Pilot competencies as components of a dynamic human-machine system

Heikki Mansikka, Don Harris*, Kai Virtanen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper formulates a theoretical model of flight deck team performance as a dynamic human-machine system, later referred to as CRM-DYMO (Crew Resources Management-DYnamic MOdel). The model identifies human and machine subsystems. The human subsystem describes the activities taken by the flight crew and the machine subsystem describes the changes in the aircraft's state. The human subsystem's output forms an input for the machine subsystem, and the machine subsystem's output feeds back to the human system creating a closed loop system. Pilots’ performance are described as competencies, which form part of the elements in the human subsystem. This paper concentrates only on CRM competencies as defined by the International Civil Aviation Authority and the International Air Transport Association. In addition to the detailed conceptual model of the human subsystem and associated competencies, the approach is illustrated with reference to two accident case studies. These demonstrate how CRM-DYMO can assist in analyzing CRM and help in identifying how the different system components interact. Although the case studies demonstrate the benefits of CRM-DYMO, they merely serve as a starting point to understand how CRM works and will hopefully encourage supporting quantitative simulation modeling and empirical studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-477
Number of pages12
JournalHuman factors and ergonomics in manufacturing and service industries
Issue number6
Early online date1 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • crew resource management
  • dynamic human-machine system
  • modeling
  • pilot competencies
  • team performance


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