The Transportation Safety Board of Canada investigates aircraft
accidents in Canada. Depending on the size and severity of the accident,
it may be simply entered in a database or undergo an investigation consuming
years, and hundreds of specialists. You can find out more about accident
investigation in Canada, and read some accident reports, at the TSB website. Many of the
TSB reports are quite detailed and show how a long chain of small lapses can
lead to an accident.
The National Transportation Safety Board in the United States
investigates all accidents that occur on United States territory. The NTSB accident reports can
be quite interesting to read. You will be surprised by some of the idiotic
things that people do in aircraft, and read dramatic examples of why your
flight instructor tells you not to overload your aircraft, overbank in a
climbing turn, or buzz your friends' houses.
Question-by-Question Explanation of Aviation Occurrences
(1) The investigation results will be used by insurance companies, lawyers
and employers to lay blame, but that is not the reason we spend tax dollars
(2) The aircraft is required to carry insurance. It doesn't take much
of an investigation to determine whether the insurance covered the damage
(3) If contravention of regulations is found to be the cause of the accident,
penalties may be enforced (and you probably won't be able to collect on the
insurance), but the real reason is (4).
(4) Accidents are investigated to find out what went wrong, to try to ensure
it doesn't happen again. Flight training and crew training requirements are
always being changed to reflect accident findings.
(1) The procedures and information to report are all listed in AIP-GEN 3.3.
(2) The CARs require you to report the accident, but don't list the details.
(3) Section F in the CFS contains some very interesting and important information
for emergency situations, but it does not give accident reporting procedures.
(4) I do not know of a document called the Aviation Safety Manual.
14.03 It doesn't
matter how you contact the TSB, just do it as quickly as possible. The
quickest means available is usually by notifying any air traffic service
unit, e.g. the tower, like in this joke. They
will forward the report to the approprate TSB office. The fax and 24
hour telephone numbers of the TSB are listed in the AIP.
14.04 A serious
injury is anything that requires overnight hospitalization, or a fracture
of any bone except a toe, finger or nose. If you taxi too close to a
wall and break the navigation light on your wing, that's not an aviation accident,
but if you land on the nosewheel and bend the firewall, that's a reportable
accident, even if no one was hurt.
three reasons for disturbing an aircraft wreck are stated quite plainly in
the AIP, making this question very straightforward. You may see the same
question again on your private pilot written exam. There is another variation
of this question on some advanced Transport Canada written exams, which asks
whether you may move an accident aircraft to salvage the aircraft logbook.
Seeing as the aircraft logbooks are property, I think you could legally
remove them if you believed they would be damaged by being left in the wreck.
However, the correct answer to the Transport exam question is NO, salvaging
logbooks is NOT a good enough reason to disturb the accident site. Sometimes
you have to play the game.
(1) A reportable aviation incident does not apply to small aircraft.
It covers emergencies that did not result in accidents, but that could
have, such as smoke or fire, control difficulties, going off the runway,
or a pilot becoming ill. Such incidents only need to be reported
by airplanes over 5,700 kg or helicopters over 2,250 kg.
(2) & (3) A missing or inaccessible aircraft must be reported.
(4) A missing or inaccessible aircraft is counted as a reportable aviation
accident until it is proved otherwise.