UK – Inspector of Air Accidents (Operations)


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 (Operations), and we’d love to hear from you.

We recognise the challenges that people with protected characteristics may experience on the job market and in their career progression. We are fully committed to being an inclusive employer and ensuring equal opportunities. We are keen to make our workforce as diverse as possible, and we hope to attract applications from underrepresented groups, including ethnic minorities, people with a disability, and people with gender diverse identities.  

Job description

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.

You will be responsible for investigating the operational aspects of an occurrence as part of a multi-disciplinary team, including interviewing witnesses and exploring relevant human factors.

For further information about our work please visit

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • You will be instrumental in determining the operational circumstances in which civil aircraft accidents and serious incidents take place worldwide, identifying factors that influenced the outcome and highlighting areas where change would improve safety.
  • You will help the international safety investigation community to improve aviation safety globally by supporting foreign safety investigation authorities and by conducting investigations in the UK’s Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies.
  • You will produce reports of the operational aspects of an event and promote action to improve safety through discussion with relevant parties and by making sound safety recommendations.
  • Following fatal accidents in the UK or involving UK citizens overseas, you will keep the families of victims informed of the progress of the investigation and you will brief them on its findings and conclusions. You will also be required to give technical evidence at the coroner’s inquest to explain the findings of the report.

For more information, please see the attached Role Profile.

Person specification

About you

To thrive in this role, you:

  • Will have extensive and recent professional flying experience, along with knowledge of civilian aircraft operations and aviation in general.
  • Will be highly motivated, inquisitive, able to work under pressure, and comfortable working in a team or independently.
  • Must have a broad technical and analytical capability across a wide range of aircraft technical and non-technical operational subjects.
  • Must be able to work in challenging environments worldwide, sometimes at short notice.
  • Will have excellent written communication skills and be capable of producing accurate and clear reports. You will also have excellent verbal and presentation skills.
  • Will possess the ability to work with stakeholders, both inside and outside the AAIB team, to establish mutual respect and trust, and to communicate clearly and effectively.

Additional information

Due to the nature of AAIB operations, the successful candidate may be exposed to information and material including imagery (video and photographs) which may be distressing.  They may also be required to speak with potentially traumatised accident victims, bereaved family members and witnesses.  It is essential that candidates take these requirements into consideration before applying for the post. 

Applicants will be required to participate in a wellbeing and traumatic stress risk review and online personality questionnaire in advance of their formal assessment. This risk review is not a formal assessment and will not decide whether you progress to interview. The risk review will include a short questionnaire which is followed up by a short telephone call with a Psychologist. Potential applicants are welcome to contact the AAIB for further information (contact point below).

A minimum of 60% of your working time should be spent at your principal workplace, although requirements to attend other locations for official business, or carry out detached duty in another DfT workplace, will also count towards this level of attendance. The role requires the position holder to be on-call for deployments except whilst on Annual Leave or by mutual agreement with AAIB Management. A roster is managed to ensure there will be periods where you are less likely to be called.


Full UK Drivers Licence.


To be eligible for the role you must have:

• An Airline Transport Pilot’s Licence suitable for operating UK-registered aircraft.

• Professional flying experience in a multi-crew commercial environment within the two years leading up to the closing date for applications.


• More than 4,500 hours as pilot on fixed wing aircraft, of which more than 3,000 hours were gained operating aircraft over 5,700 kg certificated for operation with a minimum crew of two pilots.
• More than 2,500 hours as pilot on rotary wing aircraft, of which more than 2,000 hours were gained operating in a multi-pilot environment in rotary wing aircraft over 3,175 kg certificated for multi-pilot operations.

• More than 1,000 hours in command of multi-crew commercial aircraft.
• Significant experience of leadership and taking responsibility in an organisational setting, preferably in the aviation domain.


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

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Working Together
  • Communicating and Influencing

Technical skills

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

  • Applying Expertise and Technology (AIB Competency).
  • Written communication (AIB Competency).
  • 1. Strategy. 1.1. Policy Context and Purpose. Level 1: Developing.
  • 2. Democracy. 2.1. Working with Ministers. Level 1: Developing.


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. 

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

Things you need to know

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles (opens in a new window), and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths, Experience and Technical skills.

How to apply

As part of the application process, you will be asked to provide a CV and a 750-word Personal Statement.

Please tailor your CV to suit the role.

For your Personal Statement, please provide detailed evidence of the following: 

  • Having a varied aviation background in terms of roles, aircraft types/classes, and types of flying.
  • Experience of building and maintaining relationships with a various range of stakeholders

Please include in your personal statement evidence of a varied aviation background in terms of roles, aircraft types/classes and types of flying.

The sift is due to take place during the w/c 15th April 2024.

Online Personality Questionnaires and Psychological Trauma Risk Assessment Reviews will take place from w/c 29th April 2024.

Interviews are likely to be held on 8th or 9th May 2024.

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, your assessment will include: 

  • A policy exercise.
  • A presentation.
  • A role play exercise.
  • An interview.
  • An ability test.

This interview will be conducted Face to Face at our office. Further details will be provided to you should you be selected for interview.  

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

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 visit our Careers website

Reasonable Adjustments

As a Disability Confident Leader employer, we are committed to ensuring that the recruitment process is fair, accessible and allows all candidates to perform at their best. If a person with a visible or non-visible disability is substantially disadvantaged, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need during the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at an interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional.

If you need a reasonable adjustment so that you can complete your application, you should contact Government Recruitment Service via [email protected] as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs.

Document Accessibility

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the ‘Contact point for applicants’ section.

This job advert contains links to the DfT Careers website. Our website provides useful guidance and information that can support you during the application process. If you cannot access the information on our website for any reason, please email [email protected] for assistance.

Further Information

After about two years, subject to satisfactory progression and assessment against competency requirements, you will become a Senior Inspector and be awarded a non-pensionable allowance of £4,000 per annum. After a further period of satisfactory progression and assessment, you may be awarded a additional non-pensionable allowance of £2,000 per annum. This usually occurs about four years after reaching Senior Inspector

For more information about how we hire, and for useful tips on submitting your application for this role, visit the How We Hire page of our DfT Careers website. You can find detailed information about the recruitment process and what to expect when applying for a role.

This role is full time only. Applicants who wish to work an alternative pattern are welcome to apply however your preferred working pattern may not be available and you should discuss this with the vacancy holder before applying.

Pre-employment Checking

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. 

A candidate is not eligible to apply for a role within the Civil Service if the application is made within a 5-year period following a dismissal for carrying out internal fraud against government.

For further information on National Security Vetting please visit the following page

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


Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check (opens in a new window).

See our vetting charter (opens in a new window).

People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities with settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window)
  • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities who have made a valid application for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • individuals with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain who were eligible to apply for EUSS on or before 31 December 2020
  • Turkish nationals, and certain family members of Turkish nationals, who have accrued the right to work in the Civil Service

Further information on nationality requirements (opens in a new window)

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) 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 (opens in a new window).

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.

The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.

Apply and further information

This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans (opens in a new window) initiative.

The Civil Service welcomes applications from people who have recently left prison or have an unspent conviction. Read more about prison leaver recruitment (opens in new window).

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :

Recruitment team

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: [email protected]
If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: Visit the Civil Service Commission website Here


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