One of the best things that the FAA ever did to promote aviation safety was to provide immunity from FAR violations prosecution for pilots who voluntarily report problems and incidents to NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) before the FAA gets wind of what went on. During most months, NASA’s ASRS receives about 2,000 to 3,000 reports from pilots, controllers and mechanics. Quite a bit of the information works its way into studies of various safety issues. A downloadable reporting form can be at http://asrs.arc.nasa.gov.
ASRS reports are treated confidentially. After a report has been logged in, the section of the form containing the submitter’s name, address and other identifying information is removed and returned to the submitter as proof of submission in case the FAA asks for it.