Threat and Error Management in Aviation


It is of paramount importance to note that most of the accidents that happen in the aviation industry are because of human errors, which are preventable in some instances. Crew/ Cockpit Resource Management (CRM) and Threat and Error Management (TEM) were introduced in the aviation industry when the industry was facing numerous accidents. It was established that most of the accidents that happened could be prevented and thus the staff of most airlines were trained to be able to avoid most human errors. This has gone a long way in reducing the accidents and thus saving the industry lots of money that was lost because of accidents. The fact that the decisions made by aircraft crew can be crucial in determining what might happen in the next few moments made the managements of the airlines to make the crew to be in a position of making the best decisions in different circumstances. The governments of the different nations ought to make sure that all staffs of cockpits are well trained in doing the right things in order to reduce accidents.


After the end of the Second World War, aircraft accidents were at their highest peak. In 1979, during a workshop organized by National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA decided to start CRM as a way of reducing the errors that were been committed by the aircraft crew that resulted to accidents.  The workshop acknowledged the fact that it was due to human errors that led to most of the accidents. It was understood that cockpit crew were responsible for making most of the decisions that could alter or lead to an accident. (Edkins & Pfister 2003 pps 22-24) Though there are different models of CRM it is important to note that they are based on the same principles of reducing the chances of an accident. The technical knowledge of the cockpit is not encompassed in CRM since its main aim is to help the crew in making the right decisions, being aware of what to do in different circumstances and the ability to solve problems as they arise. CRM can thus be described “as a management system which makes optimum use of all available resources (equipment, procedures and people) to promote safety and enhance the efficiency of flight operations.”(Air Force Instruction 11-290 April 11, 2001)

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