“Test” Crash Investigation

Hello Readers,

I would like to share few of my moments that I thought has a huge connection between the way we are and the way we are supposed to be. I have been watching Air crash investigation since the age of 11, no matter I understood or what. But it has always been interesting for me to watch every episode of it.


Investigation seemed “Testing after” the risk arrival for me


The investigation that takes place after every complex incidents has been vital and crucial clue for every accidents that could happen as a chain reaction. Ever since the “Bug” is found and reported has helped to evolve every part of aviation, clearly a new dimension of testing for every risk that takes place.

For Air crash investigation, every part of the plane and every clue could help them understand the whole of the problem and could solve / change the architecture. The investigators have been articulating every moment, coming up with great ideas, emulate the process of the accident. This gained more attention to me, exactly, every part of it is crucial and even a slight change would end up in severe loss of life.

While computers play majority role of aviation. It is split into 2 different errors that could generally happen. “HUMAN (Pilot) ERROR” and “SYSTEM ERROR” and the same with everything in this world.

We have been testing softwares that is being used by millions and has huge impact over the peoples emotion, business, market etc. While we have everything under our control before it impacts 100 whereas, it’s not the same with aircraft. The simultaneous decision making and different levels of plan help the pilots to enter the safe zone.

It’s no different from 100 people death

  • Recover black box (Flight data recorder)

Our backbox is nothing but our test design. While our product is live and observe a high severity bug. Our black box  should help us determine where exactly our data has been misplaced, the missing piece of our design may have caused this bug, we recover them and crack the puzzle of fixing them.

  • Proofs & witnesses

Well, sometimes we testers convey a bug to the developers / the team and not really document them. There has to be some proof with few acceptance from the opposite party in order to be really precise and may help finding the clue of happenings.

  • Join the pieces

While the investigators tried to put the whole of the plane to understand the cause. We would want to join the pieces of information and to determine and help our business understand the severity, while we do that we also clear up the priorities by eliminating the unrequired factors. This is the approach that every investigator would take to solve the problem.

  • Specialization

As there are more than a factor and fields that would need investigation, for example: “Bird strike” on On September 22, 1995 boeing hit by bird lost both of it’s engine and lead to a huge disaster while there were 50+ accidents happened in the name of bird strike, this one was unique. It was hit by a lightweight goose with the difference in the structure of it’s bone caused this incident. This particular scenario needed different level of expertise, Biology. Finding the right expertise at the right time could distinguish the matter of time, plan and the accidents.

  • Take off and landing

While most of the flying is taken care by the aeroplane itself, it always needs human effort on landing and takeoff. The value that human defines is critical, no matter what! Humans are blamed finally and not the system. Even when the system is blamed and is being designed by human. We define the system and not allow machines to overwrite.

1st aircraft designed by Air france which was designed to overwrite human inputs. This took away 30+ lives On 26 June 1988. However, this particular went through lots of crisis and political matters the fact that the overwriteand the delay in flights reaction led to this incident. You could watch the episode here.

  • Team and reporting

Investigators have an habit of dividing the task specific to specific person as they could get the coverage & to near the solution with given and estimated time. This gives them a whole lot of power to explore the deepest and widest. Clearly the best way to tackle the problems. Our team and tasks decides the coverage and depth of our investigation towards solving our customers problem.

  • Reporting and conclusion

After months of investigation, the final report from different sources with great insight and highlight of the problem that was found in the aircraft which is responsible for the problem has to be really precise and impact over different organization, methods, design and practices with compared to the existing ones.

Everything should change over the period of time

  • Recognition and penalty

Investigators are often punished for the reaction in which the problem was handled, unexpected and inevitable. While the opposite of it has to be praised to which the story of theirs become lessons to others.

I am always interested in Air-crash investigation and I would want to do it one day (Soon or then). However, I am already an investigator helping my customers understand the risks and various influential factor. I have been practicing by picking up a crash / accident, come up with scenarios / stories / tools / possibilities etc and this had helped me improve in several areas.

Thank you for reading this post. Comments and suggestions are welcomed.

Have a great day!



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