Aviation Safety Reporting Program


  • Data is valuable, shared data is invaluable
  • The Aviation Safety Reporting Program (ASRP), as described in AC 00-46, has been established to stimulate the free and unrestricted flow of information concerning deficiencies and discrepancies in the aviation system
  • This is a positive program intended to ensure the safest possible system by identifying and correcting unsafe conditions before they lead to accidents
  • Occurrences that require notification must be reported to the nearest National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Field Office/FAA
  • The manner with which an accident or incident may be reported will depend on the circumstances
  • In order to ensure the smooth flow of information, certain items will need to be included in the notification
  • After a report is initially submitted, follow up reports may be required to ensure the incident is accurately and completely reported

Aviation Safety Reporting Program:

  • The primary objective of the program is to obtain information to evaluate and enhance the safety and efficiency of the present system
    • The FAA will not use reports submitted to NASA under the Aviation Safety Reporting Program (or information derived therefrom) in any enforcement action expect information concerning accidents or criminal offenses which are wholly excluded from the Program
  • This cooperative safety reporting system invites pilots, controllers, flight attendants, maintenance personnel and other users of the airspace system, or any other person, to file written reports of actual or potential discrepancies and deficiencies involving the safety of aviation operations
  • The operations covered by the program include departure, en route, approach and landing operations and procedures, air traffic control procedures and equipment, crew and air traffic control communications, aircraft cabin operations, aircraft movement on the airport, near midair collisions, aircraft maintenance and record keeping and airport conditions or services
  • Waiver of Imposition of Sanction:

    • The FAA considers the filing of a report with NASA concerning an incident or occurrence to be indicative of a constructive attitude
    • Such an attitude will tend to prevent future violations. Accordingly, although a finding of violation may be made, neither a civil penalty nor certificate suspension will be imposed if:
      • The violation was inadvertent and not deliberate;
      • The violation did not involve a criminal offense, accident, or action under 49 U.S.C. ยง 44709, which discloses a lack of qualification or competency, which is wholly excluded from this policy;
      • The person has not been found in any prior FAA enforcement action to have committed a violation of 49 U.S.C. subtitle VII, or any regulation promulgated there for a period of 5 years prior to the date of occurrence; and
      • The person proves that, within 10 days after the violation, or date when the person became aware or should have been aware of the violation, he or she completed and delivered or mailed a written report of the incident or occurrence to NASA
  • Aviation Safety Reporting Program Form Example
    Aviation Safety Reporting Program Form Example

Voluntary Safety Reporting Program:

  • The FAA announced the Voluntary Safety Reporting Program which provides those who work in the FAA's Aviation Safety organization the ability to report confidentially any safety concerns without fear of punitive action
  • The FAA order establishing the Voluntary Safety Reporting Program is available on our website

Aircraft Accident and Incident Reporting:

  • Reporting/Notification Criteria:

    • Manned Aircraft:

      • The operator of an aircraft must immediately, and by the most expeditious means available, notify the nearest National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Field Office when:
        • Flight control system malfunction or failure
        • Inability of any required flight crew member to perform their normal flight duties as a result of injury or illness
        • Failure of structural components of a turbine engine excluding compressor and turbine blades and vanes
        • Inflight fire
        • Aircraft collide in flight
        • Damage to property, other than the aircraft, estimated to exceed $25,000 for repair (including materials and labor) or fair market value in the event of total loss, whichever is less
        • For large multi-engine aircraft (more than 12,500 pounds maximum certificated takeoff weight):
          • Inflight failure of electrical systems which requires the sustained use of an emergency bus powered by a back-up source such as a battery, auxiliary power unit, or air-driven generator to retain flight control or essential instruments;
          • Inflight failure of hydraulic systems that results in sustained reliance on the sole remaining hydraulic or mechanical system for movement of flight control surfaces;
          • Sustained loss of the power or thrust produced by two or more engines; and
          • An evacuation of aircraft in which an emergency egress system is utilized
      • An aircraft is overdue and is believed to have been involved in an accident
    • Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Reporting:

      • A remote pilot in command must report any incident or accident that meets the reporting criteria below
      • The remote pilot in command has a limit of 10 calendar days (weekends count)
      • UAS Reporting Criteria:

        • Serious injury to any person or any loss of consciousness; or
        • Damage to any property, other than the small unmanned aircraft, unless one of the following conditions is satisfied:
          • The cost of repair (including materials and labor) does not exceed $500; or
          • The fair market value of the property does not exceed $500 in the event of total loss
  • Reporting Items:

    • To ensure receipt of this information, the program provides for the waiver of certain disciplinary actions against persons, including pilots and air traffic controllers, who file timely written reports concerning potentially unsafe incidents
    • To be considered timely, reports must be delivered or postmarked within 10 days of the incident unless that period is extended for good cause
    • Reports can be submitted either via mail, or electronically
      • Mailed reports should be submitted on NASA ARC Form 277, which are available free of charge, postage prepaid, at the FSDO, FSS and from NASA, ASRS, PO Box 189, Moffet Field, CA 94035
      • Only reports can be submitted through NASA's Electronic Report Submission (ERS) system
    • The FAA utilizes the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to act as an independent third party to receive and analyze reports submitted under the program
    • The notification required above must contain the following information, if available:
      • Type, nationality, and registration marks of the aircraft
      • Name of owner and operator of the aircraft
      • Name of the pilot-in-command
      • Date and time of the accident, or incident
      • Last point of departure, and point of intended landing of the aircraft
      • Position of the aircraft with reference to some easily defined geographical point
      • Number of persons aboard, number killed, and number seriously injured
      • Nature of the accident, or incident, the weather, and the extent of damage to the aircraft so far as is known; and
      • A description of any explosives, radioactive materials, or other dangerous articles carried
  • Manner of Notification:

    • The operator of an aircraft must file with the NTSB Field Office nearest the accident or incident any report required by this section
    • The most expeditious method of notification to the NTSB by the operator will be determined by the circumstances existing at that time
    • The NTSB has advised that any of the following would be considered examples of the type of notification that would be acceptable:
      • Direct telephone notification
      • Telegraphic notification
      • Notification to the FAA who would in turn notify the NTSB by direct communication; i.e., dispatch or telephone
    • The NTSB Field Offices are listed under U.S. Government in the telephone directories in the following cities:
      • Anchorage, AK;
      • Atlanta, GA;
      • Chicago, IL;
      • Denver, CO;
      • Fort Worth, TX;
      • Los Angeles, CA;
      • Miami, FL;
      • Parsippany, NJ;
      • Seattle, WA
  • Follow-up Reports:

    • The operator must file a report on NTSB Form 6120.1 or 6120.2, available from NTSB Field Offices or from the NTSB, Washington, DC, 20594:
      • Within 10 days after an accident;
      • When, after 7 days, an overdue aircraft is still missing;
      • A report on an incident for which notification is required as described above must be filed only as requested by an authorized representative of the NTSB
    • Each crewmember, if physically able at the time the report is submitted, must attach a statement setting forth the facts, conditions, and circumstances relating to the accident or incident as they appeared. If the crewmember is incapacitated, a statement must be submitted as soon as physically possible

Near Midair Collision Reporting:

  • Hudson Mid Air Collision
    Hudson Mid Air Collision
  • Hudson Mid Air Collision
    Hudson Mid Air Collision
  • Near Midair Collision (NMAC) reporting provides information for use in enhancing the safety and efficiency of the National Airspace System
  • Data obtained from NMAC reports are used by the FAA to improve the quality of FAA services to users and to develop programs, policies, and procedures aimed at the reduction of NMAC occurrences
  • All NMAC reports are thoroughly investigated by Flight Standards Facilities in coordination with Air Traffic Facilities
    • Data from these investigations are transmitted to FAA Headquarters in Washington, DC, where they are compiled and analyzed, and where safety programs and recommendations are developed
  • NMAC Definition:

    • The FAA defines a near midair collision as any incident associated with the operation of an aircraft in which a possibility of collision occurs as a result of the proximity of less than 500' to another aircraft, or a report is received from a pilot or a flight crew member stating that a collision hazard existed between two or more aircraft
  • Reporting Responsibility:

    • It is the responsibility of the pilots to determine whether a near midair collision did actually occur, and if so, initiate an NMAC report
    • Pilots must state clearly "I wish to report a near midair collision"
  • Where to File NMAC Reports:

    • Pilots and/or flight crew members involved in NMAC occurrences are urged to report each incident immediately:
  • Items to Report:

    • Date and time (UTC) of incident
    • Location of incident and altitude
    • Identification and type of reporting aircraft, aircrew destination, name and home base of pilot
    • Identification and type of other aircraft, aircrew destination, name and home base of pilot
    • Type of flight plans; station altimeter setting used
    • Detailed weather conditions at altitude or flight level
    • Approximate courses of both aircraft, indicate if one or both aircraft were climbing or descending
    • Reported separation in distance at first sighting, proximity at closest point horizontally and vertically, and length of time in sight prior to evasive action
    • Degree of evasive action taken, if any (from both aircraft, if possible)
    • Injuries, if any

Unidentified Flying Object Reports:

  • Unidentified Flying Object (UFO)
    Unidentified Flying Object?
  • Unidentified Fly Objects (UFOs) don't necessarily mean aliens are invading
  • Aerial obstacles create hazards to pilots and while you may have escaped safely, the next pilot may no be so lucky
  • Contact:

    • Persons wanting to report Unidentified Flying Object (UFO)/Unexplained phenomena activity should contact a UFO/Unexplained Phenomena Reporting Data Collection Center, such as: theNational UFO Reporting Center
    • If concern is expressed that life or property might be endangered, report this activity in the activity to the local law enforcement department

Safety Alerts & Information for Operators:

  • SAFOs contain important safety information that is often time-critical. A SAFO may contain information and/or recommended (non-regulatory) action to be taken by the respective operators or parties identified in the SAFO. The audience for SAFOs varies with each subject and may include: Air carrier certificate holders, air operator certificate holders, general aviation operators, directors of safety, directors of operations, directors of maintenance, fractional ownership program managers, training center managers, accountable managers at repair stations, and other parties as applicable
  • InFOs are similar to SAFOs, but contain valuable information for operators that should help them meet administrative requirements or certain regulatory requirements with relatively low urgency or impact in safety
  • The SAFO and InFO system provides a means to rapidly distribute this information to operators and can be found at:
    • http://www.faa.gov/other_visit/aviation_industry/airline_operators/airline_safety/safo and
    • http://www.faa.gov/other_visit/aviation_industry/airline_operators/airline_safety/info
    • or search keyword FAA SAFO or FAA INFO. Free electronic subscription is available on the "ALL SAFOs" or "ALL InFOs" page of the website

Aviation Safety Reporting Program Knowledge Quiz:


  • Early NASA reports help identify trends and procedures that lead to unsafe situations
    • Note, these reports should not be used for accidents
  • These reports, captured not only in the Aviation Safety Reporting Program, but other initiatives such as the Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA), the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP), and the Air Traffic Safety Action Program (ATSAP), are able to fuse into a sharable National General Aviation Flight Information Database (NGAFID)
  • These reporting procedures are industry standards:
  • Your report may be the one that identifies a flawed procedure that would have otherwise taken a death to discover
  • The goal of accident reported is not to leverage another requirement on a pilot but to try and identify a safety issue which can then be mixed
  • Pay particular attention to time-lines and report items early, if you are able to accurately do so, to allow investigators to do their job efficiently
  • Some reports are generated by ATC, including instances where an aircraft fails to (or even attempts) to takeoff and land on the wrong runway or taxiway
    • This generates a "wrong surface event"
  • Consider reports for any events, regardless of requirement to report, including wake turbulence
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