Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research





Key words

FDM, FDAP, ASIAS, Flight Data Monitoring, N121JM, Gatekeeper


Flight data monitoring (FDM) began in the flight test community in 1939 and entered the airline industry in 1974. In the 48 years since, however, very few operators have chosen to adopt this practice, which has shown clear safety benefits where it has found acceptance. While technical issues have created some obstacles, cultural issues have proven the greatest hindrance to wider FDM adoption. These cultural issues originated in the traits associated with pilots’ personalities, especially distrust of the regulators and operators who would administer flight data analysis programs (FDAP) that used FDM information. U.S. regulators have relied on voluntary adoption, rather than regulatory mandates, to increase FDM participation, emphasizing the collective benefits of FDAP outputs in increasing the safety of flight for operators using that information. Leadership by both experienced and new employees, as well as regulators and other industry stakeholders, will best serve to increase FDM participation until it becomes ubiquitous.



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