What is “ASRS” or “The NASA Report”?
With credit to Raymond Igou for the content of this answer:
In case anybody is not familiar with the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS), which is managed by NASA, it is a program worth learning about. The current, and established for over 20 years, policy is that by filing the ASRS form with NASA a pilot is demonstrating “a constructive attitude,”. The FAA will not take any license enforcement action for an inadvertent or unintentional violation of the FAR’s so long as no criminal laws were broken, no accident occurred, there are no prior enforcement actions in the preceding 5 years, and a few other requirements. Basically, by fessing up that you goofed, and filing the form within 10 days of the event, you are shielding your license from any potential suspension or other enforcement action.
The form is sent to NASA. The header strip with your name and identification information is stripped off from the report and returned to you, as proof that you filed an ASRS report. The remainder is sent to the FAA so they may look at ways to improve or correct the system to make things safer for us all.
It’s a great program, and most commercial pilots I know normally have one of these forms handy as a CYA type of thing. The Advisory Circular link containing the .pdf file is http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgAdvisoryCircular.nsf/0/64358057433FE192862569E7006DA716?OpenDocument.
The direct link to the .pdf file is
As a CFI, I would encourage pilots to make themselves aware of this system. It can help you protect yourself from enforcement for minor FAR violations… IE inadvertently crossing a hold short line by 2 feet, being too close to clouds when VFR, busting airspace, and being off airway or even heading when IFR. The key is that these busts must be accidental, inadvertent or otherwise unintentional.