The Importance of Communication and Teamwork Among the Flight and Cabin Crew



TABLE OF CONTENTS
ABSTRACT 4
INTRODUCTION 5
Background 5
Purpose/Audience 5
Sources 5
Limitaions 5
Scope 5
COLLECTED DATA 5
Importance of Communication Among the Crew 5
Main Cause of Aircraft Accidents 6
Duties of the Crew Members 7
Expectations of the Crew 7
The Crew is a Team 8
Intimidatin in the Cockpit 8
Cabin Crew is a part of the Team 9
Trusting the Crew\'s Judgment 9
Crew Resource Management (CRM) 9
Outline of CRM Training 10
LOFT Training 10
Organizing Resources and Priorities 11
CONCLUSION 11
Summary of Findings 11
Interpretation of Findings 11
REFERENCES 13



ABSTRACT

The majority of aircraft accidents are caused by human error, and an accident or
incident is linked together by a chain of errors. Most of these accidents could
have been avoided by the crew if they would have been communicating to each
other better. Some common errors that occur among the crew are poor task
delegation, assertiveness, and distractions. Crew training in communication and
teamwork will increase the crews\' performance level. Programs like Crew Resource
Management (CRM) have been developed to try to help the crews work together and
reduce the human factor in accidents. CRM includes training in
leadership/followership, assertiveness, management, communication, teamwork,
decision making, and task delegation. Through programs like CRM crews learn to
work together as a team, and when they are working together it is less likely
there\'ll be an accident.

INTORDUCTION

Background

The cause for most aircraft accidents (65%) are by crew error (FAA News,
1996). When the Crews performance level is low due to poor teamwork and
communication this is when accidents happen. How can crew error be reduced? Even
though human error can\'t be reduced completely through constant training and
effort by the crew performance will increase and accidents will be reduced.

Purpose/Audience

This report is intended for a general audience and will show how
important it is for the flight and cabin crew to work together and communicate
as a team. This report will also examine the CRM program.

Sources

Sources have been obtained for this report from the Internet and from
the Waldo Library, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Scope

Teamwork and communication are a critical factor in the crew\'s operation
of aircraft. Accidents can be prevented when these two factors are considered.

COLLECTED DATA

Importance of Communication amoung the Crew

People communicate to each other every day. From a kids talking to their
parents about their report card, to doctors working in an operating room. In
order for us to understand one another we must be clear in what we say. For
instance, if a doctor tells a nurse to pull a certain plug on a machine, he\'d
better be clear on what he says or the nurse might end up harming a patient.
Likewise, the cabin and flight crew must work together.

In a typical cockpit the flight crew is very busy, and they need to be
well organized to handle the many tasks they perform. They need to communicate
properly and clearly for safe operations, if they don\'t their actions could
result in a tragedy.

Main Cause of Aircraft Accidents

Mechanical problems and technical malfunctions do contribute to aircraft
accidents, but human error is the main cause, accounting for 65% of the
accidents (FAA News, 1996). See the pie chart in figure 1. This figure is quit
high, and if it were possible to reduce human error the accident rate would
drop significantly. Accidents that occur because of human error are not a direct
result of just one error but of a chain of errors. The human error chain results
when one bad decision leads to another which leads to the accident. The question
is, how can we reduce human error in the cockpit? Studies have shown that most
incidents could have been prevented if communication and leadership skills were
improved.

Duties of Crew Members

In order to have a clear understanding of who\'s involved in the crew,
these positions with their duties will be discussed. There are usually 2-3
flight crew members and 1-3 flight attendants aboard an airliner. In the flight
deck are the Captain, Co-pilot and flight engineer. When there are only two
flight crew members there\'s no flight engineer. (this is to reduce costs). The
Captain is the Pilot in Command (PIC). He/she has the final authority of all
decisions and all responsibility rest on his/her shoulders. The Co-pilot assists
the Captain in his/her duties, like calculating fuel consumptions, weight and
balance, navigation etc. He/she is Second in Command (SIC). The Flight Engineer
helps