Managing Flying Risk – Reporting incidents and accidents

Although incidents and accidents should ideally not occur, it’s a fact of life that they do. The BGA safety management system manual identifies how reporting of incidents and accidents by pilots and instructors provides vital data that supports efforts to minimise risk in our sport. A reported incident where fortunately nothing was damaged, but easily could have, might help to avoid a future accident just waiting to occur in similar circumstances. Details are described on the Reporting an Occurrence webpage.

Club Internal Incident Reporting

This BGA safety management system manual describes how clubs can report and review those additional incidents that are not required to be reported under the established BGA incident & accident reporting system. Club internal incident reporting systems are great for identifying risks at clubs and establishing a process through which significant risks are recognised and addressed by the club. There are effectively three stages to the process:

a) Reporting, b) Follow Up and c) Recording


Establishing a reporting culture is the key to success here. Experience at a number of BGA clubs who already have a club incident reporting system demonstrates that the CFI will need to arrange for the club safety officer, instructors, and other members to actively supply him with incident information. The BGA can provide clubs with a simple club incident reporting template, but it’s entirely up to a club to decide how these incidents will be reported at the club, eg by email or hard copy to the CFI or Safety Officer.

Follow Up

Reports describe what happened. The next step is to decide what, if anything needs to be done about it. Clubs need to periodically consider the reported club incidents and identify which, if any, are significant enough because of their potential impact and frequency of occurrence to require positive mitigating action within the club. That action needs to be recorded.

The club incident reporting template should include “mitigating action taken”. That might be “nil” in many one-off, insignificant cases. In other significant cases, it could be an extensive action including publishing or modifying advice for club & visiting pilots.

What type of incidents should be reported as club incidents? Examples of incidents best handled by the club are illustrated below:

  • Inadequate DI
  • Potential collision taking off or landing
  • Hazardous circuit or approach
  • Poor handling
  • Ground-loop without damage
  • Poor parking / ground collision risk
  • Hangar rash
  • Pedestrians on the airfield
  • Out of date or incomplete paperwork
  • Airmanship issues


The reports, including any mitigating action, ideally need to be recorded by the club using as a minimum the detail within the club’s incident report template.

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