Module 5 – Communication & Management

Communication, Teamwork, Leadership, Decision Making and Managerial Skills

Introduction

One of the basic underlying premises of CRM is that a team can, and should, perform better than two (or three) individuals in the cockpit. The aim of CRM is to ensure that 1+1>2, as opposed to 1+1<2 (in a two pilot cockpit), and that team performance takes precedence over individual performance. Good CRM is getting the balance right as a team, whilst recognising that the Captain has the final say and responsibility for the safety of the aircraft. In order to be effective, team members must be able to talk to each other, listen to each other, share information and be assertive when required. Commanders should take particular responsibility for ensuring that the crew functions effectively as a team. Whilst the emphasis in CRM is primarily upon the cockpit crew, and how they work as a team, it is also important to look at wider team effectiveness, namely the whole flight crew. CRM principles may also extend to situations where ATC, maintenance, company experts, etc., are considered to be part of the team (especially in emergency situations or in a single pilot environment). A UK based study of 249 F/O's reported that nearly 40% of them had on several occasions failed to communicate to the Captain their proper doubts about the operation of the aircraft. The most common reason being the desire to avoid conflict and deference to the experience and authority of the Captain.