Aircraft Accident Investigator Job Description [Updated for 2024]

aircraft accident investigator job description

In the modern aviation industry, the role of aircraft accident investigators has never been more critical.

As the complexity of aircraft technology advances, so does the demand for meticulous experts who can decipher, analyze, and prevent potential aircraft mishaps.

But let’s delve deeper: What’s truly expected from an aircraft accident investigator?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker trying to understand the core of this role,
  • A hiring manager outlining the perfect candidate,
  • Or simply fascinated by the intricacies of aviation accident investigation,

You’re in the right place.

Today, we introduce a customizable aircraft accident investigator job description template, designed for effortless posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s dive right into it.

Aircraft Accident Investigator Duties and Responsibilities

Aircraft Accident Investigators play a crucial role in aviation safety.

They are responsible for investigating aircraft accidents, determining their causes, and making safety recommendations to prevent future incidents.

Their duties and responsibilities include:

  • Investigate aviation accidents and incidents
  • Gather evidence from crash sites including flight data recorders, cockpit voice recorders and wreckage
  • Analyze data from flight recorders, air traffic control, weather reports, and other sources
  • Interview witnesses, survivors, and personnel involved in aircraft operations
  • Determine the sequence of events leading to the accident
  • Identify the cause or causes of aviation accidents, including any contributing factors
  • Write detailed accident investigation reports
  • Recommend safety improvements based on investigation findings
  • Liaise with government agencies, aviation companies, and other stakeholders during the investigation process
  • Present investigation findings to the public, government agencies, and industry stakeholders
  • Stay updated with the latest developments in aviation technology and safety standards


Aircraft Accident Investigator Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are seeking a diligent Aircraft Accident Investigator to join our team.

In this role, you will be responsible for examining and determining the causes of aircraft accidents, analyzing all the related data, interviewing witnesses, and providing detailed reports.

Successful candidates should have a solid understanding of aviation safety regulations, investigative techniques and excellent analytical skills.

Familiarity with aircraft systems and operations are a must.

Ultimately, the Aircraft Accident Investigator will ensure thorough and prompt investigations, contributing to our mission of aviation safety.



  • Investigate aircraft accidents and incidents in line with established procedures
  • Collect, review, and analyze data from accidents and incidents
  • Conduct interviews with aircraft crew, witnesses, and any relevant personnel
  • Coordinate with various agencies and personnel during investigations
  • Prepare detailed reports outlining causes and contributing factors of accidents
  • Recommend safety measures and prevention strategies
  • Stay updated on aviation safety regulations and industry best practices
  • Maintain confidentiality and demonstrate professionalism at all times



  • Proven work experience as an Aircraft Accident Investigator or similar role
  • Extensive knowledge of aviation safety regulations and investigative procedures
  • Excellent understanding of aircraft systems and operations
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent communication and report writing skills
  • Ability to work under pressure and in emergency situations
  • Bachelor’s degree in Aviation, Engineering, or relevant field



  • 401(k)
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off
  • Professional development opportunities


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Aircraft Accident Investigator
  • Work Environment: This role may require travel and work in various environmental conditions. It may also involve on-call duties.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Senior Investigator or Director of Safety.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $70,000 minimum to $150,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to [email address or application portal].


What Does an Aircraft Accident Investigator Do?

Aircraft Accident Investigators are specialized professionals who work within the aviation industry.

They are usually employed by aviation regulatory bodies, airlines, aircraft manufacturers, and independent investigation agencies.

Their primary job role is to investigate incidents and accidents involving aircraft.

They gather and analyze evidence from crash sites, which can include parts of the aircraft, the black box recorders, witness testimonies, and other relevant data.

They are responsible for determining the cause of an accident.

This could be due to pilot error, mechanical failure, weather conditions, or other external factors.

They use their findings to compile a detailed report outlining the sequence of events leading up to the accident, the cause, and recommendations to prevent similar accidents in the future.

Aircraft Accident Investigators also work closely with safety teams to improve flight safety standards.

They advise on changes to operating procedures, aircraft designs, and maintenance schedules based on their findings from accident investigations.

In some cases, they may also be required to provide expert testimony in court or during legal proceedings relating to aircraft accidents.

Their ultimate goal is to enhance aviation safety and prevent future accidents and incidents from occurring.


Aircraft Accident Investigator Qualifications and Skills

An Aircraft Accident Investigator needs a unique combination of technical skills, industry knowledge, and personal traits to succeed in their role, including:

  • Technical knowledge of aircraft systems, structures, and operations to understand the technicalities and specifics of the accident scene.
  • Analytical and critical thinking skills to evaluate an accident scene, reconstruct the incident, and identify the root cause of the accident.
  • Strong attention to detail to identify minor discrepancies or overlooked details, which may provide crucial information about the incident.
  • Ability to work under stressful conditions and manage crisis situations, as the job often involves investigating serious and sometimes fatal accidents.
  • Excellent communication skills to effectively interact with various parties involved such as aircraft crew, airline representatives, witnesses, and law enforcement officials, as well as to report findings in a clear, concise manner.
  • Investigative skills to gather and interpret evidence, interview witnesses, and synthesize information from various sources.
  • Understanding of aviation laws and regulations to determine if any violations contributed to the accident.
  • Physical stamina to work at accident sites, which often involve rugged terrain and adverse weather conditions.
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team, as investigations may involve collaborating with other investigators, engineers, and safety experts.


Aircraft Accident Investigator Experience Requirements

Entry-level Aircraft Accident Investigators usually need to have at least 2 to 3 years of experience in aviation safety, aviation maintenance, or as a pilot.

This professional experience often comes through roles such as Aircraft Mechanic, Safety Officer, or Pilot.

Individuals who are looking to fill these positions often need a deep understanding of aviation safety procedures, and this can be gained by hands-on experience in the aviation industry.

Many have worked their way up from jobs like Air Traffic Controller, Aircraft Mechanic or Commercial Pilot.

Candidates with more than 5 years of experience often have a comprehensive understanding of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigations process and Federal Aviation Regulations.

These professionals often have experience in evaluating and identifying safety hazards in the operational environment.

Those with more than 8 years of experience are considered highly experienced and are often hired for senior roles.

These roles may require the individual to lead investigation teams, provide training to junior investigators, and represent the organization at high-level meetings.

Such candidates often possess previous investigation experience and have demonstrated their ability to manage complex aviation accident investigations.

Continued professional development is encouraged, with many experienced investigators holding advanced degrees or certifications related to aviation safety and accident investigation.


Aircraft Accident Investigator Education and Training Requirements

Aircraft Accident Investigators typically require a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering, mechanical engineering, or a related field.

This foundational education provides the necessary technical knowledge about aircraft systems and operations.

An in-depth understanding of aviation safety procedures, federal aviation regulations, and accident investigation techniques is crucial for this role.

Therefore, specific training in aviation safety or accident investigation is often a prerequisite.

Many positions require investigators to have a professional engineering license or certification from an accredited institution, such as the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) or International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI).

Certain roles may prefer candidates with a master’s degree in aerospace or safety engineering or a similar discipline, especially for investigations involving complex technical issues.

Previous experience in aviation, such as a pilot or maintenance technician, can also be beneficial.

Continued professional development and staying up-to-date with advancements in aviation technology and safety regulations is crucial.

Therefore, ongoing training and certification in new aircraft technologies, crash forensics, and safety management systems are often recommended.

Finally, strong problem-solving, analytical, and communication skills are necessary to effectively investigate accidents, analyze findings, and convey conclusions.


Aircraft Accident Investigator Salary Expectations

An Aircraft Accident Investigator can expect to earn an average salary of $82,090 (USD) per year.

However, this salary can fluctuate based on factors such as years of experience in the field, level of education, and location.

Additional certifications and specializations in the field can also influence earning potential.


Aircraft Accident Investigator Job Description FAQs

What skills does an Aircraft Accident Investigator need?

Aircraft Accident Investigators need a combination of technical and soft skills.

They should have a strong understanding of aviation technology and operations, as well as knowledge of safety and regulatory standards.

Investigators should have good analytical thinking abilities to examine evidence and draw conclusions, and excellent communication skills to write reports and present findings.

Attention to detail is crucial to identify subtle factors that may have contributed to an accident.


What qualifications does an Aircraft Accident Investigator need?

An Aircraft Accident Investigator typically needs a bachelor’s degree in aviation, engineering, or a related field, along with several years of aviation industry experience.

Some roles may require a pilot’s license or a background in aeronautical engineering.

Investigators must also be familiar with safety regulations and accident investigation methodologies.


What should you look for in an Aircraft Accident Investigator resume?

Look for a solid background in aviation or a related field, as well as a track record in safety management or accident investigation.

Also, look for any evidence of problem-solving skills, technical knowledge, and attention to detail.

In addition, any certifications or licenses related to aviation could be beneficial.


What qualities make a good Aircraft Accident Investigator?

A good Aircraft Accident Investigator is meticulous and detail-oriented, with a keen eye for identifying potential safety hazards.

They need to be patient and persistent, as investigations can be long and complicated.

Strong communication skills are critical, as investigators need to interview witnesses, liaise with authorities, and write detailed reports.

They should also have a strong commitment to safety and a high level of integrity to conduct unbiased investigations.


Are Aircraft Accident Investigators in high demand?

Yes, there is a consistent demand for Aircraft Accident Investigators due to the complexities and high stakes involved in aviation safety.

The role is critical in improving flight safety by identifying the causes of accidents and recommending preventive measures.

As long as there are aircraft in operation, there will be a need for skilled investigators to ensure safety standards are maintained.



And there we have it.

Today, we’ve taken you behind the scenes of what being an aircraft accident investigator truly entails.


It’s not just about examining wreckage.

It’s about ensuring aviation safety, one meticulous investigation at a time.

With our comprehensive aircraft accident investigator job description template and real-world examples, you’re prepared for the next big step.

But why pause there?

Dig further with our job description generator. This is your gateway to creating precise job listings or refining your resume to perfection.


Every investigation is a step towards a safer aviation industry.

Let’s secure that future. Together.

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