Aircraft Performance and Monitoring

2021 12 1 gajsc aircraft performance monitoring

2021 12 2 gajsc aircraft performance monitoring


National General Aviation Flight Information Database and GAARD™ App

FAA Safety Briefing Sep/Oct 2020, “The Missing Link Contributing to the Future by Examining Your Past,” p. 13 


2016-01 gajsc logo headrer

General Aviation Joint Steering Committee

Aircraft Performance Monitoring

Outreach Guidance Document



This outreach guidance is provided to all FAA and aviation industry groups that are participating in outreach efforts sponsored by the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC).  It is important that all outreach on a given topic is coordinated and is free of conflicts.  Therefore, all outreach products should be in alignment with the outline and concepts listed below for this topic.


Outreach Month:  December 2021



Topic: Engine Maintenance and Performance Monitoring (SCF-SE-49)

The FAA and industry will conduct a public education campaign emphasizing the safety benefits of Aircraft Performance Monitoring




The General Aviation Steering Committee (GAJSC) System/Component Failure work group contends that unreasonable expectations with respect to aircraft performance have contributed to fatal GA accidents..  The GAJSC also feel that flight data monitoring can help to forecast system/component problems before they reach the point of failure.

Airlines have long been required to equip their aircraft with flight data and voice recorders.  These were, in the beginning, rudimentary devices to record basic flight information.  But now they have evolved to a plethora of sensors throughout the aircraft.  Data from these sensors are recorded onboard or streamed to the ground where they undergo manual or automated analysis.  Information derived from the data is very useful in maintenance planning and invaluable in accident investigation. 

While it’s true that most GA aircraft don’t have dedicated automatic flight data recording devices now; we will be able to enjoy the benefits of equipage in the future.  In the meantime it’s often surprising to see what we already have.  Manufacturers are already offering self-contained flight data and visual data recorders for GA airplanes and helicopters. 

Regardless of how they monitor performance, pilots continue to hold unreasonable expectations for their aircraft and themselves.  Reasonable performance expectations based on realistic data result in safer flight operations.



Teaching Points:

  • Discuss the Pilot in Command responsibility for airworthiness determinations.
  • Discuss the safety benefits of Flight Data Monitoring (FDM).
  • Acquaint pilots with the availability of FDM hardware and software.
  • Encourage pilots to adopt FDM processes.