February 13, 2023

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Sofema Aviation Services (SAS) considers the actionable outcomes following Flight Data Analysis including:

  • Ensuring Corrective Actions following Flight Data Analysis
  • The need to Provide Effective Feedback

Flight Data Analysis – Introduction

Multiple approaches to analysis serve to enable the safety officer a greater insight into what is happening within the company. The more detailed and imaginative the Flight Data Analysis, the greater the value of the Monitoring programme to the organisation (Consider Manpower Challenges.)

All event data should be archived in a database. The database should then support the sorting validation and display of the data. Additionally, it supports the analysis of trending information to anticipate emerging trends and hazards.

Information acquired through the Flight Data Analysis Program should be de-identified before using it as training material or for other promotional activities (unless specific permission is granted.)

Feedback provides an opportunity to share potential issues or exposures through the organisation’s safety promotion activities.

It is necessary for an effective set of values to be programmed to enable thresholds set for trigger and exceedance as well as a safety margin which allows the inclusion of an acceptable buffer that will:

  • Disregard minor deviation, spurious events,
  • as well as introduce an adequate operational margin to fly the aeroplane through SOPs,
  • Instead of leading the flight crew focus on FDA parameters in order to avoid deviations.

Event data may also be managed with two objectives

  • To support the investigation of each individual event and to enable appropriate management decisions made by the airline.
  • To facilitate the identification of longer-term trends so that corrective action is taken.

Forward-Looking Data Capture

  • Data Analysts can also analyse all collected data from normal operations to identify trends before there is a significant event or incident.

Initial Verification of Data – To be worthwhile information obtained should be realistic and viable (FDM software should automate as much of this process as practical.)

  • Validation is critical and the basic FDR information must be thoroughly checked.
  • All data should be reviewed to identify specific exceedances and emerging undesirable trends.
  • Information should be disseminated to the flight crews to create confidence and facilitate engagement.

Identification of Urgent Actions – There are a number of circumstances where FDM data will indicate that immediate safety action is required and a fast procedure to ensure safety critical remedial action should be defined.

  • Typically, such urgent actions are associated with Continued Airworthiness checks, rather than operational situations. (Example a heavy landing was identified which was not otherwise recorded.)

Corrective Actions & Follow Up

It is necessary to ensure active follow up to ensure any corrective action mitigation has addressed the issue and to determine that the solution provided was effective and robust.

Flight Crew may also be employed within the feedback process will typical questions being asked:

  • To comment on the effectiveness of the implementation of the corrective actions.
  • Can we confirm the risks are mitigated, and not unintentionally transferred to another part of the operations?
  • Have any new problems been introduced into the operation as a result of implementing any of the corrective actions?

Example: Having found high rates of descent, the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are changed to improve control of the optimum/maximum rates of descent being used.

Continued Monitoring

  • Following any mitigation an active monitor should be in place and a careful assessment made of any other potential hazards in the area of change.

o Ensure that no relocation of risks is observed.

Summary

  • The FDM programme will always function more successfully in an environment with a strong safety culture. (Indicated by a willingness to identify potential risks in oneself, others and third parties in such a way that remedial actions are taken in a correct and non-punitive manner.

Next Steps – Flight Data Monitoring Further Guidance

Follow this link to our Library to find & Download related support documents.

Sofema Aviation Services www.sassofia.com offers classroom training in Flight Data Monitoring techniques & Sofema Online www.sofemaonline.com offers an intensive online course covering all the fundamentals of an effective Flight Data Monitoring System. For additional details please visit our websites or email team@sassofia.com

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aviation, Aviation Risk, aviation safety, Aviation Safety Management System, Aviation SMS, EASA, EU 965/2012, Flight Data Monitoring, Flight Data Monitoring (FDM), Just Culture, Safety Hazards, Safety Management System, SAS blogs, SMS