Flight School Safety Management System

Flight School Hazard Reporting & Risk Management Management Software

What Is a Flight School Hazard Reporting & Risk Management System

Flight schools in most parts of the world are required to have formal aviation safety management systems (SMS). Flight schools are commonly considered non-complex operations; therefore, their SMS programs are not required to be sophisticated.

By their very nature, flight schools operate in considerably risky environments when one considers the machine and the inexperienced "man." Damaged aircraft and occasional "close calls" occur due to negligence or lack of understanding potential risks.

Flight school owners must mitigate these risks to enhance safety and ensure profitable operations. If you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it.

Fortunately, flight schools have motivated personnel and students to timely report hazards. This becomes the first opportunity to measure and manage risk.

Inexperienced students are unable to properly identify all hazards. This presents an excellent opportunity to educate the "students."

The flight school hazard reporting and risk management system allows flight schools to:

  • Collect occurrence data;
  • Manage associated risk;
  • Train employees and students to identify and record hazards; and
  • Prepare students for real world SMS programs.

Components of a Flight School SMS System

To understand what is a Flight School SMS system, it is better to break down the individual components of this system, which are based on the Hazard Reporting Solution. These components include:

  • Hazard reporting forms (or way for reports to enter a "system")
  • Risk management functionality; 
  • Reports (graphic or tabular);
  • Flight Risk Assessment Tool (FRAT);
  • Offline Weight & Balance Tool;
  • Gap analysis tool; and
  • SMS implementation manager.

These components benefit flight schools. For example,

  • Students and flight instructors easily report hazards, accidents or incidents;
  • Instructors train students the components of required aviation SMS programs;
  • Students and flight instructors can assess individual flights before take-off; and
  • Students can learn weight and balance fundamentals.

Finally, graphical reports allow cadre and flight school management to make informed decisions to minimize risk and reduce recurrence of accidents and incidents.

How Flight Schools Can Report Identified Hazards

For our discussion, an accident, incident or hazard will be called an issue. This flight school hazard reporting and risk management system is designed to allow students and flight instructors to enter "reported issues." In most cases today, Web-based forms offer the best solution for users to report issues into the safety database. This system will then notify a responsible person of the issue either by email or text.

The most common approaches for students and flight instructors to report issues include:

  • Online Web-based reporting forms;
  • Offline reporting forms;
  • Email; and
  • Public-facing hazard reporting forms;


Hazard definition: Hazards are anything that can potentially harm any of the following elements:

  • People (customers, employees, contractors);
  • The environment;
  • Assets (aircraft, equipment, buildings); or
  • Company reputation.

Accident definition: An accident is an unintended event that causes damage to persons or property.

Incident definition: An incident is an unintended event posing potential to cause damage to persons or property

Our Flight School Hazard Reporting & Risk Management Solution Includes:

Flight School SMS Software Training

SMS Pro comes with a complete online video training library.  This video training library is visible to all students and flight instructors.

On request, NWDS can provide quality aviation SMS training on our aviation safety management products. Our qualified partners are also qualified to teach the fundamentals of SMS while also instructing on our Web-based aviation safety management software.

Learn more about aviation SMS training.