According to the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) statistics, the cause of 60-70% of all airplane accidents and incidents are related to ’human factor’. Stress, irritability, fatigue and even pilots’ arrogance towards other staff may take its toll on aircraft crew members during the flight and thus contribute towards a lowered attention span. In order to minimize these risk factors aircraft operators should regularly apply relevant team building programs.
The implementation of different training programs commonly known as Crew Resources Management (CRM), organized by either airlines themselves or with the help of crew lease&recruitment agencies, helps flight team members to overcome their miscommunication issues. “For example, British Airways has recently launched the so-called ’hug a pilot’ program. It is a 90-minute course aimed at improving pre, during and after flight interaction between pilots and other crew members. The course is part of the annual three-days long Safety and Emergency program, where the BA’s crew members cultivate stronger bonds between each other” - shares Skaiste Knyzaite, the CEO of crew lease agency AviationCV.com. The main goal of the CRM is to promote a friendly atmosphere inside the cabin, whilst teaching crew members to express and discuss safety-related concerns without involving overly positive or negative emotions into their interactions.
At the dawn of the civil aviation flight crew members list was limited to the cockpit crew which rarely exceeded one or two persons. But those days are far gone and a modern pilot cannot allow himself to act the same way as if he was on his own. Today a Fokker F50 type of aircraft requires at least 3-4 crew members. In the case of an Airbus A380, the number of crew members may even exceed 20. “One should always remember the classic example of pilots’ uncommunicativeness and arrogance: the Fokker F-28-1000 crash in Canada. According to the accident report the crash was caused by ice and snow formations on the aircraft wings. However, further investigation has revealed, that one of the flight stewardess had noticed some foreign objects on the plain but failed to share this information with the cockpit crew” – tells S. Knyzaite. The reason for this women’s inaction was her ill-experience during previous flights when her safety-related concerns had been left unresponded.
“On the other hand, a cooperative flight team is not only about team building. It all begins in crew recruitment agencies which utilise the CRMs in their everyday work. When assembling a new crew for our airline clients we always take into consideration our pilots’ and stewards’ individual physiological characteristics. A team of psychologically compatible people produces more happiness and kindness – two essential customer service factors which are easily communicated to passengers during the flight” – concludes Skaiste Knyzaite.