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American Archives Month 2010

Accident Investigation

The Aviation Safety and Security Archives has investigation case files on hundreds of accidents. These case files—from the papers of David S. Hall, David Haddon Holladay, S. Harry Robertson, and Richard G. Snyder—provide information that help us learn valuable lessons from aircraft accidents to help prevent future accidents. The case files also offer valuable insight into the investigative process and the methods used by these accident investigators.

One of the case files in the David S. Hall papers focuses on a Cessna 210 accident that occurred in Riesel Texas on 1 April 1985.

Investigators at the scene found that the aircraft had impacted trees and suffered a significant post-impact fire.

 

crash site

crash site

In addition to photographs of the crash site, sketches of the wreckage distribution were made to document what investigators found at the site.

sketch of wreckage

 

sketch of wreckage

The probable cause of the accident was found to be engine failure due to oil starvation following an engine overhaul.