Threat and Error Management (TEM) proposes that threats and errors are part of everyday operations that flight crew have to manage to maintain flight safety. Please see TEM flight deck application for more detailed information. The framework itself was derived from cockpit observations pre-dating LOSA that mostly focused on CRM performance. It serves as the primary measure of LOSA. (Klinect, 20051)


Crew resource management training focuses on human error in aviation accident, which include the failures of interpersonal communication, situational awareness, leadership, and decision making in the cockpit.CRM is a management system which makes use of all available resources - equipment, procedures and people, to promote safety and enhance the efficiency of flight operations. As part of the validation of the behavioral impact of CRM training, LOSA was developed and introduced as an observational process to assess both CRM and TEM practices and inevitable human error that accompany complex flight operations. (Wikipedia, 20092)

LOSA provided interesting insight on two fronts. firstly, it provided the airlines with an operational baseline of CRM strengths and weakenesses, this allow the airline to prioritise areas for improvement of training; secondly, it provided managers with confidence that the operational report on CRM performance was valid and necessary to supplement their findings from training data. (Klinect, Murray, Merritt & Helmreich, 20033)

(picture embeded from Emerald Insight on 7 September, 2009)

Future research directions

With LOSA development in place, there’re 3 general directions for future research:
1. Continued assessment and Refinement of LOSA methodology
The purpose of LOSA is to produce valid results, conclusions cannot be made from findings without validity, and defeats data collection effort. However, establishing validity is not the end, it’s a continuous effort that involves the constant assessment. Therefore, future research could involve third-party assessment of LOSA methods, instrumentation and applicability to refine and improve LOSA as a research method and airline safety process. (Klinect, 20051)

2. Advancing TEM performance knowledge with LOSA
A much needed step in research is to advance the current TEM performance knowledge and its role in aviation safety. To fully understand TEM issues, multiple methods and data sources are needed to complement LOSA findings and adds to the knowledge base of TEM performance, as well to be used to improve training and operating procedures. (Klinect, 20051)

3. Linking LOSA to other airline safety data sources
This can be done in many ways, an example of this would be the study of relationship between LOSA and the Aviation Safety Action Partnership (ASAP) since many airlines are using TEM based measurement to capture ASAP information. LOSA collects data from an observer’s perspective, ASAP capture it from reported flight crew’s perspective. Airlines can comparing the similarities and differences between these two data sources and diganose precursors to incidents and accidents. (Klinect, 20051)

1. Klinect, J. (2005). Line Operations Safety Audit: A Cockpit Observation Methodology for Monitoring Commercial Airline Safety Performance. The University of Texas, Austin.
2. Wikipedia (2009). Crew Resource Management. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crew_Resource_Management on 7 September, 2009.
3. Klinect, J., Murray, P., Merritt, A. & Helmreich, R. (2003). Line Operations Safety Audits (LOSA): Definition and Operating Characteristics. The university of Texas, Austin.

Want to know more?

Crew Resource Management
A training course modules for CRM.

FAA Advisory Circular
FAA introductory handbook for CRM

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