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Crew Resource Management in the Aviation Industry Research Paper

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Updated: Mar 12th, 2022

On August 10, 1994, Airbus A300 Flight 2033 that was coming from Seoul to Jeju crashed near the runaway making the plane a write-off. After the crash, the aircraft burst into flames but the aircraft crew managed to pull everyone out alive. According to voice prompts retrieved from the black box, the co-pilot decided that there was not enough runway for the plane to land. He advised the pilot to go round but the pilot was not for the idea. The co-pilot went for the throttle making the plane touch down several thousand feet beyond the runaway. This accident clearly points out a case of bad Crew Resource Management (CRM). (Tailstrike, n.d)

Though the plane was approaching the airport at a very fast speed, the pilot should have made his calculation and known that the plane would touch down safely. According to the recording transcripts preceding the crash, the captain was heard saying that they were already at the runaway and therefore the first officer should not have pulled the yoke. This shows that the first officer’s decision to challenge the captain’s authority played a major role in causing the accident. (Sanders, 1999)

Traditionally, any decision that the captain makes is supposed to be respected by everyone the first officer included. By choosing to challenge this authority, there seems to have been a problem that made the first official act the way he did. Given that Captain Barry Woods was a Canadian and that the Co-pilot, Chung Chan Kuy was a Korean, one would be led to conclude that the problem that existed was actually a cultural one. Research has shown that cultural differences especially in communication matters do occur in the aviation industry. While captains from a particular region would want to act in a certain manner, co-pilots from other places would act differently. Cultural problems, therefore, seem to be a contributing factor in the manner that the co-pilot acted toward the captain. (Royal Aeronautical Society, 1999)

The crash of Airbus A300 Flight 2033 would have been avoided if the first officer had shown the required respect toward the captain. By choosing to grab the throttle against the wishes of the captain, the plane ended crashing beyond the runaway. Since research has shown that there exists a cultural problem between captains from different regions, the airline should have allocated a first officer who shared the same culture with the pilot. This would have canceled the cultural differences that existed between the two. Although the captain might have judged the landing time correctly, he should have listened to the advice of his first officer. It was wrong for the pilot to simply stick to his plan disregarding the advice given by his first officer. Considering that the remaining runaway was too small for the plane to be stopped, it shows that the first officer had a valid point in advising the pilot to go round. The failure to heed the advice of the first officer shows us how some captains sometimes make wrong decisions just to prove themselves. (Helmreich, 2000)

Crew Resource Management is something that should be stressed in the aviation industry. The case of a co-pilot disagreeing with the captain is something that should never happen in any given situation. Since the two participate in piloting the same plane, there should be a clear understanding between the two. While assigning pilots for any given flight, airline officials should take into note the cultural differences that exist between pilots and first officers from different places. Captains should on the other part be willing to listen to the advice accorded to them by their first officers. This will in turn avoid accidents caused by Bad Crew Resource Management.

References List

Helmreich, L. (2000) “On error Management: Lessons from Aviation: BMJ; 320:781-5.

Royal Aeronautical Society. (1999) “A Paper by the CRM Standing Group of the Royal Aeronautical Society” Crew Resource Management. London, Web.

Sanders, J. (1999) “Confronting the Boss Indirectly”, Study Of Cockpit Crews Finds Co-Pilots Use “Hints” To Correct Captains. Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, Web.

Tailstrike, (n.d) Cockpit Voice Recorder Database. 2010. Web.

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