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Single-Pilot and Crew Resource Management

SRM, Regs | June 6, 2019

Author: Nik Chapman recognizes the need to provide an independent topic, i.e., Single-Pilot Resource Management (SRM) to serve the needs of single-pilot operators. While Crew Resource Management (CRM) and SRM share similar themes, the single-pilot operator faces challenges that we believe necessitate a unique training solution.

Recent changes to CRM training requirements, notably CASS 724.115(38) and similar standards, prompted significant investigation and re-authoring of our Human Factors related training. This process revealed many similarities and differences in the delivery of CRM principles for single-pilot operators. Patrick Mendenhall of Critical Reliability Concepts comments on the similarities: “CRM is about maximizing resources… the benefits are not limited or restricted by the number of people – or lack thereof – involved.”

The fundamental underlying concepts for CRM and SRM may be similar; however, capturing resource management principles for operators without a “crew” often requires a different perspective. For example, a passenger could provide a traffic scan in high-density airspace or assist in an evacuation by being thoroughly briefed on the emergency exits before a flight. Single-pilot operators need to increase their awareness of all available resources without other “crew” members.

SRM must consider strategic and tactical practices that take on greater importance within a single-pilot operation. Robert Wright of Wright Aviation Solutions, LLC explains that, “In lieu of a challenge and response checklist, single-pilots should adopt standard… ‘flows’ to accomplish required tasks and verify this through checklists by verbalizing steps and pointing to the switch or other action item they are accomplishing.” Preserving the core CRM lessons is important, Wright continues, as “corporate aviation flight crews have achieved an enviable safety record… by creating and following good CRM practices.”

It would be a mistake to abandon CRM principles because the model is considerate of a multi-crew environment. Instead, and our subject matter experts have appreciated the CRM content and replicated the key learning points in a manner that speaks directly to the single-pilot operator.

Enjoy the training!

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