Aircraft Accident Investigation (AAI)

Course Description

**Beginning December 6, 2021, this course will be conducted entirely at our lab located at 905 Westminster Ave, Alhambra, CA. We highly recommend staying nearby and not near LAX.**

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 Civil Aviation Organization (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 USC Aircraft Accident Investigation lab serves as the location for practical exercises. Thirteen aircraft wreckages form the basis of these investigative exercises. 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.

Objectives: 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.

29 Apr-10 May 2024
7-18 Oct 2024
2-13 Dec 2024
24 Feb-7 Mar 2025
28 Apr-9 May 2025
22 Sep-3 Oct 2025
1-12 Dec 2025

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. Accident Investigation (conducted in laboratory with actual wreckage)
    • Wreckage Observation/Familiarization
    • Wreckage Examination/Documentation
    • Investigation Organization at Accident Site
    • Accident Site Hazards and Safety
    • Investigative Group Interactions

CEU: 6.7

Course Duration: 9.5 Days

Tuition: $4,125 (July 2023 - June 2024); $4,300 (July 2024 - June 2025); $TBD (July 2025 - June 2026)

Published on May 30th, 2017

Last updated on March 12th, 2024