FAA launches GA pilot data collection study

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The FAA has launched a one-year project to demonstrate the capabilities of the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) program for the general aviation community. Voluntary data will be collected from GA pilots within 40 nautical miles of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

The FAA and industry are working together through the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) to use data to identify risk, pinpoint trends through root cause analysis, and develop safety strategies.

The demonstration project is the next step towards expanding ASIAS, already successfully used in commercial aviation, to the GA community to help identify safety risks and emerging threats, according to FAA officials.

The project will collect public sector and proprietary data, which will be protected. The data will not be accessed or used for FAA enforcement, FAA officials said.

The project will also explore potential new voluntary information sources such as digital flight data, pilot safety reports, manufacturer reports, and information voluntary provided from personal electronic devices.

Currently, ASIAS has access to 185 commercial aviation data sources, including voluntary provided safety data. ASIAS partners with the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST) to monitor known risk, evaluate the effectiveness of deployed mitigations, and detect emerging hazards. ASIAS has matured to the point that the FAA and industry can now leverage voluntarily provided safety data representing 96% of U.S. air carrier commercial operations.

More information is available in the Federal Register.


  1. Chip Davis says

    uh… what part of the multiple repetitions of “voluntary” don’t you guys get? Or the black-letter “The data will not be accessed or used for FAA enforcement”?

    As it stands now, there is no mechanism for you to upload the flight track from your GPS and attach it to your NASA form to prove that you were where you were supposed to be. Or the engine monitor data that demonstrates the rough-running engine that made you request priority at KATL.

    GA is tough nut to crack for those who are seriously trying to make it safer, like the ASRS folks. Heck, they don’t even have a decent way to know how many hours we fly a year. It’s tough to know what to do about a problem if you don’t know if it’s a 1-in-500 or 1-in-5000 hour issue.

  2. Loren says

    Why do they have to make everything so complicated? If the manufacturers had developed an accurate fuel level sensing system, the accident rate would be half what it is today. Poor weather forecasts are responsible for another 30%. I think they get sophisticated so it appears as if they are doing something meaningful without stepping on anyone’s toes.

    • Chip Davis says

      Loren, you don’t seriously believe that 50% of all fuel-exhaustion accidents are caused by inaccurate fuel gauges, do you? The Part 23 certification standard was always “If there is no fuel, it must read Empty”, so an airworthy fuel gauge might read “Empty” when there is still fuel, but cannot indicate fuel remaining if there is none. (If yours does, take it up with your IA; your a/c is not airworthy.)

      No, the vast majority of fuel-exhaustion accident are not the result of a gauge that lies, it’s a pilot that refuses to believe what it’s telling him.

      • Eddie says

        Agreed Chip, Loren if your doing your flight planning correctly regardless of what a fuel Gage says you should never run out of fuel, it’s simply poor piloting that results in running out of fuel

    • Scott Philiben says

      Since spring of last year, our aircraft have come equipped with fuel level sensors that read accurately at all levels. In fact, they are so accurate that we were able to integrate a fuel imbalance message on the PFD in Generation 5 aircraft. The fuel level sensors in most of our competitors’ planes only read accurately when the fuel tank is empty or full. For more on the astonishing innovations that make Cirrus an industry leader

      Loren – your wish was granted – Circa 2012

  3. says

    The 2,500 GA Inspectors have a wealth of experience, education and Exposire to the GA Community that is very valuable to the future.
    General Aviation is becoming more of a social topic than an active business or pleasure program.
    How many pilots fly/train to proficiency versus just currency?
    The problem is not only the cost but the interest in flying.
    I had a customer call that asked me if he could rent my airplane because his Dad and Grandfather sold theirs!
    Who is buying the $400,000 to $1 million GA little airplanes? Very few! Simulators are becoming popular because they are so much cheaper than the real plane? $109/hour! Yep! A $400,000 airplane costs $400/hour!

  4. Ken Seiler says

    Safety study? Really? How much “winter flying” data are they going to get from pilots that only fly within 40 miles of Phoenix Sky Harbor airport? I heard those runways there get pretty icy and snow-packed in the winter!

  5. Richard Russell says

    Well; perhaps the data will assist the bureaucrats but I am like others, the government is not happy until we are Unhappy-! I would approach any endeavor on the part of the FAA as “suspicious” until proven otherwise-!

  6. alan smoak says

    Now why would the FAA need to track our personnel electronic devices?? HMM Sound’s like more invasion of privacy to me. Gosh they may see that I go see my mistress twice a week and that could be sold to the highest bidder. Or that I might accidentally descend below 1,000 feet along the abandoned beaches. And that would be sold to my insurance company. Hmmmmm I think I will keep my electronic devices to myself

  7. Todd Sloan says

    Dear Big Brother,
    Thanks for “moderating” my contribution under “Speak Your Mind.”
    Does that mean that if we speak our minds we get censored?

  8. says

    Prior to developing a study to get data from pilots, the FAA must have put together a study plan with goals, etc and how the data collected will provide answers to the what the study is trying to determine. I think the study plan should be made available to the public to see what exactly they are trying to find out and how that is expected to ennhance safety. With all of the skepticism we have with government data collection, many of us would feel more comfortable with providing the data if we knew what the study is trying to determine.

  9. J Turner says

    After the stance that law enforcement and the FAA has taken against General Aviation, are we really supposed to trust that they have our best interest in mind in any program they launch? I just don’t believe them anymore. It’s all about power, control, and money now. Law enforcement (FAA included) are now being trained that suspicion alone is actionable, and that they have the sole right to determine what is allowable and what’s not. Then, they abuse the law to justify past actions. Just look at the story of the glider pilot who flew over a power plant, and was arrested, even though he had done nothing wrong. Little by little our freedoms have been disappearing under the pretense of “safety and civil peace”.

  10. says

    I would hope an Aviation Insurance company would embrace this – and offer reduced premiums to participants.

    Imagine a world where the difference between airline and business aviation safety and the remainder of the GA fleet were the same.

    Voluntary anonymous gathering of data to address the real precursors to accidents – is a great thing. It is a concept embraced by the airlines – & it works

    With this voluntary “Near Miss” data you can look at all the factors before an incident occurs – and monitor those factors to see if the changes effected – made a difference — All without requiring an incident or crash.

    If you make GA safer – more will participate.

  11. S Campbell says

    @Blosser I agree. Seems like all the Federal agencies are suddenly interested in gathering data on citizens. FAA, BATFE, NSA, FBI, etc. Couple this with the new heavy handed SWAT approach to enforcement and we have a wonderful new world on the horizon. The premise is always that it’s for our own good.

  12. G Blosser says

    Sounds like more Government Regulations and rules are on the horizon. Like Reagan said the scariest words he ever heard were; Hi, we are form the Government and we are here to help……

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