Aircraft accidents and serious incidents
In the UK, aircraft accidents and serious incidents are investigated by the AIR Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) under the Department of Transport (DfT).
Definitions for aircraft accidents and incidents can be found in Regulations (EU) 996/2010.
You should report aircraft accidents and serious incidents directly to the AAIB.
Please visit the AAIB website or call their 24-hour number on 01252 512299.
Preservation of evidence
Under Article 13 of (EU)2010/996 as retained (and amended in UK domestic law) under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, evidence of an accident or serious incident must have reasonable measures to protect and preserve evidence. This is inclusive of all accidents reportable to the CAA and AAIB including drone accidents:
- Where the accident or serious incident occurred in the United Kingdom, the safety investigation authority shall be responsible for ensuring safe treatment of all evidence and for taking all reasonable measures to protect such evidence and for maintaining safe custody of the aircraft, its contents and its wreckage for such period as may be necessary for the purpose of a safety investigation. Protection of evidence shall include the preservation, by photographic or other means, of any evidence which might be removed, effaced, lost or destroyed. Safe custody shall include protection against further damage, access by unauthorised persons, pilfering and deterioration.
- Pending the arrival of safety investigators, no person shall modify the state of the site of the accident, take any samples therefrom, undertake any movement of or sampling from the aircraft, its contents or its wreckage, move or remove it, except where such action may be required for safety reasons or to bring assistance to injured persons, or under the express permission of the authorities in control of the site and, when possible, in consultation with the safety investigation authority.
- Any person involved shall take all necessary steps to preserve documents, material and recordings in relation to the event, in particular so as to prevent erasure of recordings of conversations and alarms after the flight.
The UK Airprox Board (UKAB) investigates Airprox. Airprox events which fulfil the criteria of being ‘… a near collision on the ground or in the air, with another aircraft ....’, as defined in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/1018, should also be reported as a Mandatory Occurrence Report (MOR). Airprox involving Annex I aircraft should be reported to UKAB and may also be reported as a Voluntary Occurrence Report (VOR).
Information on how to submit a MOR, VOR and Airprox report is available in our occurrence reporting guidance and on the UKAB website.
You should follow the guidance on whistleblowing when:
- you need to report an infringement of Article 16 of the EU Regulation 376/2014
- you want to disclose sensitive information that you're not comfortable submitting on a MOR
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