Cranfield University’s forty years of accident investigation training

A two-day conference has marked Cranfield University’s 40th anniversary of aircraft accident investigation courses.

Many of the University’s former students returned for the conference to hear the latest developments in accident investigation.

Professor Graham Braithwaite, Director of Transport Systems at Cranfield University, said:

“It was fantastic to see so many familiar faces returning to Cranfield and, where for many, their careers in accident investigation took off.”

More than one thousand investigators have now been trained by the University.

Not just air investigations

The training uses a combination of academic instruction, practical simulations and the experience of investigation professionals.

Cranfield’s Safety and Accident Investigation Centre widened its scope in 2004 to include the rail and marine sectors through its Fundamentals of Accident Investigation course.

In 2005, it launched the world’s first MSc programme for air accident investigators.

Today, the Centre includes all aspects of multi-modal safety and accident investigation including:

  • safety management
  • flight data
  • human factors
  • unmanned aerial systems
  • airworthiness.

The university is now established as a centre of excellence for aircraft accident investigation. It received the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2011 for its work in this field.