Accomplishing a Meaningful Particular Risks Assessment Document 2011-01-2498
The Particular Risks Assessment Document (PRA) is the compendium of the assessments accomplished during the development of a new airplane that relate to threats to the airplane from the outside environment (e.g. birdstrike, lightning, hail) and threats to the systems from events originating in other systems (e.g. rotorburst, flailing shafts, tire and wheel burst). These assessments are accomplished to ensure the robustness of the design to survive these threats. An extensive list of threats is developed and teams are formed to evaluate each of them. The results of these studies are collated into a document that provides a single point reference for the new airplane with regard to its ability to survive all known external threats. If PRAs have been accomplished on previous programs they can be used as a starting point for the new assessment, then the systems are reevaluated against the new design and differences created by new design features need to be added to the list. The PRA is not a trivial exercise. It requires a commitment on the part of management and the allocation of resources from the safety and design communities. However, this assessment can greatly add to the robustness of the new design and can reap benefits far into the future as the design continues to be used in the aviation industry.