NTSB: Flight Data Monitoring Is Possible for Small Ops

 - February 7, 2023, 11:05 AM
The key takeaway from the roundtable meeting hosted by the NTSB in October is that FDM is not as daunting or costly as it might seem, NTSB vice chair Bruce Landsberg said. (Photo: NTSB roundtable highlights video)

Continuing its push for small operators to adopt flight data monitoring (FDM) programs, the NTSB released a video highlighting the benefits and possible solutions for those aircraft operators. The 30-minute video provides a synopsis of a roundtable the Safety Board held in October entitled “Practical Flight Data Monitoring Solutions for Small Operators.” The full two-hour meeting, moderated by NTSB vice chair Bruce Landsberg, is available online as well.

The goal of the roundtable was to show how small and medium-size operators can use data to prevent crashes and improve safety, Landsberg told attendees. He added that the NTSB has recommended that the FAA require FDM for Part 135.

“NTSB investigations have consistently shown that effective FDM programs could have identified potential safety issues and prevented a crash,” Landsberg said. While multiple investigations have underscored the importance of FDM, he pointed to the Nov. 10, 2015 accident of an Execuflight Hawker 700A in Akron, Ohio, in particular.

He noted NTSB officials have asked operators how they would know if the pilots are doing the right thing. “Too many times they don’t know and that’s unacceptable,” Landsberg remarked.

The October roundtable included four small operators discussing how they were able to implement an FDM program. Landsberg added that the key takeaway from the meeting is that FDM is not as daunting or costly as it might seem.