Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Timing Of Cockpit Members' Communication In Crisis Is Critical

Date:
May 10, 1999
Source:
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
When there's a crisis in the cockpit, why do some flight crews think on their feet and react swiftly, while other crews make potentially fatal mistakes?

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- When there's a crisis in the cockpit, why do some flight crews think on their feet and react swiftly, while other crews make potentially fatal mistakes?

Related Articles


The question long has preoccupied airlines where passenger safety can rest on the capacity of pilots to cope with bad weather and equipment failures at the same time. Airlines have trained crews to follow three procedures with special care during an emergency -- collecting information about the situation, discussing the importance of the tasks and distributing the tasks among the members.

Research by a University of Illinois professor, however, suggests that an important element is missing -- a recognition that the timing of crew communications greatly affects performance.

"The conventional wisdom is 'more is better,' meaning that the more a crew engages in communications in an emergency, the better their performance," said Mary J. Waller, a professor of business administration. "What I found was quite surprising -- that simply discussing and distributing tasks across crew members was not associated with good performance."

Waller based her findings on a unique "micro" study of 10 crews that were similar in experience and training. The three-person crews (all white males) worked for the same airline and were videotaped in a sophisticated B-727 flight simulator.

Each crew "flew" the same pattern and faced a battery of problems, including a hydraulic system failure, bad weather and the loss of nose-wheel steering.

Waller coded crew behaviors at 10-second intervals after they were notified that weather conditions prevented them from landing at the scheduled airport. From then on, the crews were under uniform levels of time pressure, workload and rapidly changing conditions.

Waller used three senior commercial pilots to rank crew performances. She then cross-checked the performances with the type and quantity of conversations held during the emergencies.

"I tried to capture actual behavior as opposed to the more theoretical procedures often used in evaluating crew performances," Waller said. "My aim was the tear-apart patterns of behavior in groups on a micro level."

She found that crews that made mistakes had the same number of conversations as the high-performing crews, but did not engage in information exchange at the right time. "While

high-performing crews were very targeted and specific when an emergency arose, the low-performing crews tended to sprinkle their exchanges over the whole simulation. This amounted to a big disconnect between training and actual conditions.

"My research suggests that airlines -- or any organization where safety relies on team performance -- consider the issue of 'behavior timing' as a crucial element in the training of crews," the U. of I. researcher said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Timing Of Cockpit Members' Communication In Crisis Is Critical." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 May 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990510063709.htm>.
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. (1999, May 10). Timing Of Cockpit Members' Communication In Crisis Is Critical. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990510063709.htm
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Timing Of Cockpit Members' Communication In Crisis Is Critical." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990510063709.htm (accessed February 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Newsy (Feb. 26, 2015) People who sleep more than eight hours per night are 45 percent more likely to have a stroke, according to a University of Cambridge study. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 25, 2015) Washington&apos;s mayor says the District of Columbia will move forward with marijuana legalization, despite pushback from Congress. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) A new study says marijuana is about 114 times less deadly than alcohol. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Replace Damaged Hands With Prostheses

Researchers Replace Damaged Hands With Prostheses

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) Scientists in Austria have been able to fit patients who&apos;ve lost the use of a hand with bionic prostheses the patients control with their minds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins