Pilots have been studying accident reports for over 80 years now, starting with the findings of the Civil Aeronautics Board in the 1940s and the NTSB reports of today. While aviation outsiders may find this practice odd, the reality is we can learn a lot by reviewing the mistakes of others so we know how to react if we find ourselves in a similar situation.
Accident data is publicly available from a variety of sources, including the NTSB and third-party websites, but these are often challenging to navigate and not very user-friendly. A new app called Aviation Accidents brings this data to your iPhone and iPad using a well-designed interface with powerful search and sorting features. And in addition to NTSB reports, it also includes reports from Canadian, UK, Australian and German investigation branches.
When you first open the app, you’ll see a summary of recent reports from the NTSB database, sorted by date. Tap on one to see all the details, including factual information, weather, location and more.
You can then narrow down the results displayed using various options:
Search – enter keywords like aircraft make or model, location and other keywords to find specific reports in the database
Sort – organize the list by date, recently change, closest to your current location and relevancy
Filter – filter results based on those have a full report, injuries/fatalities, in the US, and more.
When viewing any report, tap the plus button at the top right of the screen to add the report to your personal bookmarks or your watchlist. You’ll then receive notifications when updates are available for watchlisted accidents.
Additionally, you can also review Final Reports of Aviation Accidents from the NTSB and international dockets. This section includes all the same sorting, searching and bookmarking features.
Aviation Accidents requires an annual subscription of $9.99, but you can try it out for free for a week. Given all the app’s powerful features and easy-to-use interface, that’s a fair price to pay for those interested in keeping up with aviation accident trends.