Flight Risk Analysis Tool (FRAT)

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The General Aviation Joint Steering Committee
Safety Enhancement Topic of the Month

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Flight Risk Analysis Tool (FRAT)

  1. 1. Flight Risk AnalysisTool (FRAT) The General Aviation Joint Steering Committee Safety EnhancementTopic of the Month Every flight has some level of risk associated with it. It is critical that pilots are able to differentiate, in advance, between a low risk flight and a high risk flight, and then establish a review process and develop risk mitigation strategies. To aid with this proactive hazard identification, pilots should make use of a Flight Risk Analysis Tool (FRAT). Most FRATs are easy to use and can graphically depict risk. They are invaluable in helping pilots make better go/no-go decisions and should be a part of every flight. Thanks to the proliferation of mobile devices and associated apps for flight planning, weather briefing, and flight monitoring/tracking, there is an abundance of FRAT options to choose from. When considering one for personal use, a good factor to consider is the app’s survey method. Some simple forms of assessment assign weighted numbers to different categories to deduce a total score for overall flight risk. More complex applications require the input of additional flight information and ask questions that more closely align with the safety limitations for 14 CFR part 135 certificate holders. With these more robust apps, you have the option to email, print, or save the results of your risk assessment work. Although the more complex risk assessment apps take more time to use, they can be very valuable in helping you think through a more complete range of hazards and risk factors. And, though some were developed for commercial operators, there is no reason they can’t be beneficial for personal flying too. The choice is yours, but please do choose and (more importantly) use a risk assessment app as a standard part of your flight planning and monitoring activity. It doesn’t take long to take a moment for safety! References and Additional Reading: • Risk Management Handbook (FAA-H-8083-2) Chapter 4-2 http://go.usa.gov/jAJk • “You Can Take it With You,” FAA Safety Briefing. http://go.usa.gov/jAuV, pg 4 August 2013 FAASafety Briefing
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