The AAIB received 826 occurrence notifications in 2019 and opened 37 field investigations, eight of which were into fatal accidents in the UK resulting in 10 deaths. A further 124 investigations were opened by correspondence.
The AAIB published two special bulletins, 29 field investigation reports and made 12 safety recommendations. In addition, 153 significant safety actions were taken by manufacturers, operators and regulators to address safety issues identified during AAIB investigations. This demonstrates the considerable range and scale of the safety action already taken or planned by the industry and regulators in response to AAIB investigations.
In 2019 all the fatal accidents that were investigated in the UK involved general aviation aircraft or gliders with the most common factor being loss of control in flight. The most common factor in commercial air transport accidents and serious incidents was system/component failure or malfunction.
In terms of its global reach, the AAIB appointed an accredited representative to 96 overseas investigations, including 45 involving UK registered aircraft. The Branch deployed to investigations in Belgium, the USA, Ethiopia, Chile, UAE, Italy, Portugal, Montserrat and Kazakhstan.
In addition to its investigation work, AAIB:
- Created a new case management system that allows better management of investigations from notification to closure and will provide a useful archive of safety data
- Introduced a ‘record only’ option for some less serious occurrences to focus AAIB expertise and investigation resources where the safety benefit is greatest
- Began publishing field investigation reports online individually as well as in the monthly Bulletin, enabling it to reduce overall timescales to publication
The Annual Safety Review also includes:
- A summary of a stakeholder review undertaken
- An article about how the Branch conducts underwater search and recovery
- Details of the Branch’s global reach
- Safety recommendations made and responses received
- Safety actions taken