Gulfstream Operators Embrace 'Forms' Program to Enhance Safety of Flight

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. has enrolled more than 140 aircraft in its Flight Operations Risk Management Service (FORMS) program, providing operators unique access to data that has been proven to reduce hazards in airline operations.


SAVANNAH, Ga., July 9, 2012 — Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. has enrolled more than 140 aircraft in its Flight Operations Risk Management Service (FORMS) program, providing operators unique access to data that has been proven to reduce hazards in airline operations and is now migrating to business aviation.

FORMS, Gulfstream’s Flight Operations Quality Assurance/ Flight Data Management (FOQA/FDM) program, is modeled after airline programs that have become widely used to analyze operational data and improve flight training. Among its benefits, FORMS data can be used to analyze airport-specific approach procedures that can challenge pilots. The larger the FORMS database becomes, the better Gulfstream is able to identify trends and implement corrective measures through education and training.

Gulfstream’s FORMS database includes operational details on more than 25,000 flights, 15,000 of which were conducted in 2011 alone.

“Many airlines use quality assurance technology to improve consistency and safety in operations, and Gulfstream is at the forefront of bringing this discipline to business aviation,” said Randy Gaston, vice president, Flight Operations, Gulfstream.

According to Gulfstream’s recent analysis of its FORMS database, the most frequently used airports by Gulfstream operators are Teterboro, N.J., Dulles International outside of Washington, D.C., and Westchester County in White Plains, N.Y. These airports, and others in congested airspace, can provide unique challenges due to air traffic control (ATC) handling, including ATC-requested speeds, altitudes and spacing on instrument approaches. FORMS data can identify arrival procedures most likely to contribute to delays in configuring and slowing an aircraft for final approach.

FORMS collects data from a Quick Access Recorder (QAR) and compares the data to defined parameters for takeoff, climb, cruise, descent, approach and landing. FORMS identifies when certain criteria have been exceeded. Operators receive reports on specific events that exceed parameters, as well as quarterly reports reflecting their specific operations. These reports identify key parameters for flight department review. Gulfstream also receives consolidated fleet data, which is used to enhance pilot training. Over time, FOQA systems have become accepted in the airline community and increasingly in business aviation as an important safety tool and means of continuous improvement, rather than a means of monitoring individual pilot performance.

FlightSafety International, a leading provider of flight training for Gulfstream operators, uses FORMS data to refine its programs.

“FlightSafety and Gulfstream continue to work closely together to maximize the benefits and effectiveness of the FORMS program,” said David Davenport, center manager, FlightSafety International, Savannah. “The program was designed to increase operational safety by measuring exposure to known risks, such as unstabilized approaches, system operating limits and adverse runway operations. The data collected has enabled us to further tailor our training programs to the specific needs of Gulfstream aircraft operators and has helped to increase safety among those who have taken advantage of the program.”

Every operator in the Gulfstream fleet has access to the annual fleet report, which consolidates all the results from FORMS-enrolled aircraft. This data can be used to modify techniques, procedures and training as necessary, even for operators not enrolled in the FORMS program.

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