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I've Screwed Up!  Now What? - Using the NASA Form

CFIDarren Newsletter, May 22, 2012

The NASA form is more important than ever.  A few short months ago, a new policy came into being which is affecting GA pilots.  Since January 30, 2012, controllers are now required to submit Mandatory Occurrence Reports (MOR) if pilot actions were a factor in an ATC safety "occurrence."

This isn't the only FAA Order that went into effect changing the way air traffic controllers report safety issues.  The FAA also recently implemented Electronic Occurrence Reporting (EOR) for lateral deviations.   This one is particularly important as "loss of separation" and "altitude deviation" messages are automatically logged and routed to supervisory controllers.  Those supervisors will query the controller to determine the cause of the  deviation.  The supervisor will determine if the alert was an ATC or pilot error. 
Source: 7210.632- ATO Occurrence Reporting (ATOOR)

Both types of reports are sent to a regional quality assurance service center for processing.  The report then goes to the FSDO for handling if a pilot deviation occurred.

 The overall effect has been to cause an increase in the number of pilot deviations.  If you become aware of a deviation, file a NASA report within ten calendar days.  As airspace becomes more complicated, and ATC looking hard at pilot deviations, your ticket is at risk.

Photo of book cover
Free 1st Class Mail ShippingUsing the NASA Form (PocketLearning)
Practical advice and tips using the NASA form when you’ve violated the FARs.  This 48 page guide will walk you step by step through filing a NASA safety report.  It will tell you the techniques and traps to submit a good report AND keep your pilot certificate unblemished.  You only have 10 days to submit your report, so this is the tool you want to have ahead of time.  Designed to fit in your flight bag, size: 6"x9" Sent USPS Class Mail  with Delivery Confirmation Tracking Number, arrives in 2-7 days.  Price: $12 (Free Shipping to US addresses). ISBN: 978-1468096262

Limited special offer,
Get Pilot's Rules of Thumb checklist FREE when you purchase this item - limited time offer Limitations: Void where prohibited. While supplies last. Subject to change without prior notice. Single copy sales only.

   Also available at CreateSpace, Amazon,

FAR 91.25
Prohibition Against Use of Report for Enforcement Purposes

The Administrator of the FAA will not use reports submitted to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under the Aviation Safety Reporting Program (or information derived therefrom) in any enforcement action, except information concerning accidents or criminal offenses which are wholly excluded from the program.

Advisory Circular 00-46D provides guidance on this program. Relevant sections posted here:
  1. NASA procedures for processing Aviation Safety Reports ensure that the reports are initially screened for:
    1. Information concerning criminal offenses, which will be referred promptly to the Department of Justice and the FAA;
    2. information concerning accidents, which will be referred promptly to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the FAA; and
      Note: Reports discussing criminal activities or accidents are not de-identified prior to their referral to the agencies outlined above.
    3. time-critical information which, after de-identification, will be promptly referred to the FAA and other interested parties.
  2. Each Aviation Safety Report has a tear-off portion which contains the information that identifies the person submitting the report. This tear-off portion will be removed by NASA, timestamped, and returned to the reporter as a receipt. This will provide the reporter with proof that he/she filed a report on a specific incident or occurrence. The identification strip section of the ASRS report form provides NASA program personnel with the means by which the reporter can be contacted in case additional information is sought in order to understand more completely the report's content Except in the case of reports describing accidents or criminal activities, no copy of an ASRS form's identification strip is created or retained for ASRS files. Prompt return of identification strips is a primary element of the ASRS program's report de-identification process and ensures the reporter's anonymity.

All information that might assist in or establish the identification of persons filing ASRS reports and parties named in those reports will be deleted, except for reports covered under paragraphs 7a(l) and 7a(2). This de- identification will be accomplished normally within 72 hours after NASA's receipt of the reports, if no further information is requested from the reporter.

  1. The Administrator of the FAA will perform his/her responsibility under Title 49, United States Code, Subtitle VII, and enforce the statute and the FAR in a manner that will reduce or eliminate the possibility of, or recurrence of, aircraft accidents. The FAA enforcement procedures are set forth in Part 13 of the FAR (14 CFR Part 13) and FAA enforcement handbooks.
  2. In determining the type and extent of the enforcement action to be taken in a particular case, the following factors are considered:
    1. nature of the violation;
    2. whether the violation was inadvertent or deliberate;
    3. the certificate holder's level of experience and responsibility;
    4. attitude of the violator;
    5. the hazard to safety of others which should have been foreseen;
    6. action taken by employer or other government authority;
    7. length of time which has elapsed since violation;(8) the certificate holder's use of the certificate;
    8. the need for special deterrent action in a particular regulatory area, or segment of the aviation community; and
    9. presence of any factors involving national interest, such as the use of aircraft for criminal purposes.
  3. The filing of a report with NASA concerning an incident or occurrence involving a violation of 49 U.S.C. Subtitle VII, or the FAR is considered by FAA to be indicative of a constructive attitude. Such an attitude will tend to prevent future violations. Accordingly, although a finding of violation may be made, neither a civil penalty nor certificate suspension will be imposed if:
    1. the violation was inadvertent and not deliberate;
    2. the violation did not involve a criminal offense, or accident. or action under 49 U.S.C. Section 44709 which discloses a lack of qualification or competency, which is wholly excluded from this policy;
    3. the person has not been found in any prior FAA enforcement action to have committed a violation of 49 U.S.C. Subtitle VII, or any regulation promulgated there for a period of 5 years prior to the date of occurrence; and
    4. the person proves that, within 10 days after the violation, he or she completed and delivered or mailed a written report of the incident or occurrence to NASA under ASRS. See paragraphs 5c and 7b.
      Note: Paragraph 9 does not apply to air traffic controllers. Provisions concerning air traffic controllers involved in incidents reported under ASRS are addressed in FAA Order 7210.3.
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