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SAFECOM Instructions

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The Aviation Safety Communique (SAFECOM) database fulfills the Aviation Mishap Information System (AMIS) requirements for aviation mishap reporting for the Department of Interior (DOI) agencies and the U.S. Forest Service. Categories of reports include airspace, incidents, hazards, maintenance, management and mishap prevention. The system uses the SAFECOM Form AMD-34 or FS-5700-14 to report any condition, observation, act, maintenance problem, or circumstance with personnel or aircraft that has the potential to cause an aviation-related mishap. SAFECOMS may also be used to identify good “acts, events, and circumstances” as well as unsafe situations.

The SAFECOM system is not intended for initiating punitive actions. Submitting a SAFECOM is not a substitute for "on-the-spot" correction(s) to a safety concern. It is a tool used to identify, document, track and correct safety related issues. A SAFECOM does not replace the requirement for initiating an accident or incident report.

SAFECOMS are an accident prevention tool for everyone associated with DOI and U.S. Forest Service aviation operations. Vendors are specifically required by contract to participate.

These instructions and helpful hints are intended to make the process of submitting a SAFECOM as easy as possible. If you need assistance, please don’t hesitate to call the Forest Service at (208) 387-5285 or the Aviation Management Directorate, Aviation Safety at (208) 433-5070. After the completion and submission of your SAFECOM, your data will be stored in a central database that is shared on an interagency basis. Therefore, you only have to submit one SAFECOM per event.

The REPORTED BY section is associated with the person submitting the SAFECOM. All of these fields are optional. However, this contact information is extremely helpful if it becomes necessary to follow-up with the submitter on a particular issue. This section asks for the name of the person reporting the event, their contact information and the organization they work for. SAFECOMS may be submitted anonymously. If you choose to submit your name or any other information in this section, it will not appear on the SAFECOM that is available to the general public.

The EVENT section asks for the "when" and "where" in addition to damage or injuries. Enter the Date in the mm/dd/yyyy format, and then enter the Time using the 24-hour time format hhmm. Note that the date is a required field and both the date and time fields will only accept numeric characters. Were there any Injuries? Yes or No. If you select Yes, please explain in the narrative. Was there any Damage? Yes or No. If you select Yes, please explain in the narrative. The next three selections identify the Agency, Region or State for USDI and the Unit that had operational control of the mission at the time of the event. These selections determine which organization(s) will receive initial notification that a SAFECOM has been entered into the database. From the drop down table select the Agency. From the next drop down table select the Region for USFS or State for USDI. Next, select the Unit from the drop down table if it applies. In the Location field enter the airport, name of the fire or lat and long. The final field in this section is the State, which applies to the state where the event occurred. Note that the State field is a required entry. See examples below:
Agency: Bureau of Land Mgt Region: Alaska State Office Unit: Not available
Agency: Forest Service Region: Region 2 Unit: San Juan NF

The MISSION section asks for information that describes the mission at the time of the event. In the Type field, use the drop down table to make a selection that best describes the mission that was being performed. Use the Other field if you need to further identify the mission or if nothing is available from the drop down table that actually describes the mission. In the Procurement Field, enter how the aircraft you were utilizing was procured from the drop down table. Use the Other field to further identify procurement if necessary. Under Persons Onboard, enter the total number of people on the aircraft, which includes the pilot(s), all flight crew personnel and passengers. Was the mission Special Use, Yes or No? Many of our missions are special use. In fact, almost all fire missions are considered special use as well as animal counting, herding, eradication, etc. Were there Hazardous Materials onboard, Yes or No? In Departure Point, enter where you departed from, an airport or helibase for example and under Destination, enter the intended destination, which could be an airport, fire name or helispot.

The AIRCRAFT Section generally applies to the aircraft you are utilizing. However, in the event of an airspace intrusion, conflict or near mid-air, enter as much information as possible about the other aircraft. If there are multiple aircraft involved, list the other aircraft in the narrative section. In the Type field, enter the aircraft type from the drop down table. In the Tail # field enter the tail number of the aircraft beginning with N for US Registered and C for Canadian Registered aircraft. Please do not enter the Tanker, Jumper or Helicopter number unless that is all you have. In the Manufacturer field, select the manufacturer from the drop down table. In the Model field, enter the model number without any spaces or hyphens for example, 206L3, DC6, PB4Y2. In the Owner/Operator field, enter the name of the agency if the aircraft is an agency fleet aircraft (ie USFS, USDI, etc) or the name of the vendor operating the aircraft if it is contracted. In the Pilot field enter the pilot’s name, first name then last name.

In the NARRATIVE section give a brief description of the event with the facts and outcome of the event. Elaborate on any previous blocks above as necessary.

In the CORRECTIVE ACTION section give a brief description of the corrective action that was taken in an effort to prevent the event from reoccurring. Remember, submitting a SAFECOM is not a substitute for resolving the problem and taking on the spot corrective action. SAFECOMS often get the attention of senior management. However, minor or repetitive issues may only be used for tracking and trending purposes and generating SAFETY ALERTS for prevention purposes.

Press the Review SAFECOM button. From the Review page, follow the directions at the top of the page to change, print, and finally to SUBMIT your SAFECOM.

Accidents and Incidents-With-Potential (IWP) must be reported immediately via the most expeditious method in accordance with the Interagency Aviation Mishap Response Guide and Checklist. A SAFECOM should be completed within 5 days, but it is not to be used as an initial notification method.

While you may choose to file a SAFECOM anonymously, under normal circumstances the SAFECOM should be routed through the local unit aviation officer or can be faxed to Aviation Management Directorate, Aviation Safety at (208) 433-5007 or USFS at (208) 387-5735 ATTN: SAFETY or entered directly on the internet at

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