SE-11 9/24/99

Implementation Plan For Training - CRM

Statement of Work

CRM training, standard operating procedures (SOPs), situation awareness, and CFIT prevention are closely linked. This project will reduce CFIT accidents by promoting comprehensive SOPs as a key element of every part 121 air carrier’s CRM training program. Under a related project, a template for comprehensive SOPs is being developed, including SOPs which specifically address CFIT accident prevention.

Lead Organization for Overall Coordination



Reduce the CFIT accident rate by promoting CFIT prevention in CRM training programs and SOP’s. SOPs, in turn, will be emphasized as an integral part of the CRM training required of flight crewmembers of all part 121 air carriers


  1. Promote CFIT prevention in the CRM training programs of all Part 121 air carriers.

    Resources: FAA (AFS-1, AFS-200, POI’s), air carriers, ATA, RAA, ALPA, and other industry organizations.

    Timeline: 4th Quarter 2000

    Actions: The SOP template and AC (currently under development) will contain CFIT prevention procedures.

  2. Emphasize the importance of SOPs, and recommend the SOP template and the SOP AC in planned revisions of AC 120-51C, Crew Resource Management Training.

    Resources: FAA (AFS-1, AFS-200)

    Timeline: 4th Quarter 2000

    Actions: When developed, AFS-200 will reference the SOP template and AC in the CRM AC, AC 120-51C.

  3. All Part 121 Air Carriers will have CFIT training incorporated in their approved CRM training program.

    Resources: FAA (POI’s) and Air Carriers.

    Timeline: 4th Quarter 2000

    Actions: All Part 121 Air Carriers submit revised CRM training programs to POI’s for approval.

Relationship to Current Aviation Community Initiatives

  • AC 120-51, Crew Resource Management Training, issued December, 1989 (revised annually)
  • Crew Resource Management: Introductory Handbook, issued August, 1992
  • Training rules revised to require CRM training for part 121 pilots, December, 1995
  • CRM pilot training compliance deadline, March, 1998
  • Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT) Education and Training Aid, fall 1997
  • CFIT Training Aid distributed to part 121 operators, FAA field offices, and ICAO member states, fall 1998
  • CFIT Training Aid posted on a public FAA website, April, 1999
  • SOPs template under development, spring 1999
  • SOPs AC, fall 1999

Performance Goals & Indicators for Outcomes/Outputs

Goal: Substantial reduction or elimination of CFIT accidents involving part 121 air carriers worldwide

    • Indicator: Part 121 air carrier CFIT accident rate drops to zero.

Goal: All part 121 CRM training includes CFIT prevention among SOPs

    • Indicator: CRM AC revised to recommend CFIT prevention SOPs


Programmatic Approach

Organizational Strategy

The CFIT JSIT identified Hop Potter, AFS-210 (202-267-3723), as the JSIT project lead for CRM training addressing CFIT prevention. The project lead will continue to work with industry organizations until the SOPs template and an SOPs AC are developed. Thereafter, the project lead will coordinate implementation activities outlined in the project implementation plan and will provide progress reports to the CFIT JSIT. Implementation is viewed as a responsibility shared between the FAA and part 121 air carriers.

Implementation Activities

One of the Project Areas of the CFIT JSIT recognizes the need for CFIT prevention procedures in the SOPs of all air carriers. A template containing standard SOPs and an AC recommending the use of the template, are being developed for reference by all operators in providing their own comprehensive SOPs to their flightcrews. Once developed, the template and the AC will be cross-referenced in AC 120-51, as revised, Crew Resource Management Training.

If the template and AC are not completed by the next revision of the CRM AC (fall 1999), the CRM AC will nevertheless be revised to emphasize the crucial importance of SOPs in effective crew resource management. The CRM AC will further stress that operators should develop and implement SOPs specifically relating to CFIT accident prevention.

Key Products and Milestones

  • CRM AC issued – December, 1989
  • Crew Resource Management: An Introductory Handbook, issued – August, 1992
  • Part 121 training rules revised to include CRM – December, 1995
  • CRM training compliance deadline – March, 1998
  • CFIT training aid developed – Fall of 1997
  • CFIT training aid distributed – Fall of 1998
  • CFIT training aid posted on FAA public website – April, 1999
  • SOP template developed – September, 1999
  • CRM AC revised to emphasize SOPs and CFIT prevention – November, 1999
  • SOP AC issued – September, 2000
  • SOP template cross-referenced in AC 120-51– November, 2000
  • Air carriers revise SOPs incorporating CFIT prevention – January, 2001

Plan and Execution Requirements

CRM can not succeed apart from SOPs. FAA and its industry partners must encourage all operators to develop and implement comprehensive SOPs. Both SOPs and CRM training should include CFIT prevention procedures to realize a reduction in CFIT accidents.

Risk Description

Even with a revised CRM AC, an SOP template, and an SOP AC, some operators may still fail to effect adherence to SOPs by their flightcrews. Lack of adherence to SOPs will reduce or nullify any gains in CFIT accident prevention.

Risk Mitigation Plan

Development of the SOPs template and the SOPs AC will provide a useful model for operators in developing their own comprehensive SOPs. The CRM AC will emphasize the crucial importance of SOPs in CFIT accident prevention and will cross-reference the template and the AC when those products are completed.

Impact on Non - Part 121 or International Applications

Any operator would benefit from the use of the SOPs template, SOPs AC , and the CRM AC.

International organizations are also addressing CFIT prevention and will benefit from the use of the ACs.

Related Safety Enhancements

Related Outputs


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