Section 6. Safety, Accident, and Hazard Reports
7-6-1. Aviation Safety Reporting Program
a. The FAA has established a voluntary Aviation
Safety Reporting Program designed to stimulate the
free and unrestricted flow of information concerning
deficiencies and discrepancies in the aviation system.
This is a positive program intended to ensure the
safest possible system by identifying and correcting
unsafe conditions before they lead to accidents. The
primary objective of the program is to obtain
information to evaluate and enhance the safety and
efficiency of the present system.
b. This cooperative safety reporting program
invites pilots, controllers, flight attendants, maintenance personnel and other users of the airspace
system, or any other person, to file written reports of
actual or potential discrepancies and deficiencies
involving the safety of aviation operations. The
operations covered by the program include departure,
en route, approach, and landing operations and
procedures, air traffic control procedures and
equipment, crew and air traffic control communications, aircraft cabin operations, aircraft movement on
the airport, near midair collisions, aircraft maintenance and record keeping and airport conditions or
c. The report should give the date, time, location,
persons and aircraft involved (if applicable), nature
of the event, and all pertinent details.
d. To ensure receipt of this information, the
program provides for the waiver of certain
disciplinary actions against persons, including pilots
and air traffic controllers, who file timely written
reports concerning potentially unsafe incidents. To be
considered timely, reports must be delivered or
postmarked within 10 days of the incident unless that
period is extended for good cause. Reports should be
submitted on NASA ARC Forms 277, which are
available free of charge, postage prepaid, at FAA
Flight Standards District Offices and Flight Service
Stations, and from NASA, ASRS, PO Box 189,
Moffet Field, CA 94035.
e. The FAA utilizes the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration (NASA) to act as an
independent third party to receive and analyze reports
submitted under the program. This program is
described in AC 00-46, Aviation Safety Reporting
7-6-2. Aircraft Accident and Incident
a. Occurrences Requiring Notification. The
operator of an aircraft must immediately, and by the
most expeditious means available, notify the nearest
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Field
1. An aircraft accident or any of the following
listed incidents occur:
(a) Flight control system malfunction or
(b) Inability of any required flight crew
member to perform their normal flight duties as a
result of injury or illness.
(c) Failure of structural components of a
turbine engine excluding compressor and turbine
blades and vanes.
(d) Inflight fire.
(e) Aircraft collide in flight.
(f) Damage to property, other than the
aircraft, estimated to exceed $25,000 for repair
(including materials and labor) or fair market value in
the event of total loss, whichever is less.
(g) For large multi-engine aircraft (more than
12,500 pounds maximum certificated takeoff
(1) Inflight failure of electrical systems
which requires the sustained use of an emergency bus
powered by a back-up source such as a battery,
auxiliary power unit, or air-driven generator to retain
flight control or essential instruments;
(2) Inflight failure of hydraulic systems
that results in sustained reliance on the sole remaining
hydraulic or mechanical system for movement of
flight control surfaces;
(3) Sustained loss of the power or thrust
produced by two or more engines; and
(4) An evacuation of aircraft in which an
emergency egress system is utilized.
2. An aircraft is overdue and is believed to have
been involved in an accident.
b. Manner of Notification.
1. The most expeditious method of notification
to the NTSB by the operator will be determined by the
circumstances existing at that time. The NTSB has
advised that any of the following would be
considered examples of the type of notification that
would be acceptable:
(a) Direct telephone notification.
(b) Telegraphic notification.
(c) Notification to the FAA who would in turn
notify the NTSB by direct communication; i.e., dispatch or telephone.
c. Items to be Included in Notification. The
notification required above must contain the
following information, if available:
1. Type, nationality, and registration marks of
2. Name of owner and operator of the aircraft.
3. Name of the pilot-in-command.
4. Date and time of the accident, or incident.
5. Last point of departure, and point of intended
landing of the aircraft.
6. Position of the aircraft with reference to some
easily defined geographical point.
7. Number of persons aboard, number killed,
and number seriously injured.
8. Nature of the accident, or incident, the
weather, and the extent of damage to the aircraft so far
as is known; and
9. A description of any explosives, radioactive
materials, or other dangerous articles carried.
d. Follow-up Reports.
1. The operator must file a report on NTSB
Form 6120.1 or 6120.2, available from NTSB Field
Offices or from the NTSB, Washington, DC, 20594:
(a) Within 10 days after an accident;
(b) When, after 7 days, an overdue aircraft is
(c) A report on an incident for which
notification is required as described in subparagraph a(1) must be filed only as requested by an
authorized representative of the NTSB.
2. Each crewmember, if physically able at the
time the report is submitted, must attach a statement
setting forth the facts, conditions, and circumstances
relating to the accident or incident as they appeared.
If the crewmember is incapacitated, a statement must
be submitted as soon as physically possible.
e. Where to File the Reports.
1. The operator of an aircraft must file with the
NTSB Field Office nearest the accident or incident
any report required by this section.
2. The NTSB Field Offices are listed under U.S.
Government in the telephone directories in the
following cities: Anchorage, AK; Atlanta, GA;
Chicago, IL; Denver, CO; Fort Worth, TX;
Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; Parsippany, NJ;
7-6-3. Near Midair Collision Reporting
a. Purpose and Data Uses. The primary purpose
of the Near Midair Collision (NMAC) Reporting
Program is to provide information for use in
enhancing the safety and efficiency of the National
Airspace System. Data obtained from NMAC reports
are used by the FAA to improve the quality of FAA
services to users and to develop programs, policies,
and procedures aimed at the reduction of NMAC
occurrences. All NMAC reports are thoroughly
investigated by Flight Standards Facilities in
coordination with Air Traffic Facilities. Data from
these investigations are transmitted to FAA Headquarters in Washington, DC, where they are compiled
and analyzed, and where safety programs and
recommendations are developed.
b. Definition. A near midair collision is defined
as an incident associated with the operation of an
aircraft in which a possibility of collision occurs as a
result of proximity of less than 500 feet to another
aircraft, or a report is received from a pilot or a flight
crew member stating that a collision hazard existed
between two or more aircraft.
c. Reporting Responsibility. It is the responsibility of the pilot and/or flight crew to determine
whether a near midair collision did actually occur
and, if so, to initiate a NMAC report. Be specific, as
ATC will not interpret a casual remark to mean that
a NMAC is being reported. The pilot should state "I wish to report a near midair
d. Where to File Reports. Pilots and/or flight
crew members involved in NMAC occurrences are
urged to report each incident immediately:
1. By radio or telephone to the nearest FAA ATC
facility or FSS.
2. In writing, in lieu of the above, to the nearest
Flight Standards District Office (FSDO).
e. Items to be Reported.
1. Date and time (UTC) of incident.
2. Location of incident and altitude.
3. Identification and type of reporting aircraft,
aircrew destination, name and home base of pilot.
4. Identification and type of other aircraft,
aircrew destination, name and home base of pilot.
5. Type of flight plans; station altimeter setting
6. Detailed weather conditions at altitude or
7. Approximate courses of both aircraft:
indicate if one or both aircraft were climbing or
8. Reported separation in distance at first
sighting, proximity at closest point horizontally and
vertically, and length of time in sight prior to evasive
9. Degree of evasive action taken, if any (from
both aircraft, if possible).
10. Injuries, if any.
f. Investigation. The FSDO in whose area the
incident occurred is responsible for the investigation
and reporting of NMACs.
g. Existing radar, communication, and weather
data will be examined in the conduct of the
investigation. When possible, all cockpit crew
members will be interviewed regarding factors
involving the NMAC incident. Air traffic controllers
will be interviewed in cases where one or more of the
involved aircraft was provided ATC service. Both
flight and ATC procedures will be evaluated. When
the investigation reveals a violation of an FAA
regulation, enforcement action will be pursued.
7-6-4. Unidentified Flying Object (UFO)
a. Persons wanting to report UFO/unexplained
phenomena activity should contact a UFO/unexplained phenomena reporting data collection center,
such as the National UFO Reporting
b. If concern is expressed that life or property
might be endangered, report the activity to the local
law enforcement department.
7-6-5. Safety Alerts For Operators (SAFO)
and Information For Operators (InFO)
a. SAFOs contain important safety information
that is often time-critical. A SAFO may contain
information and/or recommended (non-regulatory)
action to be taken by the respective operators or
parties identified in the SAFO. The audience for
SAFOs varies with each subject and may include: Air
carrier certificate holders, air operator certificate
holders, general aviation operators, directors of
safety, directors of operations, directors of maintenance, fractional ownership program managers,
training center managers, accountable managers at
repair stations, and other parties as applicable.
b. InFOs are similar to SAFOs, but contain
valuable information for operators that should help
them meet administrative requirements or certain
regulatory requirements with relatively low urgency
or impact in safety.
c. The SAFO and InFO system provides a means
to rapidly distribute this information to operators and
can be found at:
or search keyword FAA SAFO or FAA INFO. Free
electronic subscription is available on the "ALL
SAFOs" or "ALL InFOs" page of the website.