Crew Resource Management

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Prior to 1959, faulty equipment was the probable cause for many airplane accidents, but with the advent of jet engines, faulty equipment became less of a threat, while human factors gained prominence in accident investigations (Kanki, Helmreich & Anca, 2010). From 1959 to 1989, pilot error was the cause of 70% of accident resulting in the loss of hull worldwide (Kanki, Helmreich & Anca, 2010). Due to these alarming statistics, in 1979 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) implemented a workshop called “Resource Management on the Flightdeck” that led to what is now known as Crew Resource Management (CRM) or also known as Cockpit Resource Management (Rodrigues & Cusick, 2012). CRM is a concept that has been attributed to reducing human factors as a probable cause in aviation accidents. The concepts of CRM weren’t widely accepted by the aviation industry, but through its history, concepts, and eventual implementation, Crew Resource Management has become an invaluable resource for pilots as well as other unrelated industries around the world.
Over the course of the thirty years spanning from 1959 to 1979 there were many incidents that led to a need for a system to reduce human factors in major accidents, but in the seventies, there were some significant accidents that highlighted a need for action. A very notable crash was the Eastern Airlines Flight 401 on December 29, 1972. The flight was making their approach in Miami when the landing gear light would not illuminate. All members of the flight crew attempted to troubleshoot the problem with the autopilot on. Air Traffic Control (ATC) instructed the pilot to divert away from the airport at 2000 feet while they figured out the issue. The autopilot function...

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...Retrieved from
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Noland, D. (n.d.). 10 plane crashes that changed aviation. Popular Mechanics, DOI:
Rodrigues, C., & Cusick, S. (2012). Commercial aviation safety. (5th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
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