View Full Version : Air Accident Investigators Course

18th Mar 2003, 23:41
I have just attended an air accident investigators course in which I thought the course content and instruction was poor. Has anyone else attended a course which they thought prepared them really well and in which the instruction was to a high standard? Please let me know so that I can research these courses for future investigators in my organisation.

20th Mar 2003, 11:41
Hello Maddogs. Sorry your course experience was not a good one. It's difficult to evaluate a course in advance and it sounds like you were disapointed at your outcome. You dont mention for what purpose you required the training but I'll offer a few suggestions anyway.

I think it's important to establish what the level of tuition you require for instance, a Company investigator as part of a Board may not require the same level of knowledge and training as someone wanting a career with an investigation body such as a federal agency. For instance do you require knowledge, skills or competency in the investigation process. Not all courses are designed to take in all three.

A reputable training organisation will set out clear outcomes, goals and learning objectives and should have no difficulty in allowing you to interview previous students. If you can contact some of the European investigation associations they will have criteria for membership and identify the level of knowedge they require for membership. Contacting a couple of those organisations maybe useful and might assist you to make choices for future participants.

If you can establish a clear criteria that you can evaluate the courses against, this will make the task much easier. I'm not sure I can recommend specific courses as such, but no doubt other posters may have experience with UK courses they have found useful.

I have found that some of the better courses are conducted by the various Schools of Transport at the Universities. Most have considerable variety in course length, level of knowledge etc. and offer points towards a full undergraduate or post graduate degree.


Captain Stable
20th Mar 2003, 17:34
Maddogs, please PM me with the name of the organisation. Please don't post it here.

ECAM Status
22nd Mar 2003, 00:38
Hey they Maddogs. It was nice to hear that you are interested in attending an Air Accident Incesticators Course as well. I am currently a bus driver with a European Airline and I have for many years now been interested in Air Accident Investigation, to the point where I decided to attent a course. I haven't though searched very much for universities/colleges offering the course since I am not planning to start it till next Sept. I think Cranfield University offers these kind of courses, so it would be a good idea if you search their website.

I would appreciate if you write back with any other information that you find for universities or schools plus if there is the opportunity for part-time or long-distance attendance for this course.

Thanks in advance.

A SUPERIOR PILOT may be defined as one who stays out of trouble, by using his SUPERIOR judgement, to avoid situations that might require use of his SUPERIOR skill.

22nd Mar 2003, 12:33

I would send you info, but you have blocked private mesages as well as E-Mail.

No criticism meant, but it would be awkward to post this kind of stuff on this board.

I'm even embarassed to post this reply:}

22nd Mar 2003, 18:38
No disrespect to anyone doing these courses, or anyone running them if it comes to that, but have you ever looked at the standards laid down when jobs for air accident inspectors are advertised?

A basic requirement in the UK is many years experience in the industry at a very high level of flying and engineering, backed up with a knowledge of aviation which most of us mere mortals can only aspire to. It is no suprise that the expertise of the UK AIB is often called upon to assist with investigations which would normally be well outside their operational and geographical area.
In over 20 years in the industry, I cannot ever recall seeing that the attendance on an Air Accident Investigators course is a requirement, or even an advantage in making the grade in this particular profession.

I would suggest that if you are just interested in the subject, attend a more broad based airport operational course, where the subject is covered adequately - there are at least 2 major organisations that I know of who offer these courses in the UK.
But if you are serious about becoming an investigator, get in touch with the AIB themselves to find out what their requirements of their staff really are.

22nd Mar 2003, 19:04
No disrespect to anyone posting here. However, you might find that extensive flying and engineering experience that emphasised the investigation process in the past has shrunk somewhat to reflect the contemporary importance of human factors components in the investigation process.

Generally the basic requirement will be a Phd in Psychology and Aviation Transport Masters or similar.

As was said earlier..something that most of us will never aspire too.


ECAM Status
22nd Mar 2003, 22:39
Lomapaseo, apologies for not being able to send PM's. It should be ok now.
Also niknak, PM me with the names of the 2 organisations you were talking about.

Thanks in advance.

23rd Mar 2003, 00:35
Methinks that there is a bit of a misunderstanding among us.

I agree that Maddog opened the thread and that was the lead that I was following.

As one in the know, I will state that there are more experienced investigators working in the industry outside the AAIB and the NTSB then within.

In spite of the known fact that the investigators within these organizations are top notch and their jobs aspire to, there are indeed more opportunities available to trained investigators in the aviation industry.

The majority of the students that pass through my Accident Investigation course do not work for either the AAIB or the NTSB, nor are they seeking employment. They are enhancing their credentials in order to serve as reviewers of reports or in some cases to participate alongside the government investigators.

23rd Mar 2003, 16:22

The FAA has an excellant Crash Investigators course that they conduct at the FAA academy in Oklahoma City Oklahoma. I don't know the cost involved but from conversations that I've heard about the course it was an eye opener.

You should be able to obtain information from the FAA web site. http://www.faa.gov


23rd Mar 2003, 19:12
Thanks for all of the input. I wasn't too clear in my initial post because I was still on the course. To make things clearer - I am a military investigator and the course I attended was not suitable for several reasons. Whilst the class all flew or engineered jet aircraft, the instructors spent the majority of the time teaching about recip engines! Now, I know you can draw parallels but... Also, while the class had an average experience level of 15-25 years in the aviation industry, the instructors spent ages teaching basic aero and basic systems. This really was a course for the hard of thinking! Please do not think that I want a course tailored to the military environment. We need to learn the lessons learned in other aviation areas as you need to learn our lessons. However, I want to find the course that builds on your experience level. In the military way, we want it to be a reasonably short course and the cost to be as low as possible. So, with that added info, if anyone has experience of a course that they would recommend, please either post it or PM me. Thanks in anticipation.

9th Apr 2003, 04:44
I attended ALPA's Basic Safety School in the US, the Aircraft Accident Investigator's Course and the Advanced Aircraft Accident Investigator's Course, all excellent and well-taught.

Another sourse is here in California at the University of Southern California, which has its own Air Safety department, and the Southern California Safety Institute, which also teaches accident investigation.

Hope you find something to your liking. Feel free to PM me with your e-mail, and I'll send you what I have.

27th Apr 2003, 05:51
"Generally the basic requirement will be a Phd in Psychology and Aviation Transport Masters or similar. "

Not in the UK: AAIB still aim to get good generalist engineers or pilots who can acquire the skills. I'm not sure they have a trick cyclist amongst them!