Document Type


Publication/Presentation Date

Spring 2006


“Due to the requirement to maintain and improve the safety record of commercial air transportation in the United States (U.S.) despite increasing traffic, several proactive safety programs have been introduced in recent years. Among these proactive safety programs is a form of Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) known in the U.S. as Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA). FOQA is a program utilizing quantifiable, objective data collected from the air carrier aircraft’s data recording system. The data is then analyzed to identify trends and other indicators of potential safety problems. With few exceptions, FOQA data analysis has been rudimentary, often limited to relatively simple statistical methods. The purpose of this study was to introduce a method in which current FOQA methodology can be enhanced with the more sophisticated quality and statistical concepts found in Six Sigma – a structured, data-driven approach built upon to eliminating defects through the reduction of variation in processes. A general introduction to both FOQA and Six Sigma is provided, along with a hypothetical exemplar case study using Six Sigma methodology on a FOQA problem, i.e., tail strikes during takeoff.”—Author abstract.

Publication Title

International Journal of Applied Aviation Studies