Sunday, May 24, 2009

Crew Resource Management/ S-271

The powers that be decided it was time to add depth to the staffing in Air Operations. As the only certified ACE (Aviation Centered Education) instructor, I get to lead the S-271 class. S-271 is a week long course that's an introduction to the 'special use' part of the aviation industry. I like teaching. The hard part is, this course will be attended mostly by folks that outrank me. I'll have the active support of AirOps there though so it's all good.
Crew Resource Management, or CRM, is really big now. There were quite a few aviation mishaps that could have been avoided had the pilot not tried to take the entire crisis on himself--elicit input from the crew, keep lines of communication open, that sort of thing. We apply that philosophy here. 'Three to go, One to No'.
The harder part of training is the concept of 'soft skills'. In the public sector, everything must be objective. 'Hard skills' are things you can evaluate and document on skills checklists. 'Soft skills' are one's ability to adapt to dynamic situations, things you haven't seen before. Only real goal is to keep everybody safe. If we identify someone as not safe, and we're not able to train a correction, we have to have the ability to exclude them from flying. Even if they outrank you. Invariably that individual will not be able to see in themselves what the experienced airmen are seeing and will assume it's a personality issue..... We'll take that hit.

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