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Aircraft Accident Investigation is a Course

Aircraft Accident Investigation

Ended Jun 15, 2016

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Full course description

Course Date:

May 16 - Jun 12, 2016


4 weeks


3-5 hrs/week



Course Type:





This course introduces participants to the regulatory foundations of aircraft accident investigation and investigative techniques specific to major accident investigations.

This course covers the technical aspects of the aircraft accident investigation process starting with preparation for investigation through report writing. Particular emphasis is placed on the study of human factors and survival investigative techniques and the application of accident investigation findings in industry and research. A critical analysis of selected aircraft accidents and an evaluation of causal factors are covered.

Participants will have the opportunity to practice evidence collection techniques via the first of its kind Virtual Aircraft Crash Lab. A critical analysis of selected aircraft accidents and an evaluation of causal factors are covered. Read More.

A study of the elements of aircraft accident investigation is essential to continued improvements in aviation safety programs and is applicable to any industry with a aviation component. This course is designed to provide you with the need for a comprehensive investigation process, the relationship of human factors in mishaps, an awareness of identifying risk and problem areas before an accident occurs, and an evaluation of causal factors and recommendations to industry.

Modules include:

  • Module One: Legislation, Roles and Responsibilities
  • Module Two: Legislation, Roles and Responsibilities
  • Module Three: Human Factors and Operations Investigation Techniques and Witness Interviews and Application of Findings in Industry
  • Module Four: Systems and Structures Investigation Techniques

Intended Audience: Anyone working in the aviation industry should have an understanding of the aircraft accident investigation process, techniques, and application of findings in industry.

Time to complete the course: 3-5 hours per week

Certificate or digital badge for completing the course: Yes

Format: Instructor-led

Instructor feedback: None

Prerequisites: None


  • Demonstrate the methods of collecting, preserving, and reconstructing accident scene data (e.g., explain the major elements of accident scene photography).
  • Discuss and apply legislation and regulations governing accident reporting, recovery, jurisdiction and investigation.
  • Explain and apply the composition and role of the initial response or “go” team.
  • Differentiate the roles and responsibilities of the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, Military Agencies, and others for the conduct of aircraft accident investigations.
  • Identify and discuss the methods, techniques, and procedures involved in aircraft accident investigation.
  • Identify the elements of accident scene safety.
  • Understand and apply investigative techniques associated with three phases of crash survival (impact, egress, and environment).

Course Instructors

Katherine Moran

Dr. Katherine A. Moran

Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Engineering Sciences

Dr. Moran is a tenured Full-time Faculty and has been with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University since 1995. She has served in the capacity of Aeronautics Department Chair, Western Region Dean of Academic Affairs, Associate Safety Program Chair and Full-Time Faculty, Center Director, and positions equivalent to a Director of Academics. Katherine served as Senate Secretary for two terms. In her seven years serving on the Senate, she served on several standing and ad hoc Senate committees, to include the Constitution Committee and the Tenure and Promotion Committee. She also chaired the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. She has served on tenure committees and Chaired mid-term tenure review committees. Read More.

Katherine served in the United States Air Force and Air National Guard for 20 years, in the fields of F-15 Avionics, Aviation Safety, Occupational Safety and Health, and Aircraft Accident Investigation.

As a Trauma Epidemiologist for six years, Katherine worked on a congressionally funded Alaska Interagency Aviation Safety Initiative with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Other members of this study included the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, the National Weather Service, and the University of Alaska Capstone Project. As part of her role in CDC/NIOSH, Katherine also investigated occupational fatalities in the state of Alaska, to include aircraft crash, commercial fishing, construction, and heli-logging. Katherine’s research has been published in several peer-reviewed journals, to include the American Journal of Epidemiology, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, and Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine Journal. She has also co-authored a numbered NIOSH publication.

Katherine has been the Chair of the Alaska Federal Safety and Health Council, and has been an active member of the Aerospace Medical Association, the Royal Aeronautical Society, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and the Aircraft Owner and Pilot’s Association.