Accident/Incident Investigation

For over 20 years NLR-ATSI has been involved in military and civil accident and incident investigation in the Netherlands and abroad, as an independent investigation body. NLR-ATSI has supplied customers with experts in the role of investigators in direct support of an investigation committee, and provided access to the wider knowledge and facilities of NLR.

NLR-ATSI can rely on a group of experienced investigators. They have received dedicated training in aircraft and helicopter accident investigation, and are competent in the areas of investigation techniques, aircraft technology, flight data monitoring and analysis, and human factors. If required by the customer their services can be made available on a stand-by basis.
Within the area of accident and incident investigation the Safety Institute can offer the following services:

  • Technical, field investigation on the accident site.
  • Detailed analysis of mechanical evidence (parts).
  • The detailed analysis of the factual information gathered in the course of the investigation to determine a plausible sequence of events and, based on that, the probable cause(s) and contributing factor(s) of the accident or incident. Subjects may include (list not exhaustive): Flight and radar data analysis, for the purpose of flight path reconstruction, Flight dynamics analysis, Teardown and analysis of aircraft systems, components, or instruments, Mechanical and structural failure analysis, Simulation, from software simulation up to full scale, full motion flight simulation, Flight crew human factors analysis.
  • Reporting on the factual information, the findings, and the conclusions and recommendations.

NLR-ATSI's accident investigators are equipped to conduct on-site investigations in the Netherlands or abroad as an independent self-supporting unit. Equipment includes personal protection, video- and photographic equipment, a theodolite and a GPS-receiver to support wreckage mapping, and tools. If there is a need for specialised information within an investigation, the field investigator acts as a liaison with, and controls the support of expert knowledge from NLR. Among our clients are the Royal Netherlands Air Force, the Dutch Transportation Safety Board and several European Safety Boards.

Example projects
NLR-ATSI has supported the investigation of over a hundred accidents and major incidents ranging from fighters and heavy transport aircraft such as F-16, Boeing 757 and C-130 Hercules to helicopters and general aviation aircraft. Some examples of accident investigations in which NLR-ATSI provides on-scene investigation and/or technical analysis support are:

  • 4 October 1992, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Boeing 747-258F, 4X-AXG, El Al Israel Airlines.
  • 25 September 1996, off Den Oever, the Netherlands. DC-3, PH-DDA, Dutch Dakota Association.
  • 22 December 1999, near Etten-Leur, the Netherlands. Mid-air collision Royal Netherlands
  • Air Force General Dynamics F-16 J-059 and Piper PA-28-140 PH-BLY.
  • 24 April 2002, over Sellingen, the Netherlands. Mid-air collision Belgian Air Force FB19/Tiger11 General Dynamics F-16 and Comco Ikarus C42, PH-3G8.
  • 27 August 2005, Afghanistan. Royal Netherlands Air Force Boeing CH-47D Chinook helicopter.
  • 31 October 2005, Afghanistan. Royal Netherlands Air Force Boeing CH-47D Chinook helicopter.
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