Inspector of Air Accidents (Recorded Data) - Flexible Working Available

Aldershot, Hampshire
£73,674 - £81,041
24 Feb 2020
20 Mar 2020
Full Time
Contract Type


Aldershot, South East, GU11 2HH

About the job

Are you passionate about aircraft accident investigation?

Are you looking for a high profile role at the leading edge of aviation safety?

If so, this is a unique opportunity to join the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) as an Inspector of Air Accidents (Recorded Data), and we’d love to hear from you.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is part of the Department for Transport (DfT). The AAIB’s purpose is to improve aviation safety by determining the circumstances and causes of aircraft accidents and serious incidents and promoting safety action to prevent re-occurrence. We investigate accidents and serious incidents to civil aircraft in the UK (including UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies) and overseas where there is a UK interest.

For further information about our work please visit Job description

This is an important role at the leading edge of aviation safety. You will be instrumental in determining the circumstances in which civil aircraft accidents and serious incidents take place worldwide, identifying factors which influenced the outcome and highlighting areas where change would improve safety.

Working as part of an investigation team, Inspectors of Air Accidents (Recorded Data) manage the investigation of all recorded data aspects of an aircraft accident or serious incident including the initial ‘on site’ search and retrieval of recorded data equipment, recovery and replay of recorded data, extraction and analysis of data from a variety of sources and assessing aircraft performance. Culminating in the drafting of Safety Recommendations and reports.

The role involves liaison with technical personnel from aircraft manufacturers, operators, maintainers, and regulators for both the investigation and future development in recorded data capabilities.

Due to the nature of AAIB operations, you will be exposed to situations, information and material of a sensitive or traumatic nature (video, photographs) and recordings which may be distressing. You will be required to speak with potentially traumatised accident victims and witnesses, as well as bereaved relatives, using tact and compassion. It is essential that applicants consider these requirements before applying for the post as they will be required to participate in a wellbeing and traumatic stress risk review in advance of their recruitment interview (Potential applicants are welcome to contact the AAIB for further information - contact point below).


As part of a multidisciplinary team, you will deploy within the UK and worldwide at short notice to gather recorded data evidence relevant to the operation of aircraft involved in accidents or serious incidents. You will be responsible for all recorded data aspects of an investigation, from the initial ‘on site’ examination phase to the detailed forensic examination of evidence culminating in the production of detailed reports and Safety Recommendations. This will include the recovery and analysis of information recorded on damaged or undamaged flight recorders and other avionic systems, as well as externally recorded data from radar, surveillance video and witnesses’ devices. You will also lead the search for recorders following accidents to aircraft that have become submerged in the sea, by using state of the art underwater location equipment.

You will debrief the Chief Inspector of Air Accidents on your return from field investigations and give technical evidence in Coroner’s Courts and other legal proceedings.

You will provide assistance and expertise to the international air accident investigation community to improve aviation safety globally, including support to foreign safety investigation authorities and the UK’s Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies.

Training opportunities

This is a challenging and evolving field of work so, in addition to specialist training, you will be expected to keep abreast of the latest technology and techniques, and develop your professional and investigative skills. You will also be expected to contribute to the ongoing development of the AAIB’s technical capability including its specialist laboratory facilities and will, occasionally, develop and take part in flight simulator exercises for large transport aircraft.

In addition to development of your technical skills you will undertake training to allow you to carry out your role in a wide variety of environments for example: offshore personal survival training, helicopter underwater escape training and remote terrain training. It may also be possible for you to fly light aircraft and to gain or maintain a Private Pilot’s Licence.

Special features of the role

After 2 years and subject to satisfactory progression, you will be awarded a non-pensionable allowance of £4,000 per annum and become a Senior Inspector. After a further 4 years you may be awarded an additional non-pensionable allowance of £2,000 per annum.

The role requires the position holder to be on-call for deployments except whilst on Annual Leave or by mutual agreement with AAIB management.

You must be capable of working in a wide range of potentially challenging environments worldwide, including remote terrain and possibly at sea, sometimes at short notice.

It is important that you are physically able to carry out work in the challenging environmental conditions that can exist on aircraft accident sites, and able to travel to accident sites, sometimes in remote locations.

The AAIB site is in a semi-rural area and is not served by public transport, but there is a secure car park on site.

About you

You must have a broad technical and analytical capability across a wide range of aircraft avionic system architectures, and knowledge of aircraft operations.

You must be able to apply your professional and technical knowledge to aircraft accident investigation, show integrity, be reliable under pressure and accept responsibility. Drive, determination and sound judgement are necessary.

You will have excellent verbal and written communication skills, be capable of producing accurate and clear written reports and have good presentation skills. You will be highly computer literate which may include some programming experience.

You will be highly motivated, inquisitive and a critical thinker. You must be comfortable working in a team or independently. You will require considerable diplomatic skills and be able to engage colleagues and external stakeholders in the discussion of new, unfamiliar or complex concepts.

About us

Find out more about what it's like working at the Department for Transport.


Full driving licence valid in the UK


You will need Chartered Engineer status or hold an Aerospace Engineering or other relevant technical degree together with experience that would meet the Engineering Council UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK SPEC) requirements for Chartered Engineer status.

Further details of the Engineering Council UK-SPEC requirements can be found at


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together
  • Delivering at Pace

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • AAIB Competency - Applying Expertise and Technology
  • AAIB Competency - Written Communication


Being part of our brilliant Civil Service means you will have access to a wide range of fantastic benefits. We offer generous annual leave, attractive pension options, flexible working, inclusive working environments and much more to support a healthy work/life balance.

Things you need to know Security

Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check.


Successful candidates will be expected to have a medical.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Ability, Experience and Technical skills.

How to apply

Prior to submitting your full application, you will be required to complete various online test(s). We recommend that these should be undertaken as early as possible. If the online tests are passed, candidates will be able to continue and complete their full application.

When considering your experience, please tailor your CV/Personal Statement to provide evidence of:

• The breadth of your aviation technical knowledge and experience;
• Your working knowledge of aviation operation and regulations;
• Your motivation for joining the AAIB;
• Why you consider you are particularly well suited to the role.

The ability to write clearly and accurately is vital to the role and your personal statement must demonstrate the appropriate standard of written English.

The sift is due to take place 24/03/20.

If successful, candidates will then be invited to be a full Assessment Day taking place in Aldershot on either the 29th or 30th April 2020.

Applicants invited to the Assessment Day will be asked to complete an online questionnaire.

Applicants invited to the Assessment Day will be asked to complete a health declaration. After starting employment at the AAIB, successful candidates will be required to undertake a baseline health assessment.

In advance of the Assessment Day, candidates will also be required to complete a further online assessment and then participate in a face-to-face wellbeing and traumatic stress risk review on the day. Potential applicants are welcome to contact the AAIB for further information (contact point below).

We will try to meet the dates set out in the advert. There may be occasions when these dates will change. You will be provided with sufficient notice of the confirmed dates.

The selection process will be designed specifically for the role. As a result, the Assessment Day will include a full day of activities including an interview.

The Department for Transport alongside other Government Departments recruit using Success Profiles. This means for each role we consider what you will need to demonstrate in order to be successful. This gives us the best possible chance of finding the right person for the job, drives up performance and improves diversity and inclusivity. For further information on Success Profiles please click here

Your interview may consist of a range of question types. These may include questions about:

• what energises and motivates you
• how you would manage situations relevant to the role
• your previous experience
• your professional skills and knowledge

You’re encouraged to become familiar with the role profile, as you may be assessed against any of the criteria recorded within.

After submission of your initial application you will be invited to complete a Verbal Reasoning and Numerical Reasoning. You must be successful at each stage to progress to the next test. Please complete the online tests as soon as possible (within 24-48 hours is recommended), the closing date for the tests is 11.55 pm on the 20th March. If you fail to complete the online test before the deadline your application will be withdrawn. Guidance for each test will be available when you are invited to take the test. The tests are administered online and accessed via the CS Jobs website. After you have completed the online test you will need to complete the rest of the application so make sure you have enough time

Further Information

We have adopted anonymised recruitment. This means that your name, date of birth and other personal details will not be seen by the sift panel.

We may hold a merit list for up to twelve months. During this time, if a similar role is identified and you have been placed on the merit list you may be considered for the post. Within the merit list period, your application form and selection information may be shared across the department and its agencies.

If successful and transferring from another Government Department a criminal record check maybe carried out.

Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant’s details held on the IFD will be refused employment.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstance some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band.

Reasonable adjustment
If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:

Contact Government Recruitment Service via as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional.
Any move to the Department For Transport will mean you will no longer be able to carry on claiming childcare vouchers.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information Contact point for applicants Job contact : Name :   Ian Bass Email : Telephone :   01252531561   Recruitment team : Email : Further information

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact Government Recruitment Services via email: If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: Click here ( to visit Civil Service Commission

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