1. Purpose of This Notice. This notice provides Flight Standards Service policy for determining acceptable risk when an aviation safety
inspector (ASI) performs a job task in an aircraft in flight.
2. Audience. The primary audience for this notice includes all Flight Standards ASIs who perform job tasks in an aircraft in flight. The
secondary audience includes Flight Standards ASIs’ Front Line Managers (FLM), office managers, and division managers.
3. Where You Can Find This Notice. You can find this notice on the MyFAA employee website at
Inspectors can access this notice through the Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS) at
Operators can find this notice on the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) website at
This notice is available to the public at
a. This notice applies to all Flight Standards ASIs (Operations) when the inspector conducts:
• Job task(s) in an aircraft in flight as a required crewmember, as a safety
pilot, or while occupying an observer seat.
• Job task(s) in an aircraft in flight for ASIs in the Aircraft Evaluation
• Job task(s) in an aircraft in flight assigned through the Flight Standards
Inspector Resource Program (FSIRP).
b. The notice does not apply to Flight Standards ASIs (Operations) when the inspector conducts:
• Currency or training flights conducted by the Air Traffic Organization
(ATO) for the FAA Flight Program, in accordance with the Air Traffic Organization Flight Program OperationsAFS Participant Flight Operations Manual.
• Local rental flights for currency or training conducted by ATO for the
FAA Flight Program, in accordance with the Air Traffic Organization Flight Program OperationsAFS Participant Flight Operations Manual.
• Job tasks in a flight simulation training device (FSTD).
• Job tasks in an aircraft in flight for which the operator applies an
approved formal risk management process.
• En route inspections conducted under Title 14 of the Code of Federal
Regulations (14 CFR) for which the operator exercises operational control.
5. Operational Risk Policy.
a. Background. By the nature of the ASI’s job, the ASI is exposed to hazards on a flight. A hazard may be a present condition,
an event, or a circumstance that could lead to or contribute to an unplanned or undesired event such as an accident. When the future impact of a hazard is not controlled
or eliminated, there is risk. Risk management is a formalized way of dealing with hazards and potential risk. It is the logical process of weighing the potential
costs of the risks against the possible benefits of allowing those risks to stand uncontrolled. In order to manage risk associated with job tasks involving a flight, the
Flight Standards Flight Program Requirements Steering Committee (FPRSC) developed an Operational Risk Matrix (ORM) to quantify the flight’s risk, identify any
applicable risk mitigations present for the flight, assign a risk level based on the calculated risk for the flight, and determine whether the risk is acceptable to conduct
b. Preflight ORM Worksheet. If the operator has an approved formal risk management process and applies that process for the flight, the
ASI needs not complete an ORM worksheet. Otherwise, the ASI performing the job task must complete the ORM worksheet prior to conducting the flight. This task will
not be delegated. Where more than one Operations ASI is participating in the same flight, one ASI and that ASI’s management are responsible for completing
the risk assessment. See Appendix A, Flight Standards Preflight ORM Worksheet (Non-AEG Flights), for a worksheet and instructions. See Appendix B, Flight Standards Preflight
ORM Worksheet (AEG Flights Only), for a worksheet specific to the AEG. Electronic versions of the forms are available through FSIMS at
c. Operational Risk Assessment. The ASI performs the operational risk assessment by completing an ORM worksheet before the flight. The
total risk is the sum of all risk values applicable to the flight less any applied risk mitigations. The total risk places the mission in one of three risk categories,
“LOW,” “MEDIUM,” or “HIGH.” A risk acceptance authority, as defined below, will then decide whether the risk level is acceptable
for the mission. If the risk is not acceptable, the mission will not be conducted until appropriate mitigations lower the total risk to an acceptable level. An ASI will
never be forced to perform a job function in an aircraft in flight, regardless of the risk level, if the ASI considers the task unsafe.
d. Risk Assessment Timing. The ASI completes the ORM worksheet as close to the flight’s departure as possible. If the flight
is delayed, the ASI will update the ORM worksheet just prior to the new departure time to accurately reflect the flight’s risk.
e. Uncalculated Risk. Uncalculated risk is risk that was not accounted for in the worksheet. Risk is increased by adding the subjective
value(s) based on the judgement of the ASI or the management team. This worksheet was not intended to capture all risk for all possible missions. This block is the
ASI’s opportunity to identify risks not identified elsewhere in the worksheet. These risks might come from the aircraft’s condition, deferred maintenance items,
equipment unfamiliar to the ASI, or something unusual about the mission, as examples. Uncalculated risk might relate to the “IMSAFE” checklist for Illness,
Medication, Stress, Alcohol, Fatigue, and Eating/Food. The risk should be listed in the block or on a separate sheet with a subjective risk value. Determine a
risk value by comparing the risk to the risks in the first part of the worksheet. For example: the ASI is doing a Title 49 of the United States Code (49 U.S.C.)
§ 44709 reexamination and the helicopter for the flight just came out of an annual inspection. The ASI may decide to add a risk value of 5 by looking at
the risk values for other items such as autorotations. Consider as many additional risk factors as are appropriate and assign a subjective value to each. Briefly
describe the risk(s) and enter the value(s) in the right‑hand column, which will then be added to the total risk calculated to that point. Once this risk is identified,
it may be mitigated in block 12.
f. Mitigated Risk. Mitigated risk is risk that is reduced by some method. Risk is decreased by subtracting a subjective value(s) based
on the judgement of the ASI or the management team. This block is the ASI’s opportunity to reduce risk identified earlier in the worksheet, including the uncalculated
risk in block 11. For example, if the mission will be conducted in a tailwheel aircraft, recent recurrent ASI tailwheel training may be a mitigation. The risk for
flight in a tailwheel aircraft has a value of 6 as assigned in block 2. The ASI may choose to reduce that risk by a subjective value of 4 based on the recurrent training.
Briefly describe what the mitigation(s) are in block 12 or on an additional paper, and enter the total risk mitigation in the right-hand column. This value will be
subtracted from the total risk calculated up to this point.
g. Risk Acceptance Authority. The total risk calculated in the ORM worksheet determines the risk category. A risk acceptance authority
decides whether that risk level is acceptable and electronically signs the form. In cases in which the ASI’s manager, office manager, or division manager is
not available, the acceptance authority may be delegated to another manager. The authority for each level is as follows:
(1) “LOW” Risk Category. The ASI’s Operations FLM decides whether the mission’s risk is acceptable for the flight. The
FLM selects either “yes” or “no,” as appropriate, and signs the form as the risk acceptance authority. If the risk is not acceptable, the
mission is not to be conducted.
(2) “MEDIUM” Risk Category. The ASI’s office manager decides whether the mission’s risk is acceptable. The office
manager selects either “yes” or “no,” as appropriate, and signs as the risk acceptance authority. If the risk is not acceptable, the mission is not
to be conducted.
(3) “HIGH” Risk Category. A mission with a “HIGH” risk level is unusual, and it should receive close scrutiny.
Additional mitigation should be applied to reduce the risk to at least a “MEDIUM” or “LOW” risk. If the risk level cannot be reduced, the office
manager will forward the mission specifics, along with the ORM, to the appropriate division manager who decides whether the mission’s risk is acceptable.
The division manager selects “yes” or “no,” as appropriate, and signs the form as the risk acceptance authority. If the risk is not
acceptable, the mission is not to be conducted.
h. Action. If the flight will proceed, the ASI leaves the ORM worksheet, including the risk acceptance, with the Operations FLM, or
at an appropriate location if completed away from the home office, until the mission is complete. If the flight does not proceed, the worksheet may be destroyed. There is
no requirement under this notice to retain the completed form after the flight is complete or when the risk is determined to be unacceptable.
6. Disposition. We will incorporate the information in this notice into FAA Order 8900.1 before this notice expires. Direct questions
concerning the information in this notice to the General Aviation and Commercial Division (AFS-800) at 202‑267-1100.
ORIGINAL SIGNED by
/s/ John Barbagallo
Deputy Executive Director, Flight Standards Service
Appendix A. Flight Standards Preflight ORM Worksheet (Non-AEG Flights)
Appendix B. Flight Standards Preflight ORM Worksheet (AEG Flights Only)