A lifetime of Crew Resource Management

Dear Capt. Sweeney:

I am a retired Airline Capt.   I subscribe to “Professional Mariner” so as to better understand the professional mariners with whom I share the waterways.  Over the years, I have become a better and safer yachtsman for reading this magazine and your pieces.
After twenty years, I retired from the picket line at Eastern in 1990.  This was during  ALPA’s failed attempt to save EAL from the “Corp.  Raider”, Frank Lorenzo.  After getting my masters, I turned down UAL and joined FedEx.   I retired from FedEx in 2001, at the,  [Back then], mandatory retirement age of 60 and became a yachtsman here in Panama City, FL.  We are a deep water port with much commercial activity on the waterways.
EAL bought a CRM program and all flight Crew had to go through the training, at our annual recurrent.  EAL was very senior and CRM did not change all of the, “Crusty Old Bastards”, who had forgotten what it was like to be a junior Officer!   We said, some of these older Captains confused seniority with superior IQ!   Most of us were good leaders and followers, military trained and experienced before the airlines, so CRM mostly helped me learn how to effectively approach a Capt. or a FO when he was about to make a mistake.
By the time I got to FedEx, the FAA, with ALPA  in agreement,  had mandated CRM and I was trained again.   At FedEx, a more junior crew force, trained in a more liberal military, much more readily excepted CRM.   I used CRM many times, [On both Junior and Senior Officers],  during my eleven years, flying around the globe on the 747 and DC-10.
I still use CRM on my yacht crew, American women don’t respond well to yelling.  I see some yelling on other boats, doesn’t work!
Thanks for your very good articles.   And Yes,  I am a direct descendent of  famous Captain “Mad Jack” Percival, of Boston!  I am trying to get the Navy to name a Burke Class after him!
Capt. Jim Percival
By Professional Mariner Staff