(No. AV.15025/10/92-AS)

Subject : Investigation of Aircraft Accidents by Inspector of Accidents appointed by DGCA.

Aircraft accident investigation should be properly organised, carried out, coordinated and supervised by qualified technical personnel. To achieve this, it is essential that the magnitude of the task and the scope of investigation should be assessed at an early stage so that the size of the investigating team may be planned, and the appropriate skills marshaled and allotted their various tasks.

The group system of investigation, as recommended by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), has been considered to be an excellent method of conducting an investigation into aircraft accidents. The decision to form different groups depend on the size and complexity of the task, nature of accident and the investigation skills available in the country. The primary purpose of group system is to establish the facts pertinent to an accident by making use of the specialised knowledge and practical experience of the participating individuals with respect to construction and operation of the aircraft involved in the accident and of the facilities and services that were provided prior to the accident. It also ensures that undue emphasis is not placed on any single aspect of the accident while neglecting other aspects which might be significant to the investigation.

ICAO has recommended the formation of following groups in the event of an aircraft accident investigation :

i) Operations Group - to develop all facts concerning history of flight and flight crew activity in the final phases of flight, during and after the accident.

ii) Weather Group - to collect and compile all factual meteorological data pertinent to accident.

iii) Air Traffic Services Group - to review ATC unit records and to determine operating status of navigational aids, communication equipment, radar, transponder equipment, computers etc.

iv) Witness Statement Group - to contact and interview all persons who may have seen or heard some portion of flight or have knowledge of the flight or weather conditions at the time of accident.

v) Flight Recorder Group - to locate and secure the flight recorders carried on the aircraft and prepare their readouts.

vi) Structures Group - to locate and identify aircraft components and parts, prepare wreckage distribution chart and investigate airframe and flight controls.

vii) Powerplant Group - to investigate engine(s) including fuel and oil systems, propeller(s) and engine and powerplant controls.

viii) Systems Group - to examine all aircraft systems namely hydraulics, pneumatics, electrical, radio communication, navigational, air conditioning and pressurisation etc.

ix) Maintenance Records Group - to review all maintenance records to ascertain maintenance history of the aircraft in respect of adequacy of inspections, malfunctions that might be related to the occurrence.

x) Human Factors Group - to investigate aero-medical and crash injury aspect of the investigation.

xi) Evacuation, Search, Rescue and Fire Fighting Group - to investigate the circumstances of evacuation, search and rescue and performance of ground fire fighting services.

In addition, specialist examination or testing of specific components or items may be necessary.

It has, therefore, been decided that in the event of an aircraft accident, Director Air Safety (Hqrs.) may constitute appropriate group(s) after analysing the preliminary information and evidences on the accident. The group(s) so constituted would assist Inspector of Accidents appointed under Rule 71 of Aircraft Rules in carrying out the investigation and render their views on involved aspect in writing to him. The final investigation report shall be submitted by the Inspector of Accidents taking into consideration the views of the group(s).


(M.R. Sivaraman)

Director General of Civil Aviation

20th May, 1992

Disrtribution as per attached list