Although there are several instances of past aviation accidents which have enhanced the idea of introducing CRM in aircrew operations (i.e. Tenerife 1977 or Portland, Oregano's DC-8 crash in 1978), this discussion will focus on only one key example, namely, the disaster of "Eastern Airlines Flight 401", typically known as the crash at Florida, Everglades in 1972. This accident will be briefly reviewed, specifically identifying the major issues (expressed by the NTSB report) which corresponds to the initiation of CRM as the solution for preventing and minimising such causes. A brief overview:
Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 was a Lockheed L-1011 jet en-route from New York: John F. Kennedy Airport, inbound for Florida: Miami International Airport. The site of the crash took place near the vicinity of the destination airport (approximately 18 miles west-northwest of Miami International) into the Florida Everglades on December 29, 1972, at local time 2342. On board Flight 401 were 163 passengers and an operational crew of 13. According to official findings 94 passengers and 5 crew members received fatal injuries. Other occupants also received a range of minor to severe injuries. (NTSB, 1973). The series of issues commenced when the flight firstly diverted from its approach to Miami. This diversion resulted from the observations of First Officer, Stockstill, rightly acknowledging what seemed to be a fault with the nose-gear improperly set in the lock-down position (after the landing gear handle was set in the GEAR DOWN position for landing ). This fault was indicated due to the absence of the 'GREEN' indicator lock-down light.
The aircraft climbed to 2,000 feet mean sea level and followed a clearance to
proceed west from the airport at that altitude. During this time, the
crew attempted to correct the malfunction and to determine whether or
not the nose landing gear was extended.
The aircraft crashed into the Everglades shortly after being cleared
by Miami Approach Control for a left turn back to Miami International
(NTSB, 1973, p. 1)
Initially first officer, Stockstill, took manual control of the aircraft and followed ATC directions to fly at 2000 feet and circle away from Miami airport until the...