Safety Reporting

Reporting lies at the heart of RAAus' Safety Management System. Reporting offers RAAus valuable data to review occurrences, monitor trends, assess safety performance and to set safety promotions for our members. The information presented and the presentation topics during National Safety Month are all supported by safety data collected from reported occurrences.

This week we take a look at the reporting of accidents, incidents, defects, hazards and confidential complains via the RAAus occurrence management system at REPORTING.RAAUS.COM.AU!

RAAus Reporting

Occurrence reporting is a mandatory requirement for pilots, aircraft owners, flight instructors, maintainers, and witnesses under the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003, as well as the RAAus Flight Operations Manual. But whilst this is a mandatory requirement, it also fulfills a much bigger role within RAAus' safety management system - It allows us to generate occurrence data, monitor trends, and identify and address safety concerns within our organisation as well as greater industry.

Importantly, members should be aware that RAAus maintains a just and fair reporting culture, meaning that members are not punished for making genuine mistakes provided these is not a wilful violation of safe operating procedures (such as illegal operations). RAAus reviews occurrence reports to determine what occurred, and importantly, what can be done to prevent similar occurrences from happening in the future.

RAAus' Occurrence Management System fulfils ATSB reporting requirements, meaning that by submitting a report to RAAus, you also fulfil your requirements under the TSI Act. The RAAus Occurrence Management system allows reporting of four categories of occurrence. These are:

  • Accidents and Incidents
  • Defects
  • Hazards
  • Complaints

Once submitted, occurrences are then assigned to the appropriate department within RAAus for review as well as identification of any immediate safety concerns that may require attention.


What are your reporting requirements if you have an accident or incident?

The reporting requirements for an accident or incident depend on the severity of what has occurred. Of course, the first step must always be to contact emergency services if required. 

RAAus has a 24 hour emergency line on the office phone number (02 6280 4700) to report an immediately reportable matter to RAAus.

Occurrence types can be categorised as an either an Immediately Reportable Matter (IRM) or Routinely Reportable Matter (RRM) as below:

  • Immediately Reportable Matter (IRM)

    IRMs are accidents or serious incidents that affect the safety of aircraft. These may include occurrences that result in serious injury or damage to an aircraft or other property, or when a serious accident nearly occurred. An IRM also includes notification of a missing aircraft.

    IRMs may include:

    • Loss of control event
    • Controlled flight into terrain
    • Landing gear failure
    • Forced landing resulting in aircraft damage or injury

    IRMs must be reported to RAAus by telephone as soon as practical, and a written report must be submitted within 72 hours.

  • Routinely Reportable Matter (RRM)

    RRMs are less serious occurrences that have, or could have, affected safety.

    RRMs may include:

    • Runway incursion, excursion or ground loop, resulting in no damage
    • A flat tyre
    • Taxiing collision
    • Bird strike
    • Go-around due to another aircraft
    • A near miss

    RRMs often do not result in aircraft damage or injury, and a written report must be submitted within 72 hours.

Written reports may be submitted to RAAus at REPORTING.RAAUS.COM.AU

  • Defect Reporting

    Aircraft maintainers, including owner maintainers and higher maintenance approval holders, have an obligation to report identified defects.

    The RAAus Technical Manual outlines maintenance reporting requirements and defines a defect as any fault in the design, function or qualitative characteristic of an item fitted to an aircraft which differs from the specification, the drawing, or recognised standard of good workmanship for that item other than that classified as fair wear and tear within manufacturer’s limits. Maintainers also have the requirement to report where a maintenance schedule or flight manual is considered to be deficient.

    An example of this may include identifying that a wheel rim on an aircraft is cracked. Though this may be the first time you have witnessed this issue, you should still submit a defect report. Nationally there may be a problem that we are able to identify through multiple receipts of similar reports, however if this issue is simply fixed without reporting to RAAus then we are unable to communicate the issue to other members. Instead, we may only become aware of it when on another aircraft the part fails on landing, resulting in an accident and potential injury.

    RAAus communicates known defects to aircraft manufacturers, and where required may issue an airworthiness notice to aircraft owners / operators and other interested persons, advising them of a known defect or deficiency and rectification action.

  • Hazard Reporting

    A hazard is something with the potential to contribute to unsafe operations of an aircraft which may result in an accident or incident, damage to an aircraft, or injury.

    Hazard reports allow RAAus to review a particular matter, which may include:

    • Concerns in relation to operations at an airfield
    • Something that has occurred with the potential to impact safety other than an accident or an incident
    • A process or procedure
    • An obstacle or object at an airport

    As an example, RAAus has previously dealt with Hazards relating to reports of fuel contamination, potholes at an airfield, and reports of unsafe operations at an airfield. 

    Hazard reporting allows RAAus to review the matter reported and determine whether further action is required to address the hazard.

    RAAus has previously worked with pilots, aircraft manufacturers, aviation operators and airports to address reported hazards.

  • Complaint Reporting

    The RAAus occurrence management system allows reporting of confidential complaints to RAAus for review. 

    Complaints may be reported due to concerns relating to something that RAAus has done, or in relation to an external party.

    In most cases, complaint reports are used to notify RAAus of non-compliant operations or concerns relating to the unsafe operations of an RAAus member or aircraft. This may include:

    • Operation of a non-registered aircraft
    • Unsafe or reckless operations of an RAAus aircraft
    • Flight by an unlicenced pilot or with an expired BFR
    • Concerns relating to the conduct of an RAAus flight training school or approval holder

    RAAus respects the confidentiality of reporters who submit a complaint into the RAAus occurrence management system, and reviews complaints to identify necessary further actions that may be required to address compliance or safety concerns.

    Where RAAus review of a complaint identifies sufficient evidence to reasonably believe that a member has wilfully operated recklessly or non-compliantly then this may result in a formal enquiry which may lead to suspension, variation or cancellation of an RAAus authorisation.

  • Just Culture

    RAAus maintains a just and fair reporting culture, often referred to as a just culture - But what does this mean for our membership?

    Essentially, it means that we do not use reporting as a tool to punish members, but as a tool to educate and improve safety for everyone. Without members feeling comfortable to report we would be unable to collect important data and maintain a positive safety culture within RAAus.

    As humans, RAAus accepts that everyone makes mistakes – This means that members should not be disciplined for making a genuine mistake, rather we ensure that member safety is not compromised.

    The main priority when reviewing an occurrence report is to understand the reasons or contributing factors for why an event occurred and where possible attempt to prevent this from happening again. This may be as simple as identifying that an occurrence occurred due to factors outside of the control of the pilot, or understanding that the pilot has subsequently put measures in place to prevent this from reoccurring. However, if there are concerns raised relating to the ongoing safety of a pilot or a member has a history of unsafe operation or RAAus has received a number of similar reports then additional requirements such as development or improvement of training processes or remedial training for a pilot with a local instructor may be required. This is not a regular occurrence with a majority of occurrences requiring little or no additional effort.

    RAAus must take action in relation to members who have been identified as actively and wilfully  breaking the rules. Deliberate violations of RAAus or CASA rules may result in some form of restriction being placed on a member privileges or in more serious cases the suspension or removal of privileges. These outcomes are achieved by following the process outlined within the RAAus Occurrence Complaint and Disciplinary manual available in the Members Portal at

Reporting of occurrences allows RAAus to provide safety promotional material to educate members including safety communications, occurrence summaries and allows RAAus to identify safety focus areas, such as those used during National Safety Month.

Failure to report deprives RAAus and other members of the oportunity to learn in order to prevent similar events from occurring in the future! 


National Safety Month would not be possible without the support of our sponsors:

UPRT Australia | Upset Prevention Recovery Training