# How is “information relating to the safety of flight” defined by the FAA?

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?

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.
• 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? – ryan1618 Aug 14 '15 at 22:13
• @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. – voretaq7 Aug 14 '15 at 22:23
• tidy little mini-bureaucracy There is nothing tidy, little or mini about bureaucracy. That was, however, a nice turn of phrase. ;) – FreeMan Aug 14 '15 at 22:34
• @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. – Jan Hudec Aug 17 '15 at 8:24