Air Accident Investigation

We provide in depth and detailed investigation of air accidents and incidents.  Our capabilities include investigations involving a wide range of rotary and fixed wing aircraft types and may address both operational (flying) and engineering (forensic) aspects of an air accident.

Prosolve Ltd offers comprehensive air accident investigation services that comply with international investigation guidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). We have a proven track record of investigating difficult and challenging assignments and command the respect of international authorities. We have succeeded in challenging the findings of official reports and have successfully defended individuals who have been wrongfully charged by New Zealand’s civil aviation regulator.

It is not possible to investigate air accidents and issue recommendations without considering the sometimes complex and intricate human factors involved. We are able to identify and assess these difficult factors in a manner that properly represents the sensitive interests of those involved in the accident, yet is still able to capture lessons needed to prevent future recurrences.

Warbirds Devon Crash

Crash of a War birds Devon investigated by Prosolve Ltd.

We recognise the work of notable authors such as James Reason, Sydney Dekker Daniel Kahneman and Nancy Leveson (CAST/STAMP) and have found their contributions invaluable in understanding the complex nature of individual and societal human factors that often contribute to air accidents.

From time to time we challenge the findings of official reports which often lack comprehensiveness and correctness. We include examples of these in our case studies & publications below.

High Profile Air Accident Investigations

undertaken by Prosolve Ltd.


On the 3rd of February 2006, A warbirds Devon crashed on landing at Ohakea aerodrome. Fortunately no one was injured…

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Robinson Helicopter Crash Investigation

We were engaged by the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji to investigate the crash of a helicopter that occurred on the day of the military coup in December 2006. As the story below explains the findings from the investigation were internationally significant.

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The country was in chaos and the helicopter crashed off the coast of Nadi in 60 ft of muddy water. I led the investigation under international investigation (ICAO) protocols. The wreckage distribution plot and forensic investigation results indicated that the cause of the accident was probably due to the failure of one of the main helicopter rotor blades which later research associated with high heat and humidity of a tropical atmosphere. This attracted the interest of the National Transportation of the United States (NTA08_25_29_RecommendationSB) which published 5 recommendations to the FAA – the US regulator.

The FAA altered its best practice guidelines to recommend that the design of all aircraft be subject to environmental testing. The FAA and the NTSB considered the results of this investigation as a significant contribution to the improvement of composite and metal to metal bonding processes for a wide range of aircraft types.


NTSB Recommendations – a Arising out of the Prosolve investigation.

Reference by the United States FAA to the significance of the Fijian R44 investigation. (Refer slide 12)

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Additional Case Studies

Read All High Profile Case Studies