The Civil Aviation (Investigation of Air Accidents and Incidents) Regulations 1996

Powers of Inspectors

9.  (1)  For the purpose of enabling him to carry out an investigation into an accident or incident in the most efficient way and within the shortest time, an investigating Inspector is hereby authorised, where appropriate in cooperation with the authorities responsible for the judicial inquiry, to—

(a)have free access to the site of the accident or incident as well as to the aircraft, its contents or its wreckage;

(b)ensure an immediate listing of evidence and controlled removal of debris, or components for examination or analysis purposes;

(c)have immediate access to and use of the contents of the flight recorders and any other recordings;

(d)have access to the results of examination of the bodies of victims or of tests made on samples taken from the bodies of victims;

(e)have immediate access to the results of examinations of the people involved in the operation of the aircraft or of tests made on samples taken from such people;

(f)examine witnesses; and

(g)have free access to any relevant information or records held by the owner, the operator or the manufacturer of the aircraft and by the authorities responsible for civil aviation or airport operation.

(2) For the purpose of paragraph (1) above an investigating Inspector shall have power—

(a)by summons under his hand to call before him and examine all such persons as he thinks fit, to require such persons to answer any question or furnish any information or produce any books, papers, documents and articles which the investigating Inspector may consider relevant and to retain any such books, papers, documents and articles until the completion of the investigation;

(b)to take statements from all such persons as he thinks fit and to require any such person to make and sign a declaration of the truth of the statement made by him;

(c)on production if required of his credentials, to enter and inspect any place, building or aircraft the entry or inspection whereof appears to the investigating Inspector to be requisite for the purposes of the investigation;

(d)on production if required of his credentials, to remove, test, take measures for the preservation of or otherwise deal with any aircraft other than an aircraft involved in the accident or incident where it appears to the investigating Inspector requisite for the purposes of the investigation, and

(e)to take such measures for the preservation of evidence as he considers appropriate.

(3) Every person summoned by an investigating Inspector under paragraph (2)(a) above shall be allowed such expenses as the Secretary of State may determine.

(4) When requested to do so by the investigating body or entity of another member State, the Chief Inspector may provide assistance to that body or entity by supplying—

(a)installations, facilities and equipment for—

  • the technical investigation of wreckage and aircraft equipment and other objects relevant to the investigation,

  • the evaluation of information from flight recorders, and

  • the computer storage and evaluation of air accident data, and

(b)accident investigation experts to undertake specific tasks but only when an investigation is opened following a major accident.

(5) In this regulation “operator” shall have the meaning given by Article 3 of the Directive and “in cooperation with the authorities responsible for the judicial inquiry” shall have the same meaning as in the Directive.