Crew Resource Management Is Also Important on the Ground 

ADS-B overview

Crew Resource Management Works Before Takeoff Too 

When I was a brand-new first officer for a commuter airline (back before we called them Regionals), I was always busy when we were taxiing to the runway. Running the checklists, passenger announcements, checking the ATIS again; there was always something to do. Looking back, I now realize what horrible crew resource management (CRM) that was, although to be honest, we had never heard of the concept at that time. 

Imagine doing that in today’s busy environment? The first officer with his or her head down, doing busy work while the captain navigates the complex taxiway routing to the runway? We’d be escorted out of pilot training, that’s for sure. But there’s another problem with that scenario.  

Everyone kept telling me that the hardest part of upgrading to captain was taxing to and from the runway. I, of course, didn’t believe any of them! Remember, this was when the traffic was relatively light, and the controllers had time to help you. 

In today’s complex, fast-moving, congested world of aviation, pilots had better have their act together and both sets of eyes better be outside when the airplane is moving. Case in point, there was just a near-miss between two passenger jets at JFK recently One captain made a wrong turn and thought they were heading toward a different runway and crossed an active runway just as another jet was reaching takeoff speed. It would have been the worst aviation disaster in our history if they had collided. Instead, the one jet was able to abort the takeoff and prevent a huge catastrophe. That incident was a perfect example of why autonomous flight systems are arriving at just the right time.  

Why CRM on the Ground? 

CRM is essential to ensure you and your crew are on the same page. Here’s a few things CRM can help with before the wheels roll: 

  1. Increase safety: CRM can help increase the safety of operations by ensuring all team members are aware of their roles and responsibilities prior to takeoff. 
  1. Decrease stress: CRM can reduce anxiety and stress levels prior to takeoff by establishing clear guidelines and expectations for each member of the flight crew. 
  2. Improve coordination: The use of CRM prior to takeoff helps ensure that all members of the flight crew are well coordinated in order to execute missions safely and effectively. 
  3. Enhance communication: Effective communication between all members of the crew helps create an environment that encourages discussion and open dialogue which can result in better decision making when on flight. 
  4. Anticipate risks/issues: CRM allows for better understanding of potential risks or issues that may arise during a mission, allowing for proactive measures to be taken prior to takeoff to mitigate these risks and issues if necessary. 

There’s Assistance Out there 

Airbus UpNext is working hard at creating an autonomous system that will improve both safety AND efficiency for modern-day aviation. And one of their primary areas of focus is providing assistance to pilots while navigating very complex taxiways at the world’s busiest airports. How about that? 

The taxi system would show the pilots an open path along taxiways with each clearance given by ATC. It will include maximum allowable speeds, surveillance to see obstacles, and audio alerts to avoid crossing live runways.   

In addition to helping pilots navigate on the ground, Airbus UpNext is also working on a system for automatic flight diversion and landing in the event of an in-flight emergency. The system is called the DragonFly Project and is being flight tested at the present time. The great thing about this technology is that it can be used as a decision-making tool for the flight crew, or it can be used as a fully autonomous system.  

One thing is for certain; CRM works best when the pilots can weigh all the options available to them. Having technology like the DragonFly Project will ensure that the crew knows as much critical information as possible and can therefore make the best and safest decision. 

Related Posts

Looking For Something?
Recent Posts

Want to learn more about CTS Training?

Want to learn more about CTS Training?

Need a quote for your operation?  click here
Computer Training Systems