Every flight has some level of risk. It’s up to the airman to review that risk in advance and then develop the appropriate risk mitigation strategies. One of the best ways of doing this is by using a Flight Risk Analysis Tool or FRAT. FRATs are generally easy-to-use, visual tools that can help pilots proactively identify hazards and make better go/no go decisions for every flight. Using a FRAT to put everything on paper allows you to graphically depict risk limits free from the pressure of an impending flight or maintenance task. It also sets the stage for managing risk through proactive mitigation strategies that are documented.
The FAA Safety Team (FAAST) has produced an easy-to-use FRAT — found here http://go.usa.gov/3sJWA — that will get you started in effective safety risk management. The FAAST FRAT is a simple automated spread sheet that will run on a Windows or Mac system. Just download the appropriate file for your computer and you’re in business. For more on FRATs, check out our safety flyer here: http://go.usa.gov/3sJZw, as well as this month’s #FlySafe campaign page at http://go.usa.gov/3sJKP.