Communication and Teamwork: Key Resources

The following books provide an excellent overview of elements of communication and teamwork across high-risk industries:

Flin, R. H., O’Connor, P., and Crichton, M. (2008). Safety at the Sharp End: A Guide to Non-TechnicalSkills. Aldershot, UK. Ashgate Publishing.

Salas, E., Bowers, C. A., and Edens, E. (Eds.). (2001). Improving Teamwork in Organizations:Applications of Resource Management Training. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Case Studies

Continental Express Flight 2574: In September 1991, a Continental Express Embraer broke up in flight en route to Houston, Texas. The investigation revealed that during maintenance, the screws that

secured the top of the leading edge of the horizontal stabiliser had been removed but not replaced. This occurred because a maintenance inspector had attempted to assist two mechanics in a job that required removal of the leading edge of the horizontal stabiliser. The inspector worked on the top, while the two mechanics worked on the bottom. On shift handover, it was communicated that only the right-hand side had been worked on, whereas in actuality the inspector had removed both left- and right-side screws on the top of the stabiliser. This was not visible from inspection on the ground. Work was completed on the right-hand side by the next shift, but the screws were never replaced on the left-hand side, resulting in the leading edge tearing from the aircraft in flight, which led to an in-flight breakup.21

Air Ontario Flight 1363: On 10 March 1989, an Air Ontario F-28 was preparing to depart Dryden on a snowy day. This accident involved cabin crew not conveying to the flight crew the concerns of a travelling pilot about the degree of snow and ice accumulation on the aircraft’s wings. This snow and ice subsequently led to the aircraft not being able to attain sufficient altitude at the end of the runway. After this accident, many airlines developed joint CRM training programs, where both flight crew and cabin crew come together for training.

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