THE CRM AND FLIGHT SAFETY RISKS
Wearing a mask can damage our day to day relationships and place a strain on friendships and the balance of our social life. Communication can be severely impaired and there are grave potential health repercussions for safety related jobs when oxygen intake is restricted and CO2 levels in the blood become elevated. We cannot ignore these (mask) measures, because they gravely impact our physical and emotional well being.
Cockpit Resource Management
However, speaking of human as a resource leads to the notion of « interchangeable operators », and even to the idea of a costly burden. We prefer thinking of this positively as wealth.
Within a crew, everyone brings something to the table, their own personal skills that benefit the group. Here we are not discussing personal development or friendliness, but safety. Stressful situations may inhibit a crew member's ability to perform their duties. Classroom training directs them to use reasoning and critical thinking, sticking to the facts. These are now numerous enough so that everyone can make an informed opinion devoid of ideology.
Between facts and behavior arise a number of biases :
The implementation of the green and then vaccination pass caused a fracture in society. This dissent translates into distrust, contempt, stigmatization and even denial. It has absolutely no place on an airplane because it undermines teamwork and trust in its crew members.
Time will do its job. Ours remains to do it safely.
On stopovers requiring it, aircrew must submit to an invasive nasal swab. This can be painful and even cause bleeding, depending upon the skill of the operator and the physiology of the person being tested (i.e. narrow nostrils or extreme sensitivity).
Crew may also be required to report for duty one hour before the normal time, in order to be tested. During this time they may have fears of a painful experience or even an injury. Clearly, there is no guarantee of a good result from such tests and a positive result (false or correct), can always prevent a scheduled departure up to the last moment.
Why will nobody consider saliva testing at home, well in advance of departure time ?
The mandatory vaccination pass in our jobs does have an impact on flight safety.
Despite recent easing of the sanitary measures, there is no guarantee that a possible epidemic resumption will not see the procession of passes and other QR codes reappear in our lives.
The fear for a crewmember of losing his job if he does not hold a vaccination pass (as for health personnel) generates stress. The latter causes a loss of performance and, if repeated and sustained, poses serious flight safety problems. The pressure induced more or less directly by an employer in order to meet the vaccination requirement produces the same pernicious effects. All aircrew are subject to either an annual or six monthly medical review in order to continue flying. Health is therefore of paramount importance. Each of us is aware of this and adopts a responsible approach to our state of health because it conditions our ability to work.
We are also recruited and trained to take challenging decisions, based on a collection of facts that will help us in our decision making.
Since vaccination against SARS-COV 2 has been practiced for 18 months, we now have more perspective on adverse effects.
Vaccine adverse events that make it to the various databases (ANSM, EudraVigilance, VAERS, UK Yellow Card) are far more numerous and severe than for any other classic vaccine. Severe side effects are all the more penalising because of these regular and stringent obligatory medical checks. Some of the side effects include blood clots, that are hard to detect without a proper examination. They cause thromboses, cardiac and cerebral accidents, a serious risk for us who work in variable pressure environments.
Despite the obvious importance of our health on flight safety, aviation and company medicine have rushed forward into universal vaccination without any prior study of the potential harms these vaccines can cause.
This aeronautical medicine, so fastidious and cautious when it comes to issuing a license to a flight crew member, has not carried out a moratorium or additional research on the effects of a new technology based on RNA contained in these vaccines.
The side effects can no longer be denied today and a complete assessment is necessary before forcing our population, medically followed and in good health, to take a vaccine who's trial phase has not yet been completed.
We need to put safety in our line of work first