Troubleshooting
 
 
 

Introduction

This site uses a number of software components for providing the required functionality. Besides the software for building this site, an Internet Browser and an Operating System are involved and, when using the off-line reporting forms available, also a PDF Editor.

Although the functionality has been tested thoroughly, occasionally the site might become unresponsive or do things that are not expected, hampering the submission of occurrence reports. This may be a temporary issue, caused for instance by a momentary loss of connection, or a permanent one. In the first case it is usually sufficient to wait some time and try again. In the second case the origin of the problem may have multiple causes, for instance:

Web site issues

When this situation occurs it is advised to try again later. If this does not work, try another EU or European Commission website, or any website. If this also fails there might be a problem with the Internet connection. Ask advise to your IT Administrator if this represents your case.

On-line Reporting Section not available

In this situation the Aviation Safety Reporting Portal is available and you can navigate the various sections, you can download off-line forms but when you click for reporting on-line, nothing shows up except for the page's title, header and footer. When this situation occurs the system might be busy. The advise is to try again later. If this does not work, try cleaning your cache. If that does also not work, notify support that your are experiencing a problem.

Operating System updates

Updates to the Operating System may affect access to and operation of the Aviation Safety Reporting Portal. When you notice that suddenly the site does not work any more while the days before you were able to operate correctly, a particular update may have broken compatibility. This could be a modified software component or a different, more restrictive setting. Ask advise to your IT Administrator if this represents your case.

Internet Browsers

A lot of effort has been put in the Aviation Safety Reporting Portal for supporting and making sure the site operates with most Internet Browsers but it should not be forgotten that these browsers are totally different 'under the hood'. What works with one is not said to work with another. The manufacturers constantly develop their browser, while also the language and the standard used for websites (e.g. HTML) evolve and to which browsers adapt. Locking down security breaches in browsers may as well impact on the usability of certain websites, this one included.

File Formats

This site accepts the following file formats for off-line reporting and for posting updates during on-line reporting:

  • PDF — Adobe's Portable Document Format. This is the only format accepted when submitting reports from off-line electronic data entry forms, which are available on this site for download. Requires Acrobat Reader DC to be edited (see here)
  • E5Y — The EU Aviation Safety Reporting Portal's proprietary format for posting updates to reports previously submitted via this site. E5Y files are automatically sent to the submitter via e-mail once the submission process has completed, containing the data collected so far. Available only when submitting reports on behalf of an organisation

During the factual data entry session it is possible to include any file format as attachment to the report. There are however limitations to the maximum size that can be attached to an individual report (see here)

PDF Editors

The PDF format is a standard developed by Adobe. Adobe has released the format to the public so that other manufacturers can create applications for manipulating PDF documents. In-line viewing of PDF files in Chrome or Firefox is an example of such application. Adobe continues to develop the PDF format, adding for instance data entry capabilities which are used by the off-line reporting forms. Not all PDF application manufacturers support these data entry capabilities in full, some only partially and other not at all.

Apple Mac Users: the PDF Preview application Quartz PDF Context on your Mac simulates data entry correctly but saves file with a format that the Aviation Safety Reporting Portal cannot process anymore and which is unrecoverable. Use only Acrobat Reader DC.

Uploading Off-line Forms

The off-line PDF forms are built using interactive data entry elements (text boxes, drop-down lists...). The Aviation Safety Reporting Portal analyses the uploaded off-line PDF forms for such data entry elements and extracts the information entered mapping it to the electronic data format used for final submission to an authority. The Aviation Safety Reporting Portal only accepts off-line PDF forms with the same structure as those offered for download, and as such:

  • Printouts or scans of the off-line PDF form,
  • Forms edited with a PDF application that is not 100% compatible with Acrobat DC, like for instance PDF Preview application Quartz PDF Context on Apple Mac PCs (see above), and
  • Any file that is not a PDF

will be rejected.

Size of attachments

The Portal limits the size (in MB) of the report that can be processed because often the e-mail inbox of the recipient, personal or of the organisation, cannot accept oversized e-mail messages, for instance bigger than 10MB. The information collected with the data entry fields normally represent a fraction of this limit, however when attachments such as images or PDF copies of the original reports are added, the total size of the e-mail message can grow rapidly above this limit, making delivery potentially impossible. This is the reason why the Portal rejects reports above a certain size.

To avoid this, reduce images in resolution (lower dimensions give smaller file size, JPG can be saved with less quality, for instance 85%) or save them in a different format (e.g. PNG). Tools and on-line services exist that allow optimising and (greatly) reducing the size of PDF's, maintaining substantially the contents. Consider using the ZIP format which is as a valid option for reducing the size of files, with the additional benefit that a single attachment can contain multiple files.

Cached Files

In order to speed up the visualisation of web site pages, Internet Browsers keep a cache of downloaded files. Instead of downloading over and over again the same files, which takes time, they use a copy from this cache. Over time this cache can grow to considerable size as it is not so uncommon for individual web sites to be made of hundreds or thousands of files, and this for each individual web site. Very large caches can make Internet Browsers unstable.

Corrupt User Profile

When you log into your PC, the Operating System reserves space for storing your personal documents and a number of other files (screen layout, preferences...). In general the Operating System properly does the household and lets you work without problems. Occasionally though, this storage area can become corrupt. When this happens, the effects range from being unable to login, getting a low resolution screen, not seeing the desktop icons but more often it occurs that applications show subtle misbehavior which looks like a software 'bug'.

Solving the Issue

Before filing a problem report ticket to the managers of the Aviation Safety Reporting Portal there are a number of things that you can do to see whether the issue can be resolved on your PC:

  • For all the browsers, JavaScript and CSS must be enabled (normally this will be the case, check first the points below)
  • IE10 and IE11
    • Internet Options>Security>Security Level should be Medium-High (or at least not High)
    • If Custom security settings are used, the option "Navigate windows and frames across different domains" should be enabled
  • Edge
    • Make sure that under Settings>Advanced Settings>Cookies the setting "Don't block Cookies" is selected
  • Firefox
    • Make sure that under Options>Privacy>History the value "Remember History" is selected
    • If you use "Custom Settings for History", make sure you Accept Third Party Cookies Always
  • Chrome
    • Make sure that under Settings>Show Advanced Settings>Privay>Contents Settings>Cookies the option "Block third-party cookies and site data" is not checked
  • Safari
    • Make sure that under Preferences>Privacy the option "Block Cookies" is not checked

In addition to the above you can try the following:

  • Clear the browser's cache from the beginning
  • Test the same site on a different browser, e.g. IE or Firefox
  • Test the site using a different Windows account on the same PC
  • Test the site on another PC or using a different Internet connection (connected vs WiFi)
  • If using off-line forms, download a fresh copy and use Adobe Reader DC

Trying a different PC may help detecting problems in the Operating System as a whole (not only your user profile) but also the hardware, not limited to the network card, cable, wall socket or switch/router.

Contacting Support

Should you still be in the situation of not being able to use the Aviation Safety Reporting Portal then you are invited to file a problem report ticket describing the situation, putting particular attention to:

  • Type and version of Internet Browser used, indicating optionally your Operating System and version (e.g. Windows 10 Home/Pro Edition, Mac OSx)
  • PDF Editor/Producer used, using 'About...' or looking at the PDF document properties ([Ctrl+D] or ⌘I)
  • Time of the day so we can track our log files
  • Description of the problem to allow replicating your situation
  • Attach screenshots or other relevant documentation

The link for sending a message about technical problems with the Portal is on the Contact page.