Aircraft Accident Investigation Fundamentals Course

$2,195.00AU +GST (3 Days)
Available in-house by arrangement or publicly, see Course Dates

Name Date Location Cost


Course Overview

Attending an aircraft accident site is a daunting task and can seem like sensory overload.  There’s a lot to see and do. The scene can be strewn with many aircraft parts, cabin furnishings, instruments and lots of bent metal.  How do we sort it all out? How do we make sense of the chaos?

As an investigator, it’s your job to determine what evidence is useful.  Are there any hazards at the site? What evidence is “perishable” and needs to be recorded immediately? What about those strange marks on the ground or in the trees, can they provide any useful information?  Who do you contact to get information on the purpose of the flight, type of aircraft, details of the pilot and their qualifications and the aircraft fueling and maintenance records?  Is there any recorded data available?

How do you analyse the information gathered and construct a logical, clear and concise report on the accident and how do you improve safety to prevent this type of accident from happening again?

If you are going to participate in an aircraft accident or incident investigation, then Southpac’s Aircraft Accident Investigation course is for you.  Our instructors are ATSB trained and highly experienced with many years of accident investigation. (See Trainer Bio Page).

This course will guide you through the entire investigation process, from preparing to attend an accident site, managing the hazards and collecting the right evidence. Not only will we look at fixed-wing aircraft, but helicopter accidents as well. We will also show you how to “read” the accident site and how use the right tools and equipment. We will also be looking at human factors and how to identify a range of material failures. Also covered is how to develop clear reports that are compliant to ICAO requirements.

By sharing information on the varying traps and pitfalls that they have personally experienced, you will learn first hand how to confidently deal with challenging situations.


Course Objectives

By the end of this course you will have an awareness of:

  • Understanding and the application of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices and how the ATSB complies with these requirements under Australian law.
  • Understanding of how the ATSB interfaces with other Federal and State accident investigation agencies such as the Coroner, Police and other Aviation agencies, such as CASA and Airservices Australia.
  • Appreciation of the concept of ‘Just culture’ and its ramifications for other agencies seeking information from ATSB.
  • Awareness of the WHS requirements, Bloodborne Pathogens and Personal Protective Equipment, plus all current and emerging hazards.
  • Awareness of basic Human Factors issues in relation to aircraft accident investigation.
  • Overview of the basic fixed wing and helicopter flight and control principles.
  • By the end of the course you will have an awareness of: The basic investigation principles and techniques applicable to the examination of physical evidence, including the precautions necessary when differentiating between primary ‘causal’ evidence, and secondary ‘resultant’ evidence.
  • Understanding how to identify, collect, record and preserve accident evidence in a consistent manner.
  • Fundamentals for the ‘Writing of a final (ICAO Annex 13) report’.


Course Program

Day 1

  • Course Introductions
  • Onsite Safety
  • Aircraft and Helicopter Familiarisation and Component Recognition
  • On-site Accident Investigation Fundamentals

Day 2

  • Investigating Propellers & Powerplants
  • Site Measurements & Onsite Tips
  • Helicopters & Crashworthiness and Survivability
  • Human Factors Issues for Investigators

Day 3

  • Identification of Failure Modes
  • Fracture Identification
  • In-flight Break-up
  • Report Writing Fundamental
  • Airspace Evidence Sources

Contact Southpac for a more detailed course program.

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