Aircraft Accident
Aircraft Accident and Incident
International Standards And Recommended Practices
Historical Background:

Standards and Recommended Practices for Aircraft Accident Inquires were first adopted by the Council on 11April 1951 pursuant to Article 37 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago, 1944) and were designated as Annex-13 to the Convention. The Standards and Recommended Practices were based on recommendations of the Accident Investigation Division at its First Session in February 1946 which were further developed at the Second of the Division in February 1947.
  1. Direct’’ the Council to:
    1. Study the possibility of initiating a uniform procedure to be used by States to make available promptly the reports of aircraft accident investigations and inquires, particularly when related to the large modern transport aircraft, so that the dissemination of such reports by all Contracting States may be improved;
    2. Study whether it is practicable to establish procedures by which the State of Manufacture or the State that first Certificated the Aircraft Type, would. In appropriate cases and upon invitation, make available component experts for advice or consultation in the investigation of accidents, and it the light of the results of such study:
  2. Determine the most practicable means  of ensuring that the fullest possible advantage will be taken of the specialized knowledge of such experts and notify all Contracting States accordingly
  3. Urge all Contracting States to cooperate in the use of such experts so as to contribute to the safety of Air Navigation.
Applicability While the Annex has been adopted pursuant to the provisions of Article 37 of the Convention, Aircraft Accident Inquiry is itself the subject of Article 26 of the Convention. This Article imposes an obligation on the State in which the Aircraft Accident occurs to institute an inquiry in certain circumstances and, as far as its laws permit, to conduct the inquiry in accordance with ICAO procedure. However, Article 26 does not preclude the taking of further action in the field of Aircraft Accident Investigation and the procedures set forth in this Annex are not limited solely to an inquiry instituted under the requirements of Article 26, but under prescribed circumstances apply in the event of an inquiry into any ‘’Aircraft Accident’’ within the terms of the definition herein. In order to maintain the correct relationship between the provisions of Article 26 and those of the Annex, the following principles have been observed:
  1. Article 37 of the Convention is the controlling Article in the development of an Aircraft Accident Inquiry Annex, but nothing in the Annex must contravene the express terms of Article of the Convention, nor should it contain any provision which would do violence to the spirit and intent of the Convention.
  2. Subject to a) the Annex may deal with any relevant matter whether or not expressly dealt with by Article 26 or by any other Article of the Convention. For instance it is not a contravention of the Convention for the Annex to deal with the rights or obligations of State of Registry and the State in which the Accident occurred; similarly the Annex may deal with the privileges to be accorded to observes entitle by Article 26 to be ‘’present’’ at the inquiry. These are matters upon  which Article 26 is silent. The Annex may also deal with Accidents of a kind which do not fall within the provisions of Article 26.
Status of Annex Components
An Annex is made up of the following component parts, not all of which, however, are necessarily found in every Annex; they have the status indicated.     1. Material Comprising the Annex Proper
  1. Standards and Recommended Practices adopted by the Council under the provisions of the Convention. They are defined as follows:
Any specification for physical characteristics, configuration, material, performance, personnel or procedure, the uniform application of which is recognized as necessary for the safety or regularity  of International ir Navigation and to which Contracting States will conform in accordance with the Convention; in the event of impossibility of compliance, notification to the Council is compulsory under Article 38.


Recommended Practice:
Any specification for physical characteristics, configuration, material, performance, personnel or procedure, the uniform application of which is recognized as desirable in the interests of safety, regularity or efficiency of International Air Navigation, and to which Contracting States will endeavor to conform in accordance with the Convention.

Definitions of terms used in the Standards and Recommended Practices which are not self-explanatory in that the they do not have accepted dictionary meanings. A definition does not not have an independent status but is an essential part of each Standard and Recommended Practice in which the term is used, since a change in the meaning of the term would affect the specification.

International Standards and Recommended Practice

When the following terms are used in the Standard and Recommended Practices for Aircraft Accident and Incident investigation, they have the following meaning:

an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight until such time as all such persons have disembarked, in which:

        • a person is fatally or seriously injured as a result of:
  • being in the aircraft;
  • direct contact with any part of the aircraft, including parts which have become detached from the aircraft
  • direct  exposure to jet blast.
        • the aircraft sustains damage or structural failure which:
  • adversely affects the structural strength, performance or flight characteristics of the aircraft
  • would normally require major repair or replacement of the affect component,

A process conducted for the purpose of accident prevention which includes the gathering and analysis of information, the drawing of conclusions, including the determination of causes and, when appropriate, the making of safety recommendations.

A person charged, on the basis of his or her qualifications, with the responsibility for the organization, conduct and control of an investigation.

Maximum  mass.
Maximum certified take-off mass.

A person,  organization or enterprise engaged in or offering to engage in an aircraft operation.

Preliminary report
The communication used for the prompt dissemination of data obtaining during the early stages of the investigation.

Safety recommendation
A proposal of the accident investigation authority of the State conducting the investigation, based on information derived from the investigation, made with the intention of preventing accidents or incidents.

Serious incident
An incident involving circumstances indicating that an accident  nearly  result.

Serious injury
An injury which is sustained by a person in an accident and which:

  • requires hospitalization for more than 48 hors, commencing within seven days from the date the injury was received;
  • result in a fracture of any bone (except simple fractures of fingers, toes or nose)
  • involves lacerations which cause severe haemorrhage, nerve,  muscle or tendon damage
  • involves injury to any internal organ
  • involves second or third degree burns, or any burns affecting more than 5 per cent of the body surface
  • involves verified exposure to infectious substances or injurious radiation.