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Aircraft Accident Investigation (AAI 18-1)

September 25, 2017 @ 8:00 am - October 6, 2017 @ 12:00 pm


Course Description

The course is designed for individuals who have limited investigation experience. All aspects of the investigation process are addressed, starting with preparation for the investigation through writing the final report. It covers National Transportation Safety Board and International (ICAO) procedures. Investigative techniques are examined with emphasis on fixed wing investigation. Data collection, wreckage reconstruction and cause analysis are discussed in the classroom and applied in the lab.

The new USC Aircraft Accident Investigation lab serves as the location for practical exercises. Eight aircraft wreckages form the basis of these investigative exercises. An actual crash site in the LA area is visited. The crash laboratory gives the student an opportunity to learn the observation and documentation skills required of accident investigators. The wreckage is examined and reviewed with investigators who have extensive actual real-world investigation experience. Examination techniques and methods are demonstrated along with participative group discussions of actual wreckage examination, reviews of witness interview information, and investigation group personal dynamics discussions.

Anyone who participates in an Aircraft Accident Investigation may be called upon to communicate with a wide range of individuals including: investigators, regulators, industry representatives, lawyers, and the media. The communication portion of the AAI class provides students with the tools necessary to address those diverse audiences. This is a specialized skill that will prove to be highly valuable in aircraft accident or incident situations.


To provide concepts and practical techniques on aircraft investigation methodology, and prepare an individual to participate in an aircraft accident investigation.

Who Should Attend

Persons associated with aircraft accident investigation including manufacturers, operators, associations, insurers, air carriers, government agencies, law enforcement and military.

Course Outline

  1. Investigations
    • Introduction and History
    • Authority and Theory
    • Principles of Investigation
    • Initial Actions
    • Site Safety
    • On-Scene Investigation Procedures
    • Investigation of Aircraft Fires
    • Reciprocating Engines and Propellers
    • Gas Turbine Engines
    • Systems Investigation
    • In-flight Breakup and Midair Collisions
    • Technical Assistance
    • Analysis and Report Writing
    • Flight Data Recorders
    • Cockpit Voice Recorders
  2. Technology
    • Types of Material Failures
    • Metal and Composite Materials
    • Identifying Failures in the Field
    • Understanding Aircraft Stability
    • Aerodynamics — Accident Cause or Contributor
  3. Human and Biomedical Factors
    • Human Factors
    • Casualty Identification
    • Aeromedical Role in Investigation
  4. Aircraft Accident Communication Techniques
  5. Media Relations
    • Overview of Strategy
    • Message Development and Thought Process
    • Interactive Exercises to Illustrate Techniques
    • Critique and Analysis of Potential Situations
    • The Role and Reality of Media in Accident Investigation
  6. Accident Investigation (conducted in a separate facility with actual wreckage)
    • Wreckage Observation/Familiarization
    • Wreckage Examination/Documentation
    • Investigation Organization at Accident Site
    • Accident Site Hazards and Safety
    • Investigative Group Interactions

Course Duration:  9.5 Days

Register Here


September 25, 2017 @ 8:00 am
October 6, 2017 @ 12:00 pm


USC Aviation Safety and Security Program
6033 W. Century Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90045 United States
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