CHARLOTTE, NC: Crisis communications firm C4CS has hit upon a new
approach to training corporate execs to communicate effectively during a
The firm is offering training sessions that include time with a flight
instructor/pilot in a Boeing 737 flight simulator.
David Snepp, a C4CS managing partner and an amateur pilot, got the idea
after winning time in a flight simulator himself at a 1999 charity
Snepp was impressed by the procedures pilots use to avoid problems.
'They're using communications as a first tool of defense for safety,' he
Airlines encourage pilots to tell co-pilots if they're feeling ill, for
example, rather than risk problems that could arise with a sick pilot
trying to fly a plane.
Cockpit communications also need to be clear, effective and concise
during emergencies. 'In crisis management, a lot of people talk too
much,' Snepp said, adding that a look at how pilots communicate
effectively could help corporate managers do the same in a crisis
C4CS' new training sessions, called Virtual Aviator, consist of a
two-hour classroom session followed by 90-120 minutes spent in the
simulator 'flying' a 737 through emergency situations. A debriefing of
about an hour follows during which participants can review how well they
communicated with each other. Participants go into the simulator two at
a time. Each class is limited to four people.
C4CS hopes to hold the classes in Denver, Dallas and Orlando where
simulators are available. Its first session is scheduled for Miami May
21. A day-long session costs dollars 3,750 per person.