The ability to use quantitative, objective flight data in order to improve training and operations has dramatically changed in the last decade. By taking advantage of hundreds of sensor collecting digital data on single engine aircraft, the use of Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) programs become more feasible for non-airline operations. With the integration of FOQA data use into university aviation operations, multiple opportunities exist for a complete utilization of this data in a variety of applications.

There are many barriers to overcome during implementation and use of FOQA data in the training environment. The goals and efforts of university flight school operations vary drastically from airlines. Primarily, flight schools are in business to educate and train new pilots while airlines aim to operate at a profit while serving transportation needs of the public. These operational goals necessitate different FOQA program needs.

This research established a template which may serve as a guide during FOQA program implementation at a university flight school. Attention has been paid to university-specific needs in the development of this template, including but not limited to student privacy issues, turnover of instructors and students, and FAA program approval. Ultimately, protocols are developed that not only preserve pilot privacy, but also ensure compliance with Institutional Review Board (IRB) requirements and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) - all while allowing data to be useful for future internal and external research.


flight operational quality assurance, flight data collection, flight data analysis, student flight data, collegiate aviation

Date of this Version



Aviation Technology

Department Head

Brent Bowen

Month of Graduation


Year of Graduation



Master of Science

Degree Type

Directed Project

Advisor 1 or Chair of Committee

Michael Nolan

Committee Member 1

John Young

Committee Member 2

Erin Bowen