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    Re: A credible AIS track for the Costa Concordia
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2012 Jan 25, 19:45 -0800

    Dave Harwood, you wrote:
    "We know this as Crew Resource Management (CRM) in the military aviation community."

    Thanks. I didn't know that. Do you have any idea how they judge the effectiveness of this training? Have there been fewer incidents that could be blamed on these issues?

    And you added:
    "When you expire, you’re grounded…period."

    Wow. That's interesting!

    You cited three aspects that might be relevant to the Costa Concordia:
    1) "EXCESSIVE PROFESSIONAL COURTESY: Hesitancy to say anything for fear of insulting the other pilot's skills, especially if that pilot is a friend or superior."

    The friendship aspect may well be important here. From the press reports, it sounds like the community of ships' officers in Italy is a rather tight-knit group. They were doing this "fly-by" or "salute" at Giglio Island in part because they knew people there including, supposedly, a well-respected former captain. Some degree of social independence, enforced by regulation, would seem to be a good idea here. For that matter, even way back in 1707 in the sinking of Shovell's fleet on the Scillies (famously connected with the quest for longitude), the Admiral had plenty of officers of captain's rank with which to consult on the navigation --but they were mostly family relatives.

    2) "HALO EFFECT: Hesitancy to speak up when the erring pilot is known to be an expert, or has more experience than yourself."

    An interesting point raised here:
    is that Schettino was relatively inexperienced and that the rapidly-expanding cruise ship fleets are having trouble finding officers. I suppose it's a good time to head off to a maritime academy. By the way, the history at the above web site is quite interesting and includes some remarkable details about this huge ship.

    3) "DEVIATION NORMALIZATION: It’s been done wrong for so long that it becomes the new normal."

    Yes, that sounds like a major factor here, both for Schettino and his officers and the cruise company that appears to have agreed to these maneuvers more than they're admitting right now. Yet a software system would have caught this easily, and presumably such a system was installed on the ship. Unfortunately, I would not be surprised to learn that the captain distrusts high technology. I would not be surprised to find out that he owns a sextant...

    And Dave, I would just like to add that I found your comments very stimulating. After the dust settles and the "burn the witch!" mentality fades, I suspect that these are just the sorts of issues that will be discussed with respect to cruise ship officer training and management.


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