Frequently Asked Questions

Using the Archives

Who may use ASASA materials?

The Archives is open to all adult users, whether a member of the ERAU community, safety professionals, academic researchers, or just an interested individual. Children under age 18 may be asked to show permission of a parent or guardian to use the archives.

While most materials in the Archives' collections are open for use, some items may require that the researcher obtain permission of the Archivist for access. In addition, a small number of files are restricted from use due to confidentiality issues, in most cases these files will become available after a set number of years or we may be able to make redacted copies available.

How much does it cost to use the archives?

There is no charge to use materials either online or in person, or to have questions answered by our reference experts.

Can copies be made of the documents in the archives?

Yes, copies can be made for personal or educational use as long as these uses are permitted by copyright laws. All copying/scanning is done by archives staff in order to protect fragile documents. Personal or handheld scanners are not allowed. Use of personal cameras (used without flash) may be permitted; please consult with Archives staff to ask permission -- some items may not be able to be photographed due to preservation concerns or other restrictions.

Is there any charge for copies?

Fees do apply to copy requests. Please see our fee schedule for more information.

Digital Library

I can't seem to get any hits from your digital library. What's wrong?

The boxes below the "Search For" box might help refine your search, but they will seldom help you find a broad number of hits. Use the big search box and enter your keywords there. If you still aren’t getting the search results you want, try changing the term "Pattern" under the search box to "Concept." This broadens your search so that you’ll see results for, say, "helicopter" when you ask for "aircraft." Press "help" above the search box for more information.

Why do I keep getting "500" for the number of results?

It's the default limit of results. You can use the "Preferences" link above the big search box to change that limit: use the "Result" tab, then change the "Maximum number of documents to retrieve." Don't forget to hit "save" when you've finished. Notice that here you can also change how you view your data, which fields of information about documents you will see, and which fields of information you can search. Press "help" above the search box for more information.

Why do I keep getting the maximum number of results?

Probably because the default search type is "pattern," which looks at variations of the keywords you entered, and which looks for any of the keywords you entered, not all. If you want to narrow your search, change the term under the search box from "Pattern" to "Boolean" and use the Boolean "and," "or," and "not." For instance, using Boolean, if you type the words "Miller and DC-10" in the search box, you will get only documents relating to Charles O. Miller and the DC-10 aircraft. If you put in "Miller not DC-10" you will get all the other Miller documents in the database. If you put in "Miller or DC-10," you will get all the documents mentioning or collected by Miller as well as all other documents that mention the DC-10. Press "help" above the search box for more information.

What if I need help using your digital library?

We are available by email and phone. We might not be able to answer complex questions right away, and we can't solve your browser or connection problems. Our database materials are best seen on high-resolution monitors, and slow connections may have difficulty opening some documents due to large file sizes.

What if I can't find a copy of the accident report I need in your digital library?

First check with us at or (928) 777-3949. We may very well have the report but haven't digitized it yet. Second, you can get summaries from the NTSB for 1962 and later of accidents reported by them, at (Hint: try using the broadest search that doesn't get you too many hits—such as a date range or a broad date range with an aircraft type. Their database is very specific and does not search the summaries by full text.) Third, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has records of all US reporting agencies. See a NARA archivist's description of how to locate reports without visiting DC or Maryland. Also consider that, although an accident might have involved a US-manufactured aircraft, it might have been in use by a foreign airline in a foreign country. In that case, you will have to find the report in the archives of the country involved (usually the country in which the airline company is based, but sometimes the country in which the accident took place). For instance, the 1972 crash of a DC-10 in Paris was not reported on by the US, since neither the airline nor the accident site was in the US. (There is, however, material on that crash in the Miller Collection, since the NTSB did investigate.) The reporting countries were Turkey and France, respectively. Links to other investigating agencies are in the Accident Investigation section of our Resources pages.

Other Questions

How do you store your documents?

We use the established best practices to preserve and store archival materials, including acid-free folders and boxes and carefully monitored climate control.

How do you scan your documents?

Currently we have two large-format Fujitsu scanners, as well as an HP scanner optimized for negatives. Documents are processed through the ABBYY FineReader optical character recognition for full-text electronic copies. The TIFF format is used for storing both photographs and documents, but the PDF format is used for online display and electronic forwarding. The digital library database is by ArchivalWare, a commercial product offered by PTFS.