14 CFR 91.183 states:

Unless otherwise authorized by ATC, the pilot in command of each aircraft operated under IFR must report the following as soon as possible: Any unforecast weather conditions encountered; and any other information relating to the safety of flight.

This language is very vague and probably causes a lot of confusion for pilots who are studying it. Does the FAA elaborate on this concept or provide an examples or a more specific definition somewhere else? If not, what are some examples of reports ATC would expect based on this reg?


1 Answer 1


The language is intentionally vague.
Much like Justice Stewart said about pornography, when it comes to "information relating to the safety of flight" you'll know it when you see it.

  • Birds flying around in the approach path? Yup.
  • Wind shear on short final? Yup.
    (Even if it's forecast/reported telling them how much airspeed you gained or lost helps.)
  • "Drone" buzzing around in the traffic pattern? Yup.
  • Deer grazing in the middle of a grass runway? Yup.
  • Bird strike? Absolutely.
    (There are regs/procedures specifically for this.)
  • The guy in row 3J is threatening the flight attendants? Yup.
  • The guy in row 3J spilled his soda on his lap? …Not so much.
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Ha I love this answer! Thank you! Also it helped me realize that it's not vague because of lawyer bullcrap (well maybe a little), but it's vague because reporting information that affect the safety of flight can make things safer for everyone. Also what's the reg that specifically requires reporting of a bird strike? $\endgroup$
    – ryan1618
    Aug 14, 2015 at 22:13
  • $\begingroup$ @RyanBurnette From a regulatory perspective I don't think there's a specific rule for wildlife strikes (though they can be swept up in things that cause "substantial damage" depending on where and how the bird hits the aircraft, and I think there may be something in Part 139 for airport operators). The FAA's Wildlife Strike Database is mostly bird-related incidents though, and theres a tidy little mini-bureaucracy for dealing with that stuff. $\endgroup$
    – voretaq7
    Aug 14, 2015 at 22:23
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ tidy little mini-bureaucracy There is nothing tidy, little or mini about bureaucracy. That was, however, a nice turn of phrase. ;) $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Aug 14, 2015 at 22:34
  • $\begingroup$ @RyanBurnette, it's vague most of all because real life is complicated and there is simply no chance to create an even remotely complete list off the table. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Aug 17, 2015 at 8:24

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