The Foundation, often working with its advisory committees and/or international partners, develops and publishes special reports and white papers on safety-related topics of interest to the global aviation community. For example, recent topics have included safety system needs for future humanitarian uses of drones and safety in commercial passenger-carrying helicopter operations. These and other reports and papers not found elsewhere on our website can be accessed by clicking on the links below.
2021 Safety Report 8 pages [PDF]
A Flight Safety Foundation analysis of 2021 aircraft accident data identified a number of safety risks that need to be proactively mitigated. The purpose of this report, which is based on an analysis of data and information drawn from the Foundation’s Aviation Safety Network database and an ongoing assessment of risks introduced by the pandemic, is to bring these issues to the attention of the operators, regulators and global aviation stakeholders.
Threats to civil aviation overflying conflict zones are a continuing concern of the Foundation. In 2020, as part of an inquiry commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Foundation conducted analyses of conflict zones, hostile events and State practices regarding the use by civil aircraft of airspace above conflict zones. This document. published in 2021, is a technical note summarizing some of the Foundation’s findings and capabilities.
In an increasingly interconnected and complex aviation system, it is imperative to learn not only from things that rarely go wrong but also from things that go right. Data collection needs to expand from a focus on hazardous events to analysis of routine operational data. This paper is a call to action to managers and executives who are accountable for safety in their organizations. The Foundation believes it is time for a fundamental shift to learn from all operations and events — not just from those that are unwanted.
Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) continue to expand the effectiveness and outreach of humanitarian and public
organizations that provide disaster management and first responder services around the globe. Flight Safety Foundation reviewed these operations and postulated how use of autonomous and semi-autonomous UAS would be
employed in the future. We looked at a number of humanitarian scenarios to better understand the current and future safety risk management needs for these operations to better inform near- and long-term planning for the safety systems that will allow these operations to evolve in both scope and complexity.
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.
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.
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. The roadmap is the implementation programme for ICAO’s Global Aviation Safety Plan (GASP).
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.
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.
2008 Annual C-FOQA Report. 37 pages. [PDF 1,017K]
The first 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.