A good pilot is always learning -- how many times have you heard
this old standard throughout your flying career? There is no truer
statement in all of flying (well, with the possible exception of
"there are no old, bold pilots.") It's part of what makes aviation
so exciting for all of us... just when you think you've seen it
all, along comes a scenario you've never imagined.
Aero-News has called upon the expertise of Thomas P. Turner,
master CFI and all-around-good-guy, to bring our readers -- and us
-- daily tips to improve our skills as aviators, and as
representatives of the flying community. Some of them, you may have
heard before... but for each of us, there will also be something we
might never have considered before, or something that didn't
"stick" the way it should have the first time we memorized it for
the practical test.
It is our unabashed goal that "Aero-Tips" will help our readers
become better, safer pilots -- as well as introducing our
ground-bound readers to the concepts and principles that keep those
strange aluminum-and-composite contraptions in the air... and allow
them to soar magnificently through it.
Look for our daily Aero-Tips segments, coming each day to you
through the Aero-News Network. Suggestions for future Aero-Tips are
always welcome, as are additions or discussion of each day's tips.
Remember... when it comes to being good pilots, we're all in this
Many call it
aviation’s "get out of jail free" card. It’s the
Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS).
Administered by the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA), the ASRS is best known to pilots as the form
we carry to report something that goes wrong on a flight before the
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) might initiate "certificate
action," or a possible suspension of our pilot certificates. The
"get out of jail free" aspect of ASRS, however, is not the
program’s end goal—it’s the incentive we have as
pilots (and mechanics, controllers and other aviation
professionals) to provide input to NASA’s safety
Purpose of the ASRS is to "lessen the likelihood of aviation
- Identifying deficiencies and discrepancies in the National
Airspace System (NAS) so they can be remedied;
- Supporting policy planning and NAS improvements; and
- Strengthening the foundation of aviation human factors
ASRS seeks to include safety data in research from incidents
that do not make it into the database otherwise (via a National
Transportation Safety Board [NTSB] accident report). Immunity from
penalties is our incentive to voluntarily submit information. The
FAA has "committed itself not to use ASRS information against
[submitters] in enforcement actions. NASA "de-identifies"
submissions, i.e., removes all personal identification from
reports, before entering them into the safety database.
FAR 91.25 "prohibits the use of any reports submitted... under
the ASRS (or information derived therefrom) in any disciplinary
action, except information concerning criminal offenses or
accidents..." This is generally interpreted to mean no civil
penalty (fine or certificate suspension) will be levied in the case
of an inadvertent transgression that did not result in an accident.
An "altitude bust," a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR)
transgression or a near-midair collision would be examples of cases
where filing an ASRS report might prevent penalties.
Aero-tip of the day: See FAA Advisory Circular 00-46D
for much more about the ASRS.