Quality Safety

Aviation records & documentation

Written by Chiara Collacciani

Gate November Second Week .

Hey there, it is the Captain Colly who speaks to you, on behalf of the Voice I would like to welcome you on board of this second week of November! Our destination of today? The Aviation records and documentation management. I wish you an enjoyable stay on board.

Did you know that “the airplanes fly thanks to the paper“? It may sound utopian but who daily works in the aviation reality knows very well this way to proceed. There is a specific communication, formal and not just, within the aviation fields (maintenance, flight, air ops., airworthiness, clients, passengers….) that is necessary, defined and regulated. Imagine: to pass in the next cloud in front of us (sorry for the light turbulence) more than one persone on ground wrote and traced useful preparatory to our flight, as

– Policy – Guidelines – Practices – Standards – Rules – Regulations – Manuals

The correct management and use of all the aviation records and documentation are:

  1. a key factor of the Safety System
  2. so strong related to the operative and legal aspects (show that has been done what it was supposed to have been done)

All the employees should be always encouraged to consider how much the two items mentioned above can really improve effectiveness and performance of the activities, giving them the tools to oppose the common reluctance in writing. With a legible and properly filled out you can demonostrate or provide:

  • compliance and conformance
  • effective management and implementation of the operations
  • relevant information in support of checks
  • defence in case of legal action

The Flight Attendants of my current flight are going to assist you with some secrects (on the next round a nice espresso, I promise): build and define, if not already available, strict rules to achieve the documentation and records goal, as

  • identify a doc. owner
  • classify the doc.
  • process handling storage and retention procedures
  • prevent unauthorised changes, damage, deteriorarion or loss
  • establish review criteria
  • promote, if possible, active distributions

It’s not yet time to unfasten the seat belt: pay attention above all on the role that can assume records in case of investigative situations. Unfortunately many aviation occurrences and safety events occurre due a failing to maintain accurate written records and common findings by Quality Auditors are related to:

  • not appropriate documentation
  • inadequate description of the work performed
  • wrong use of the references

The Safe functioning of the operations need an effective documentation. Quite simply: “everything you do for or on an aircraft needs to be properly documented”.  Remember always that even if the outputs can be various each aviation act must be implement in the name and reason of the Safety.

Starting the descend.

Thanks for flying with Colly.


About the author

Chiara Collacciani