Pilots are taught that pilot monitoring should speak up if something seems wrong, and take over the controls if the pilot flying does not respond adequately, even if the pilot flying is a senior captain. However, do they actually train such situations?

For example recently a final report for accident of US-Bangla Airlines flight 211 was published. The accident involved a badly disoriented captain trying to salvage a really botched approach, and while the rookie copilot did try to be helpful, neither she nor the tower controller was assertive enough to explicitly call go-around.

I would think that some practical training would help in this kind of simulation. I am thinking of a simulator session that would start with the instructor being pilot flying, doing something wrong and acting confused and expecting the trainee to intervene appropriately. The trainee would know the instructor expects them to intervene, and thus wouldn't have qualms about it, but the trained reaction would still help overcome interpersonal issues in real flight.

  • $\begingroup$ The positive outcome of "The Miracle on the Hudson" was credited among other things to the good CRM in the cockpit. And it was mentioned that Captain Sullenberger was actually one of the pilots who originally introduced CRM training into their airline and that he was involved in creating and implementing CRM training programs and also regularly taught the course he helped develop. So, CRM training definitely does exist, although none of the articles went into further details as to the specific form of this training. $\endgroup$ Jan 30, 2019 at 8:14

1 Answer 1


CRM training which I have been exposed to consists of lecture/videos to cover principles and expand on them with techniques. There may be some classroom exercises. However, due to the way that most training is conducted, the "classroom" is usually small numbers. The application of CRM is in the simulator (SIM), where evaluation of techniques can be provided as the techniques are applied in routine and not-so-routine training scenarios. Debrief is normally instructor(s) on team, after the SIM session(s).

For the training I get, CRM is pretty effectively integrated into recurrent SIM training.

For ab inito and primary training, the CRM training is similar, with classroom/video training. Flight schools and academies will have larger class sizes and normally have quite a bit of depth in their training. I recently reviewed a 4 credit hour university course on CRM.

A friend who is a pilot, and also an Emergency Medicine Physician, (and with graduate and undergraduate degrees in Human Factors and Industrial Engineering) has been applying CRM to the hospital emergency department operations, and the military has similar efforts.

CRM has been around for a long time, although there were cultural impediments to it's widespread integration in the aviation context. Much of that continues to change over the last 20 years. I expect that CRM will expand into areas such as varying personality styles and other team techniques in the future. An example is some of the people style recognition and skills as developed by Robert Bolton, PhD and Dorthy Grover Bolton.

To summarize, the method of teaching is dependent upon the venue. In many areas of aviation, CRM is integrated into recurrent training and critiqued on observed operations. In initial training, the introduction of CRM is largely dependent upon the style of instruction, and whether that instruction is individualized or team based.


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