Reflecting with the IAF Air Patrollers

Reflecting with the IAF Air Patrollers

Reflecting with the IAF Air Patrollers

Air patrollers from the “First” squadron took a break from operational activity and participated in a CRM seminar, with the purpose of encouraging dialogue between the members of the mission

Vered Talala | Translation: Eden Sharon

Air patrollers from the “First” squadron took part in a CRM (Crew Resource Management) workshop. The goal: optimizing the efficiency of intelligence gathering and encourage discussions inside the team.
“This workshop is important for the everyday activity of the squadron”, determined Major Ido, the pilot in charge of the CRM workshops in the squadron. “The workshop refreshes our cooperation on board and promotes open discussions between the team members, therefore improving our achievements”.

A reconnaissance sortie aboard the “Beechcraft King Air” includes a team of air patrollers. Excessive noise or incidents that require decision-making under pressure are examples for situations in which the continuity of the mission might be damaged.
“A CRM workshop is required wherever there is an interaction between different people”, explained Lt. Col. (Res.) Zachi, the conductor of the workshop. “The cases we investigated as part of the workshop has indicated many miscommunications between the airborne teams. I teach them how to overcome interpersonal communication barriers and how to work under pressure and stress”.

CRM – An Answer for Miscommunications in the World of Aviation
A major part of the workshop was dedicated to issues that relate directly to the work of an air controller: how to better operate on board, the exact position of every team member and when it is wise to become involved with a certain mission.
“Naturally, some of the missions are not free of disagreements”, said Major Ido. “But because we deal with real time intelligence, every small disagreement can cause us to waste a lot of precious time. Eventually, the final word is given by the mission commander and everybody follows his instructions”.

A very helpful visual aid was videos. The air patrollers watch themselves performing routine missions in addition to other videos from Operation “Protective Edge” during which the squadron worked day and night and carried out many reconnaissance sorties.
“The videos exposed us to the dialogs between us and we were able to draw conclusions”, said Major Ido. “We tried to understand what went right and where we should have dealt with a situation in a different way. It was overwhelming and you can literally see people changing from one seminar to the other”.

CRM is an answer to many communication problems in the world of military and civilian aviation. Investigations of aerial accidents led to the conclusion that better cooperation among the team can actually prevent disasters.