What do I do after an aircraft accident or incident?

Most pilots will never be involved in an accident or an incident involving an aircraft. However, flying an airplane, like driving a car, is not without the risk of having an accident or an incident that could lead to aircraft damage or much worst.

Hence, a recent article posted on GlobalAir.com by Darryl Abbey of Salem Five Aviation about what to do after becoming involved in an aircraft accident or incident is well worth reading. In the article, Darryl outlined the six basic steps you should take and these steps included:

  1. Report the accident: As soon as possible, the accident needs to be reported to your broker or insurance carrier and if the accident or incident was significant enough, it needs to be reported to the proper aviation authorities.
  2. Capture the event and damage: Carry a disposable camera on board with your emergency gear and be prepared to record in writing all of the facts that occurred before and during the accident or incident.
  3. Protect your aircraft from further damage: Depending upon the seriousness of the accident or the incident, you may or may not be able to move your plane right away. However, it is important that no matter what the situation is, you will need to protect your aircraft from further damage.
  4. Cooperate with your Insurance Carrier: If you want to get back in the sky earlier, you will need to cooperate and work with your insurance carrier.
  5. Use a repair shop that you trust: Shop around and find the best repair shop. If your insurance carrier bulks at the cost of a repair with the best shop available, be prepared to foot some of the bill yourself.
  6. Consider this a learning experience: After the repairs are done, ask yourself what you need to do differently. In other words, ask yourself whether or not you need more training or perhaps you need to pay more attention to aircraft maintenance.

In other words, an accident or incident involving an aircraft should be treated in much the same way that an accident or incident involving an automobile should be treated – as a potential risk and an important learning experience.

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