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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the role of airline pilots' performance in accidents and the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) efforts to address any inadequate performance, focusing on the: (1) types and frequency of accidents in which an airline pilot's performance was cited as a contributing factor, including those in which failure to use crew resource management (CRM) principles was identified; and (2) adequacy of FAA's guidance for and oversight of the airlines' implementation of pilots' training for CRM.

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Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Transportation 1. To help ensure that airlines appropriately train pilots in CRM principles under part 121 and that FAA inspectors are able to uniformly evaluate this CRM training, the Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator of FAA to develop a process that airlines must follow for creating a CRM curriculum, with measurable criteria, under part 121 as it has for the AQP.
Closed - Not Implemented
FAA is rewriting the air carrier training program requirements contained in Part 121 and anticipates completing a Notice of Proposed Rule Making by December 2001. This rewrite will include proficiency-based assessment of CRM training. In a follow-up inquiry regarding the status of the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM), an FAA official noted that the FAA had completed the NPRM, April 2002, which includes a proficiency-based assessment of Crew Resource Management training. The NPRM will be forwarded to the Department of Transportation, DOT, for final review and approval. In another follow-up inquiry, an FAA official indicated that the rulemaking has been subject to numerous delays and no date was offered regarding when DOT would finalize the NPRM.

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