Understanding and Supporting Aircraft Accident Investigation and Reconstruction

Aircraft accident and incident investigations should be supported by all engineering disciplines and departments involved with design, manufacturing, certification, and field operations. For individuals called upon to serve as advisors or technical representatives to official aircraft accident investigation (AAI) teams, an understanding of accident and wreckage reconstruction methodologies and processes is critical to success in this supportive role.

This two-day seminar will begin with basic investigative philosophies and procedures. The instructor will then guide participants through various basic data gathering methods that cover specific types of accident investigations, which include human factors, crashworthiness, fire and explosions, in-flight breakups, and mid-air collisions. Presentations are based on actual accidents and real-life investigation experiences and AAI case studies are integrated throughout the course to provide participants the knowledge required to effectively support aircraft accident and wreckage reconstruction.

What Will You Learn

By attending this seminar, you will be able to:
  • Identify the key requirements and steps in the AAI process.
  • Identify and evaluate analytical procedures used in an AAI.
  • Identify and analyze potential complications that arise during an AAI.
  • Construct and contribute analysis in support of an AAI.

Is This Course For You

This course will benefit individuals seeking a fundamental understanding of the aircraft accident and wreckage reconstruction process, particularly engineers within the aerospace industries that may be called upon to serve in a supportive role as a technical advisor to an official aircraft accident investigation team.

Materials Provided

This data is not available at this time

Course Requirements

This data is not available at this time


  • Introduction
  • Investigative Attitudes and Behaviors
  • Approach to an Investigation
    • Simple vs complex
    • Collecting evidence
    • Reconstructing evidence
  • Basic Analytical Procedures
    • Nine-box matrix
  • Results of Incomplete Investigation Processes
  • Human Factors Analysis
    • G-load tolerance
    • Recognition and reaction time
    • Spatial and situational disorientation
    • Visual illusions
    • Cockpit warnings and control issues
    • Identifying hazards
    • Technologically advanced aircraft
  • Aging Aircraft
  • Witness Interviews
  • Photo Documentation
  • In-Flight Breakups
    • Sequence
    • Radar data
    • Trajectory analysis
    • Flutter
  • Crashworthiness and Survivability
    • Design aspects
    • Implementation
    • Impact analysis
  • Fire and Explosions
    • Basic fire science
    • Ground vs in-flight fires
    • Deflagration vs detonation and their effects
  • Mid-Air Collisions
    • Operational/environmental aspects
    • Wreckage evaluation
  • Nine-Box Matrix Exercise
  • Wreckage Reconstruction Exercise
Note: AAI case studies are integrated throughout the course.