How To Play By The Same Rules

Regulatory inconsistency makes the simple act of “following procedures” difficult.

  • Assign responsible parties to work the issue as a collaborative process.
  • Analyze voluntary reporting data to identify common traits of poor documentation.
  • Renew Advisory Circulars and other relevant guidance material for industry and inspectors.
  • Fund research and development to reintroduce proper documentation practices.
  • Create training courses for documentation development and evaluation.
  • Create training courses for aviation safety inspectors involved in technical documentation development and oversight.


  • If documentation is unavailable or incorrect, notify your supervisor that it isn’t possible to complete the task or complete an Aviation Safety Action Program report. Workers by regulation must follow written instructions.
  • Report all suboptimal work cards or manufacturer’s instruction to your management and to FAA.
  • Use the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP), the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS), Line Operation Safety Audit (LOSA), and other voluntary reporting systems to highlight all documentation challenges.

Methods to address hazards associated with poor documentation and work procedures are clear. Join together, take responsibility for problems, identify the root causes, develop viable solutions and implement them.


Dr. Katrina Avers is a Research Scientist at the Federal Aviation Administration in the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute Human Factors Research Lab. Dr. Avers takes a practical, science-based approach and has worked to develop applied solutions that can be used across the industry.

We Recommend