Darren Smith, Flight Instructor
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CRM Series

Threat & Error Management Series | New Captain Series

Navigation:  Fundamentals of CRM | Resolving Conflict | Workload Management | Checklist Usage | Briefings & Callouts | Training CRM | Threats to Safety | Error Management | Integrating Threat & Error Management | Sterile Cockpit | What are you doing over there? | General Aviation Human FactorsProfessionalism | FOTA

Jumbo Jet on take off
Fundamentals of CRM  What is CRM? The effective use of all available resources needed to complete a safe and efficient flight.  Why is it important?  To optimize performance and reduce pilot error.  As a result of the benefits of CRM, the FAA & ICAO mandate CRM training for all air carriers.  The result is CRM/LOFT training. Human error is inevitable and we often say, "to err is human."  CRM seeks to manage human error.  Pilot error occurs when Human performance is reduced, Expected performance is too high... more

Resolving Conflict  When there is a disagreement, use the "Conservative Response Rule"  Flight deck Conflict, Positive & negative behaviours, crew member assertiveness, effective challenges, pilot incapacitation.

Workload Management  We might not always have full control over total workload, but we CAN recognize its effects and take some action.  Everyone is different in their capabilities, and capability varies with task complexity, environmental factors, and personal behaviours (self awareness, confidence, etc.). more

Jumbo Jet on final approach
Briefings & Callouts  Briefings are an integral part of CRM. They give us awareness and help us to avoid mistakes. Setting the stage is important to determine...CRM Callouts:  Are you the pilot monitoring?  Do you know what callouts are expected of you in a crm environment? more

Checklist Usage  Checklists are one of the most important pieces of safety equipment on the aircraft. They ensure proper configuration of aircraft for flight operations.  So why do people fail to use them?  more 

Training CRM   I believe if a student & instructor could read each others’ mind, it would dramatically improve the learning process in flight training.  Unfortunately, I have yet to develop the skill and find myself often wondering, “What exactly were you thinking?”  ...more  

Introduction to Aviation Human Factors  Aviation Human Factors is a broad field where boundaries between Aviation Psychology, Safety, and Systems melt into a distinct discipline of study and analysis.  At its core, Aviation Human Factors is concerned  ....more

Threats to Safety   Sometimes I just want to go out and fly.  No structure, no TFR briefing, no flight plan, no student, nothing specific to do.  I just want a CAVU day, a full tank, and a few spare hours to go out and fly low and slow.  ...more

Error Management  Flying with a new pilot is always interesting.  I immediately get a sense of pilot skill from informal conversation.  Sometimes they try impress me with what they they know.  Sometimes they try to impress me with their confidence in their own abilities.  What most don't realize is that performance speaks for itself.   ...more

What are you doing over there?  Flying is a performance sport.  From your earliest days with a CFI, it was all about performing in front of another pilot.  That follows every pilot throughout their flying career regardless of the level of flying they do.  ...more

Barriers to Pilot Monitoring  This article is a follow-up to What are you doing over there? which is an article about Pilot Monitoring in action.  As you remember, Pilot Monitoring is an active process of mentally flying the aircraft and cross-checking the pilot who is flying.  ...more

Sterile Cockpit   On September 11, 1974, Eastern Airlines flight 212 from Charleston, NC to Charlotte, NC crashed just short of the runway killing 74 of the 78 passengers and crew.  The NTSB concluded that the accident was caused by the flightcrew's lack of altitude awareness and poor cockpit discipline. ...more

Unsafe Acts  If I were to tell you, “You’re about to do something unsafe.  In fact, you do something unsafe everyday.”  After much protest, you might discover that you might actually be committing some unintentional unsafe acts. ...more

Bad Habits  When I consider the topic of bad habits, more than a few of my own bad habits as a pilot come to my mind.  I think about some of the shortcuts I take as a matter of routine.  Things that I know to be less than optimal help me shave moments from my pre-departure ballet have become so habitual, I wonder how I can break the cycle.  ...more

"Mix ignorance with arrogance at low altitude and the results are almost guaranteed to be spectacular."

--Burce Landsberg, AOPA Safety Foundation

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