focusing on effective communication, workload
management, situational awareness and mitigating dangerous patterns and hazardous
attitudes (Houston, S.,2017.).

Pilots and aircrew in the aviation community have greatly
benefited from the concepts of CRM. Due to the fact that the results of Pilot
errors have a high level of visibility and are often catastrophic, the impact on
safety and operations are generally immediate (AviationKnowledge, 2017). However, errors
made in other careers such as maintenance personnel may often go undiscovered. Therefore,
the concepts of Crew Resource Management were adopted by the maintenance field.

A maintenance adaptation of Crew Resource Management was developed called has Maintenance
Resource Management (AviationKnowledge, 2017).  

The aviation industry recognized the need to increase safety and
minimize errors throughout all aviation operations (AviationKnowledge, 2017). Management
at all levels can see the benefits of expanded their programs to include members
in all area of aviation including air traffic controller and ground service personnel
2017). Much like MRM, these late adopters implement the same concepts of
CRM i.e. effective communication, workload management, situational awareness and
mitigating dangerous patterns and hazardous attitudes. These programs are
not exclusively designed for operations personnel, they are for members of all
areas within an organization (AviationKnowledge, 2017). Programs such as MRM and
Logistics Resource Management (LRM) focus on the organization as a whole, ensuring
everyone is focused on creating a safer environment and minimizing error throughout
2017). This approach helps to foster awareness of human factor elements within
an organization and their potential impact on performance (AviationKnowledge,


Experience with
Resource management

The US Air Force (USAF) adopted CRM and later transformed
into a program that was very applicable to me as a transporter. The Air Force
to recognize that the concepts of CRM could and should also be applied to the
carrier fields that interacted with pilots and aircrew. In attempt to make all
Air Force aviation as safe as possible, CRM eventually morphed into MRM. The
concepts of MRM where nearly identical the CRW except the program was specific
the Maintainers. Shortly after the start of MRM, the USAF Air Mobility Command
Headquarters A4TR (training office) rolled out Logistics Resource Management
(LRM). LRM was presented as a mandatory training requirement.

Once it was released, aerial ports throughout the Air Force
where given a very short time frame to ensure LRM training was completed for
100% of all aerial port personnel (Military and civilian). LRM was designed to
introduce all personnel into the culture and knowledge of human factors philosophy
focusing on the importance, requirements, and implementation of LRM principles
into daily logistics activities. The goal was to decrease on-the-job-injuries
and damage to equipment and to improve communication, effectiveness, situational
awareness and safety in logistics operations.

At the time LRM was introduced, I was the Non-Commissioned
Officer In Charger (NCOIC) of our squadrons training office. As a result, I was
chosen with three other NCO’s to become LRM trainers and train the remainder of
the Aerial Port Flight. Due to the unavailability of other trainers, our
training team was reduced by half.  Two
of us were left alone to conduct training for the entire flight. I vividly
remember a meeting I had with my Chief at the time. He called all of the
trainers to his office to discuss how we would get everyone trained in the
short suspense we were given. Several people didn’t show for the meeting so I
was there with one Jr. NCO who had no input. I informed him that training would
be nearly impossible with the number of trainers we had due to the fact that we
run 24 hr. ops and we constantly had people in and out on TDY and leave. I
suggested that since the current trainers were also qualified to certify other
trainers, our first few classes should be dedicated to certifying more
trainers. Our Chief was opposed to this suggestion; Instead, he decide to have
a small team of trainers, half of which were not available and all of which
already had full time jobs to cover, attempt to train nearly 200 personnel in
about 7 months.

 This would prove to be
an impossible task for several reasons. What we were being directed to do was
the exact opposite of what we were to learn from LRM. Ultimately, we did not
reach our training goal. Additionally, our organization was not made any safer
as a result of the actions taken on the first LRM initiative. In fact, I
believe the organization was made less safe do to this approach. This last
example of leadership is precisely the reason why any resource management
program must include all levels of an organization.


Safety Culture in the


We have seen how CRM has transformed over the years from
originally being used on the flight-deck to all inflight crew to maintainers
and on to logisticians. It would seem this approach would trickle down to all
workplaces. Each year, American employers spend Billions of dollars on work related
safety incidents (Safety Communications, 2017). On average, each work-related
safety incidents cost employers roughly $40,000, much of which is not covered
by insurance (Safety Communications, 2017). According to The Liberty Mutual
Workplace Safety Index, a company can make a $4 return for every $1 invested on
workplace safety improvements (Safety Communications, 2017). For this reason,
companies are increasing their focus on safety communications.

Safety conscious business are adopting a program called Enterprise risk management (ERM). “ERM is
the process of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling the activities of
an organization in order to minimize the effects of risk on an organization’s
capital and earnings” (E-Commerce, 2017). The Enterprise risk management process
is not just risks associated with safety incidents, but it also focuses on the
risks associated with financial, strategic, operational factors (E-Commerce,
2017). The ERM
framework is centered around a top-down safety culture. In order for all other
elements to be effective, the organization must have the right safety culture as well as strong leadership.


ERM sounds good in theory but does it actually work? In 2010,
North Carolina State University published a Report on the Current State of Enterprise Risk Oversight (E-Commerce,
2017). The report concluded
that ERM processes are fairly immature (E-Commerce, 2017). As a result,
companies that use the ERM program may end up with a rather large list of risks
that need attention but lack the knowledge and ability to actually do anything
to correct the problems (E-Commerce, 2017). In other words, ERM may do nothing
more than increase the awareness of hazards and risk with top organizational



CRM concepts have been proven to be
effective in the cockpit as well as with the entire cast of aircrew members. It
has also been successfully adopted to other related carrier fields such aircraft
maintenance and Logistic.  CRM is based
on a few very basic principles that form a strong foundation for developing a
strong safety culture and a safe work environment. Leadership, Effective
Communications Situational Awareness, Workload Management, Group Dynamics, Risk
Management and Stress Awareness are integral parts of an effective CRM program.

Today’s businesses, are relatively new to the application of these principles
to workplace safety but they are on the right track. In time, knowledge and
experience will drive ERM into forefront. Business leaders understand that safer
companies are more productive and more profitable. In my opinion, this alone
will push companies to more aggressive in the implementation of ERM










Work Cited

Crew Resource Management. (2017). Retrieved November 26,
2017, from

R. L., & Taggart, W. R. (1995). CRM: Where are we today? In Proceedings of
the CRM Industry Update Workshop. Seattle, WA, September 12-13, l995.

Black, R. (n.d.). (1993). Developing and implementing CRM
programs. In E. Wiener, B. Kanki, & R. Helmreich (Eds.), Cockpit Resource
Management (pp. 421-446). San Diego, CA:

Houston, S. (2017.). Crew Resource Management: You mad, bro? November
23, 2017, from

AviationKnowledge. (2017) Retrieved November 23, 2017, from

01, 2. S. (n.d.). Safety Communications for Today’s
Workforce. Retrieved December 01, 2017, from

E-Commerce an M-Commerce Technologies | Customer … (n.d.).

Retrieved December 1, 2017, from,5036.1






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