“It’s possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skill”- Wilbur Wright.
That statement sets the tone for this little book. CRM (Crew Resource Management) is then outlined from multiple point of views. This is a book about cockpit CRM.
Next to the ‘theory’ luckily also a lot of examples are used in order to explain the not psychological taught- but flying- reader what all that complicated language use actually means. All in all that makes it a very entertaining book. The most searching of all these ‘cases’ is that with planes it always goes so unbelievably fast. It is therefore not surprising that for the professional aviation about 90% of the applicants do not pass the entry exams.
Two hero’s and a anti-hero are highlighted in this book: captain ‘Sully’ (nickname for Sullenberger) of the Hudson-Airbus A320, captain Kirk of the Enterprise and captain Veldhuysen of Zanten as the originator of the undisputed all time drama in the civil aviation (Tenerife)*. Two good and one bad example of autocratic-dictatorial-leadership.
Under the heading: Tools of the Trade, Experience, Skills and Training another, for me, beautiful high-flyer. A successful businessman is questioned about the secret of his success. ‘Good decisions’ is his answer. After which the interviewer asks: how did you learn this taking of good decisions? The businessman replies with: ‘Bad decisions’.
What sounds throughout the whole book: “We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training”. Followed by a plea for ‘everlasting’ training in cockpit drills. And…sometimes a captain has to force his approach of an emergency situation with iron hand. The Hudson-A320 incident and the Airbus A380 with an exploded engine who managed to make an emergency landing on Singapore, as an illustration.
How experienced airline-pilots will value this book, I cannot guess; but for me it was a useful exercise in self-reflection. ‘Am I now an eagle, peacock, pigeon or owl?!’
*Note: the opinion of the writer of this book.