University of Hertfordshire Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences Department of Aerospace, Automotive and Design Engineering

Interim Report


Kennedy Ameh SRN: 05122916


Supervisor: Dr Ian McAndrew


Abstract........................................................................................ ...........3

Literature Review....................................................................................3 – 4

Update project plan.................................................................................5 - 8

Research Plan...........................................................................................910

Appendix...................................................................................... ............11


Abstract The number and ownership of light aircrafts has increased significantly in the last decade and the need for aircraft operational safety and reliability cannot be understated. This report examines light aircraft operations in general, light aircraft crash investigation reports in the last thirty years, trends and statistics, operational procedures and improvements required to guarantee safe flying. The concluding chapters of the report shows the effects of the changes made as a result of aircraft crash investigations and how it has improved the flying experience, it also recommends safety guidelines and procedures of sharing information on current operational procedures regarding safety.

LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction Aircraft crash investigations are carried out to determine the circumstances and causes of the accident and to make safety recommendations, if necessary, with a view to the preservation of life and the avoidance of accidents in the future. It is not to apportion blame or liability. In the UK the AAIB is not a regulatory authority and therefore cannot enforce its recommendations, the recommendations are enforced by the civil aviation authority. The aim of this research is to investigate the relevance of past investigations and recommendations in the

operation of light aircraft safety. investigations would be analysed.

The significance and benefits of

Despite the importance of enforcing safety regulations, the communication path between the AAIB and the CAA was not as strong as it is now pre- 9/11. The AAIB which is the Air Accident Investigation Branch in the UK operates under the department of transport and all recommendations for safety improvement are forwarded to the CAA for approval and circulation to stake holders in the aviation industry. Ballesteros (2007) widely cited in his book about how event analysis can be used as an improvement tool for operational safety. Florio (2006) also mentioned the responsibilities of the aviation authorities like the ICAO and CAA have to enforce strict guidelines to aircraft manufacturers and operators in regards to airworthiness and safety. Stolzer, A. J., Halford, C. D., Goglia, J. J., (2008). stated that five years after the Wright Brothers made their maiden flight, Orville Wright was in the first plane crash that left him with sever Injuries in 1908, a need for air crash investigation has been from 1908. An investigation is not an end to a mean it is a pathway to improving the efficiency and reliability of air travel and preventing future accidents only when the recommendations are implemented. My research would delve into the reporting system within the UK for light aircraft because the 1999 Progress report by the CAA and DETR responds to the AAIB and reiterates that the reporting system should improve and all details should be covered thoroughly before recommendations and conclusions. I am interested in finding out how the FAA and EASA report or receive reports of accidents as illustrated by Finucane (2003) in his book and McKenzie (1991) goes further on the American experience or air safety and deregulations. The trends and statistics in light aircraft accidents has varied over the years as more private owners of farms in remote areas own a private pilots license as Kraus (2003) analysed that when recommendation are made by AAIB and enforced by CAA how do you get this information to private owners of light aircrafts that had these aircraft prior to the safety regulation enforcement. The U.S Department of Airforce highlights how they get the manufacturers to update aircraft owners on safety regulations and also organise seminars on safety through airport managements and the FAA in the Air force manual. These approach and more in the report informs you about how the reporting/implementation loop can be improved because Low & FAA (1980) advised aircraft operators on stake holders in the health, safety and transportation industry on where the link in communication is broken and how to work towards a continuous improvement plan. The factors influencing light air crash and ways of preventing and reducing this risk is a good way in improving operational safety and there has been influence in material technology, instrumentation, training, flight mechanic, runway construction and weather considerations in the modern

light aircraft operation which means that investigations are very significant. REFERENCES Ballesteros, J. S., (2007). Improving Air Safety Through Organizational Learning: Consequences of a Technology-led Model. Event Analysis as an Improvement tool and Risk Factors.15-29, 35-89. Florio, F. D., (2006). Airworthiness: An Introduction to Aircraft Certification; A Guide to Understanding JAA, EASA and FAA Standards. The ICAO and Civil Aviation Authorities and Airworthiness requirement for flight operations, 194-237, 5-21 Great Britain Safety Regulation Group (1999). Progress report 1999: CAA and DETR responses to Air Accidents Investigation Branch safety recommendations . Safety Recommendations, 64-65. Finucane, H. F., (2003). An analysis of the Federal Aviation Administration's performance in issuing regulations affecting air carrier safety, 54(8), 46-51, 83. Safety Regulation Group & CAA (2003). Training in the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods By Air. Journal of training procedures for aircraft operations, 17 - 18. McKenzie, B. R., (1991). Airline deregulation and air-travel safety: The American experience Stolzer, A. J., Halford, C. D., Goglia, J. J., (2008). Safety Management Systems in Aviation (Ashgate Studies in Human Factors for Flight Operations), History and Evolution of Safety, Hazard, Risk, Control and Taxonomies, 39,109-169. IATA., (2008). Dangerous Good Regulations. A journal on the regulations set by aviation authorities that are god and dangerous. Hart, C., (2003). Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Research Imagination “Literature review in research and Writing the review”, 1-26, 172. Ridley, D., (2008). The Literature Review: A Step-by-step Guide for Students “The multipurpose of a literature review and Sources of Information and conducting searches”, 16-28, 29-33. Kraus, S. S., (2003). Aircraft Safety: Accident Investigations, Analyses, & Applications “Case Studies and Runway Incursions” 57-134, 145. Acar, E (2009). Aircraft structural safety: effects of explicit and implicit safety measures and uncertainty reduction mechanisms. 50-51

FAA.,NAS., Low, G. M., (1980). Improving Aircraft Safety. US Department of Air force., (1960). Aircraft Accident Prevention, Investigation, Reporting (Air Force Manual. no. 62-5),57(4), 54-58, 113.

UPDATED PROJECT PLAN This project intends to investigate the need or relevance of light aircraft crash investigation and how the reports or lessons learned affects the current design, training, manufacture, instrumentation and adaptation of aircrafts in operation. The major causes of private aircraft crashes are pilot error (weather related and mechanical related), other human error, weather, mechanical failure, sabotage and other causes. The project aims to determine the influence of aircraft crash investigations on aviation safety, standards and efficiency in the last thirty years and the deliverables are:i) To research reports and recommendations and analyse the relevance of the investigations on current operational procedures. To perform a critical analysis of factors causing aircraft crashes and how they could be prevented. To analyse the aircraft crash reporting procedure in the UK (CAA & AAIB) and suggest ways in which it could be improved. To look into historical data and investigate the trend and causes for high and low accident rates in various years. To provide recommendations and solutions for air safety on light aircrafts.

ii) iii) iv) v)

Features relevant to the planning and execution of the project • To execute the project and achieve my aim I need to collate light aircraft crash report data from 1979 to 2009 • I need to analyse this data and group them into factors causing crash. • After grouping I need to analyse the recommendations and solutions prescribed by investigations and aviation association/ manufacturers and other stake holders. • I would inquire from Journals, seminars, books and discussion on any relevance of aircraft crash investigations. • I would compare the CAA & AAIB reporting system, its setbacks and the procedure in the FAA & NTSB.


• • •

To achieve the deliverables within the timescale I have to fill in my log book, meet supervisor constantly, be aware of dates and deadlines. I also need to have verified evidence of my findings with references of every material accessed or used in the execution of the project. I have to update my project plan as the project goes along and keep to the plan estimated dates.

Programme of work Phase 1 • • • Project definition objectives and risk

Get a log book Define the project title, scope, aims, assessment evaluation. Prepare a project plan and Gantt chart.

Phase 2 • • • • • •

Review of previous work and theories

Begin a literature review by reading books, journals and any available info on previous investigations. Collate a data and research information on every objective. Read more material and prepare a research plan – write about any challenges faced so far, update the project plan. Write an interim report and update log book consequently. Make sure the interim/progress report contains evidence of work and research done so far toward achieving the aim of the project. Interim review assessment.


Phase 3 do • •

Research methodologies, i.e. what are you going to

• • •

Develop a research methodology to support the aims and objectives of the project. Define the approach to the problem – the problem in this case is the influence of aircraft crash investigations in operational safety and I need to also show what I intend to achieve and how I intend to achieve it. Establish method of project execution and expected challenges in research Make investigations of previous material and reports. Prepare research questions to guide me through my research. Data collection or generation

Phase 4 • • • • • •

Discuss data collected with relevant stakeholders like the FAA, CAA and AAIB Collect all relevant data available for the scope of my project. Draft out my ideas on how I see the project and where I want it to go. Look at past and current data, regulations, recommendations and amendments. Inquire about the best way to go about the project from experienced staff and technicians in AADE. Generate my opinions, assumptions and solutions in regards to the aims and objectives of the project. Synthesis and analysis of results

Phase 5 • • • •

Evaluate collated data of aircraft crash investigations, the setbacks, progress and continuous improvement recommendations. Questions reporting and investigations methods adapted and the reason. Determine if the data collated can be verified and if it has value or worth and identify any trends. Use my knowledge of the subject to synthesise results and conclusions of investigations and make deductions and further conclusions. Review of the significance of the results including discussion and conclusions

Phase 6 • • •

Write up sections of the report as the project progresses ( a written draft) Work on the discussions and conclusion as they are key parts of the report- interpret the significance of my work and findings articulately. Relate my findings to past activity in the subject area and to engineering practice.

• • • • • •

Draw sensible conclusions and recommendations in a clear and concise form. Allow 5 weeks to review the results and write the report. Write a report with structure of beginning, middle and end – also follow format in the project handbook. Submission of draft for 1st and 2nd reading by two different people and also by supervisor. Project presentation preparation, mock presentation and actual presentation. Submission of final report and logbook.


Challenges anticipated I anticipate to come across the problem of getting reports and safety recommendations as far back as 1979. So far the AAIB’s archive which has every UK CAA documentation on Aircraft crash incident, accident and has a safety recommendation (progress report) from 2005 to 2008. Time management would be a key challenge to manage my resources and time to search material, analyse and understand the materials available. The data on light aircraft crashes from 1979-2009 are enormous and it would take a long time to go through each report relating to light aircrafts accidents and also read the safety recommendations. This is a time I am willing to commit to achieve my aims and objectives. The AAIB does not really investigate all light aircraft accidents due to cost or they do not prepare an extensive report on the findings and recommendations. There are bulletins on the light aircraft crashes in the AAIB archive but getting an accurate data on the trend analysis would be a challenge I anticipate.

What I have done so far on my final year project • • •

• •

• • • • •

Defined the project aims and objectives as stated in Phase 1 above,. I have a project plan and gantt chart that I am working to. I have collated accident reports on Light Aircraft crashes in the AAIB archive online from 1979 – 2009. I found books on aircraft safety and guidelines by aviation authorities, private authors and website with credible data on my research questions. Read through journals, websites, books, bulletins and other literature relating to my aims and objectives. I have contacted the AAIB ( Air Accident Investigation Branch), LAA ( Light Aircraft Association) and CAA ( Civil Aviation Authority) on conducting a survey, obtaining information and relevant resources that would assist with my research. I met an NTSB Aircraft crash investigator in one of my weekly supervisor meetings and got advice on the approach and direction of my project. I have written my abstract, acknowledgement draft, updated my project plan. I have written my interim report of my final year project. I have looked at the CAA and FAA procedures and compared the approach to investigations and safety regulations implementation. I have developed a research methodology and methods.

A time-based project management chart (Gantt or similar), showing a plan of how the project will be carried out from start to finish is attached as Appendix A


RESEARCH PLAN I. Title: CAA Aircraft crash investigation; its influence on operational safety of light aircrafts. II. Investigators Kennedy Ameh III. Hypothesis, Research Questions or Goals of the Project The overarching goal of the project is to investigate the need or relevance of light aircraft crash investigation and how the reports or lessons learned affects the current design, training, manufacture, instrumentation and adaptation of aircrafts in operation within safety regulations. The research questions to be addressed are: 1) Why investigate? 2) What is the next action when an incident or accident occurs? 3) What is statistic of light aircraft crashes in the last 30 years? 4) Who is responsible for reporting aircraft crashes and what is the reporting system? 5) Who are the stake holders in implementing the recommendation made after investigations? 6) What are the major and minor factors contributing to aircraft crashes? 7) How can these accidents be reduced? 8) How can the crash reporting procedure and awareness be improved? 9) Do the FAA and CAA share solution and recommendation; if so are there any limitations to how much they can share? 10)What is the influence of past investigations to current operational safety of aircraft and environment both in air and on land? 11)How long does it take for airlines, airports and aircraft manufacturers to adapt safety recommendations made by the CAA & AAIB? 12)What does the directorate of aviation regulations and safety do about aircraft crash investigations? 13)What is the influence of recommendation by the EASA on the CAA safety regulations and operational procedures? 14)How is the NTSB and other Europeans Aviation Authorities investigating aircraft crashes? 15)Are they reporting techniques, communication protocol and operational safety guidelines to be adopted by the CAA from foreign aviation authorities? IV. Background and Significance of research This project intends to investigate the need or relevance of light aircraft crash investigation and how the reports or lessons learned affects the current design, training, manufacture, instrumentation and adaptation of aircrafts in operation. The major causes of private aircraft crashes are

pilot error (weather related and mechanical related), other human error, weather, mechanical failure, sabotage and other causes. The significance of this research is evaluate importance of light air crash investigations and highlight grey areas that are been overlooked, then recommend procedures on how the loop of accident – investigation – safety recommendations – operational application can be improved. V. Research Method and Statistical Analysis • I would be using the following methods in my research: Mixing methods which is a combination of different research methods to investigate a research question. The survey approach is a method I would consider on evaluating how people think aircraft safety has improved over the years and what they would like to see on aircrafts. Analysing, interpreting and reporting results would be a method I would apply too. Grouping the results into different categories for a better understanding and deriving a relationship between my analysis and objectives.

• •

VI. Research Supervisor Dr Ian McAndrew

REFERENCES AND SUGGESTED READING: Cohen, L., Manion, L., Morrison, K., (2000), 5th Edition, “Research Methods in Education" The nature of inquiry and Methods and methodology, 3, 38-44 Cashin, W E. (1992). Student Ratings: The Need for Comparative Data." Instructional Evaluation and Faculty Development, 12(2), 1-6. Kemp, B., Kumar, G. (1990), "Student evaluations: are we using them correctly?” Journal of Education for Business, Vol. 66 No.2, pp.106-11. Heckert, T. M., Latier, A., Ringwald-Burton, A., & Drazen, C. (2006, Spring). Relations Among Student Effort, Perceived Class Difficulty Appropriateness, and Student Evaluations of Teaching: Is it Possible to “Buy” Better Evaluations Through Lenient Grading? College Student Journal, 40(3), 588-596.


McPherson, M. A. (2006, Winter). Determinants of How Students Evaluate Teachers. The Journal of Economic Education, 37(1), 3-20. Retrieved September 9, 2006, from The H.W. Wilson Company/Wilson Web Website: ml Steiner. S., Holley, L. C., Gerdes, H., Campbell, H.E. (2006). Evaluating teaching: Listening to students while acknowledging bias. Journal of Social Work Education, 42(2), 355-76. Badi, N., (2009), Final Project Handbook, During the Winter term, pg (5,68)




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