OPS Manual

The following “Operations Manual” is the basis for formulations in Operations Manuals of Airlines which established CISM. It was created by “Stiftung Mayday” in cooperation with Deutsche Lufthansa Passage, Swissair and Austrian Airlines.


Operations Manual

Operational Debriefing

The commander should conduct an “Operational Debriefing” with all crew members concerned after any incident which might have led to a different perception about the event.

Such a non-routine event is defined by 3 criteria:

  • It is not observed during daily operation.
  • It leads to a significant deviation from normal work-routine.
  • A differing perception about it is likely.

An “Operational Debriefing” should take place as soon as possible after the incident and be as short as possible, covering only the factual side of the event.
Uninvolved persons should not take part or listen in.

Examples are: diversion, go-around, etc..

During this “Oprational Debriefing” the following questions shall be dealt with:

  • What are the technical procedural facts of the event?
  • Are there differing perceptions among the crew members?
  • Is there a need for further CISM-debriefing measures?
  • How do we proceed?

An “Operational Debriefing” which lasts longer than 15 Minutes or strong physical, behavioural and/or emotional reactions among the crew members indicate that a CIS-Debriefing may be necessary as a follow-up.


CIS (Critical Incident Stress)-debriefing measures should be conducted after an “Operational Debriefing” whenever any crew member has been exposed to an extreme level of stress. Stress levels can be extremely high in situations, which are perceived as a strong threat to life or health.

Examples of situations that may generate an extreme level of stress are:

  • Extreme turbulence.
  • Engine failure, rejected T/O.
  • Near collision.
  • Fire or smoke on board, severe bird-strike.
  • Emergency landing and/or evacuation (prepared or actual).
  • Death on board or during layover.
  • Hijacking.
  • In-flight violence, sex crimes, kidnapping or hold-ups.
  • Natural disasters.

Immediate reactions may be lack of attention, decrease of information processing and performance, inability to concentrate, confusion, symptoms of shock and/or withdrawal.

Crew members and their family members may require individual assistance in dealing with the physical and emotional impacts of extremely high stress levels after involvement in an incident or accident. The Flight Operations Department of …… has established CISM-Teams for provision of such assistance to its crew members.

Specially trained CISM-Coordinators define and initiate the appropriate intervention measures. The Flight Operations Department is responsible for the preparation and arrangement of CISM-interventions. CISM-qualified personnel of “Stiftung Mayday” is responsible for the proper conduct of CISM-Interventions.

CIS-debriefing measures must be performed by trained and assigned CISM-personnel only.

24-hour-Hotline (phone numbers published in respective crew publications).