In addition to its regular publications, the Foundation from time to time takes on a big theme and examines it top to bottom. Some have been published as special issues of Flight Safety Digest, others as stand-alone productions. Some have been commissioned from outside sources and issued as part of an industry initiative. One example is the Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) Industry Risk Profile, which highlights 26 key risk areas to be targeted for mitigation strategies.
To go to particular special reports, click on the links below.
The helicopter industry, like much of aviation, has reduced fatal accidents over the past 20 years through a combination of better training, increased focus on high-risk operational issues and improvements in technology, among other reasons. But fatal crashes continue to happen with tragic regularity, including among small commercial passenger-carrying operations. Statistics show that for hire and taxi helicopter operations have a higher fatal accident rate than the industry has as a whole. It is clear that more needs to be done to drive down helicopter accident rates, improve crash survivability and develop industry-wide improvements in managing aviation risk. It also is clear that there is no single solution. Instead a mix of short- and longer-term strategies involving operators, manufacturers, regulators and consumers is required to improve the industry’s safety performance. And there needs to be a sense of urgency. This paper focuses on the safety of commercial, passenger-carrying, visual flight rules (VFR) operations because of the potential risk these flights pose to the traveling public.
Benefits Analysis of Space-Based ADS-B. 38 pages [PDF]
The purpose of this report, published by Flight Safety Foundation in June 2016, is to provide an overview of the potential benefits of automatic dependent surveillance–broadcast (ADS-B) satellite-based navigation with space-based ADS-B networks in the context of the safety challenges of managing predicted air traffic growth in commercial air transport over the next 20 years.
2010 Annual C-FOQA Report. 41 pages. [PDF 1.0M]
The third annual report based on aggregate data gathered during more than 6,600 flights by C-FOQA participants from 2006 to 2010 was issued in June 2011. It focuses on five key areas: unstable approaches, exceedance of aircraft limitations, maintenance events, flight operations events and landing performance. The aggregate-data report provides a fleetwide yardstick that the individual operators can use to measure their own results.
2009 Annual C-FOQA Statistical Summary Report. 37 pages. [PDF 1.1M]
The second annual report based on aggregate data gathered during more than 6,600 flights by C-FOQA participants from 2006 to 2009 was issued in June 2010. It focuses on five key areas: unstable approaches, exceedance of aircraft limitations, maintenance events, flight operations events and landing performance. The aggregate-data report provides a fleetwide yardstick that the individual operators can use to measure their own results.
Head-Up Guidance System Technology — A Clear Path to Increasing Flight Safety. 29 pages. [PDF 742K]
This study conducted by the Flight Safety Foundation indicates that the use of head-up guidance system (HGS) technology could have prevented or positively influenced 38 percent of all commercial aircraft accidents that occurred over the past 13 years.
“Head-up Guidance Technology — A clear path to increasing flight safety,” examines the use of HGS technology in modern cockpits that are based on digital technology. Commissioned by Rockwell Collins, the report was derived through analysis performed by the Foundation on information from 983 commercial air carrier, business and corporate airline accidents during the 13-year period between 1995 and 2007.
Findings also indicated that the benefits of head-up guidance technology increased in accidents where the pilot was directly involved, such as take-off and landing and loss-of-control accidents. In take-off and landing, the likelihood of accident prevention is 69 percent when a plane is equipped with head-up guidance technology. During loss-of-control accidents, the likelihood of accident prevention is 57 percent.
Basic Aviation Risk Standard Resource Sector (June 2010). 40 pages. [PDF 1.3M]
This document is to provide companies engaged in the resource sector with a standard to assist in the risk-based management of aviation operations supporting their activities. All national and international regulations pertaining to aviation operations must always be followed. The detail contained in this standard is intended to supplement those requirements.
2008 Annual C-FOQA Report. 37 pages. [PDF 1,017K]
The first annual report based on aggregate data gathered during more than 6,600 flights by C-FOQA participants from 2006 to 2008 was issued in January 2009. It focuses on five key areas: unstable approaches, exceedance of aircraft limitations, maintenance events, flight operations events and landing performance. The aggregate-data report provides a fleetwide yardstick that the individual operators can use to measure their own results.
Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) Industry Risk Profile.
64 pages. [PDF 1,023K]
On April 20, 2009, Flight Safety Foundation released a groundbreaking assessment that provides a comprehensive look at the risks facing the helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) industry. The Industry Risk Profile (IRP), developed by Aerosafe Risk Management, also provides a roadmap outlining proactive steps that the industry and regulators can follow in order to mitigate these risks.
Global Aviation Safety Roadmap. 16 pages. [PDF 1.8M]
In May 2005, the Air Navigation Commission of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) held a consultation with the many industry participants on the improvement of aviation safety. One of the decisions of the meeting was to develop a common roadmap for aviation safety that would incorporate a process that would best prioritize initiatives and ensure that the safety efforts throughout the world are coordinated so as to ensure consistency and reduce duplication of efforts. The final product of that effort is the Global Aviation Safety Roadmap. The final document, a 16-page outline of the effort, was produced in 2006.
Implementing the Global Aviation Safety Roadmap. 126 pages. [PDF 2.95M]
Once the Global Aviation Safety Roadmap was accepted in 2006 by the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Council, it was determined that a Part 2 was required to build upon the objectives identified in the initial report by defining specific best or preferred practices which will enable the aviation industry and the world’s nations to address and correct the deficiencies outlined in the first part. The result was Implementing the Global Aviation Safety Roadmap, a 126-page, highly detailed document
Joint Resolution Regarding Criminalization of Aviation Accidents. 5 pages. [PDF 102K]
The Foundation was one of the originators of a 2006 resolution condemning the growing tendency of law enforcement and judicial authorities to interfere with accident investigations and insisting that the primary consideration in an accident investigation should be “to determine the probable cause of and contributing factors in the accident, not to punish criminally flight crews, maintenance employees, airline or manufacturer executives, regulatory officials or air traffic controllers.”
The Foundation’s position consistently has been that criminal punishment of pilots, air traffic controllers and others for inadvertent mistakes that lead to accidents does nothing to improve safety; instead, the fear of criminal prosecution discourages the sharing of accident-related information. The Foundation recognizes, however, that punishment is appropriate in cases in which an accident or incident was caused by intentional misconduct or especially reckless actions.
In addition to its campaign against criminalization of accidents, the Foundation has fought against prosecutorial actions and civil lawsuits aimed at winning the court-ordered disclosure of confidential information gathered through flight operational quality assurance (FOQA) programs.