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Zonk Air Accident Investigation Project - Partial Report


Accident Case Number ERAU-330RL

This accident is fictional, but based on many true events. The characters and company are fictional.


Jake Dillion - NTSB

Party to Investigation:

Sharon Bair - Engine Representative

Dawn Smith- Airframe Representative

This assignment tests your ability to apply the lessons and information learned in this course to develop a “partialâ€Â accident investigation report based upon the accident information provided on the ‘Zonk Air Accident’ scenario.

The length of the paper is open, but your instructor reserves the right to determine if the length of a paper correlates to a complete document. Obviously, a brief paper (2-3 pages) indicates a lack of attention on details and research. You have some writing latitude given the mandates of the assignment but keep it uniform and well organized. In other words, do not write a “story-like narrativeâ€Â or simply cut and paste from the accident scenario. Put forth some energy, creative skills, accurate writing and deduction and have some fun.


The grading rubric is based upon APA writing style, critical thought, a detailed analysis of information and development of a logical and justifiable probable cause, contributing factors and realistic recommendations.


This is a blend of technical but readable report writing all encompassed by proper language, syntax, grammar and avoidance of emotional and subjective writing. The report may follow, to some extent, the manner in which the NTSB writes accident reports.


You should, as much as possible, corroborate data by explaining where the information was gained. This is spelled out in the report instructions below. In other words, there should be no leaps to conclusions without proof or data. A good report should include a probable cause and a list of contributing factors all developed and based from the information in the accident report.


You are to gather and distil information from the accident narrative then place the information into the appropriate sections listed below. You may add sections, if needed.

Drawing from those sections, you then distil, develop, prove, and corroborate accident causations within in section 1.9, “Final Analysis.â€ÂÂ From Section 1.9, “Final Analysisâ€Â, create a succinct conclusion stating probable and contributing causes which is placed in Section 2.0, “Conclusions.â€Â Section 2.1, “Recommendationsâ€Â should be realistic suggestions to prevent similar mishaps and not some over-the-top, non-obtainable, illusionary offerings. 

Examine the various NTSB reports in the course to gain additional exposure on substance and format. However, your report is not required to have the extensive detail of an NTSB report. Use what information you have plus appropriate sources and create the report.


  • Brief history of flight (Mission)
  • On-Scene actions (Scene Management Procedures)
  • On-Scene observations (What did you note and observe?)
  • Airport information and weather (Basic description and source)
  • Flight information and mission (Who, what, where and why)
  • Aircraft information (Type, history, performance, maintenance, etc.)
  • Pilot information (certificates, hours, training, etc.)
  • Company information and operations (Who, what where why)
  • Miscellaneous information (Option for additional information)
  • Final analysis (Your analysis for causes - prove and bring it all together here)
  • Conclusion (The probable and contributing causes)
  • Recommendations (Realistic, doable suggestions)



On-Scene: You must describe what on-scene procedures and specific techniques were utilized to document, control, contain, and manage the crash site. Again, these are lessons learned from the course material. For instance, do not draw a diagram, but articulate what is the best diagram for the accident scenario based on course readings, etc.

Conventions: When you see words like “it was determinedâ€Â or other general terms of assumption, then you must include in your report where the NTSB would normally obtain such information. You do not need to find the actual conditions, records, etc. Simply state the source where the information could be found.

You do not need an aircraft manual or software for complex calculations. You must, however, demonstrate that you, as in accident investigator, know where to find and cite resources applicable to affirming what might be given in the narrative of the scenario.

Use the witness statements to corroborate the scenario where applicable. Also, state what type of interview you used, e.g., one-to one, at the venue, telephonic, etc. The interviewing technique is your option; however, use the best method as indicated in the course.

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