The AAIB has its origins in the Accidents Investigation Branch (AIB) of the Royal Flying Corps. It was established in 1915 when Captain G B Cockburn was appointed to the independent post of "Inspector of Accidents" for the RFC, reporting directly to the Director General of Military Aeronautics in the War Office. At the end of the First World War a Department of Civil Aviation was set up in the Air Ministry and the AIB became part of that Department being concerned with investigation of both civil and military accidents. The Air Navigation Act 1920 gave the Secretary of State for Air power to make regulations for the investigation of civil air accidents and the first regulations made for this purpose were the Air Navigation (Investigation of Accidents) Regulations 1922. Following the Second World War a Ministry of Civil Aviation was created and in 1946 the AIB was transferred to it, but continued to assist the Royal Air Force with accident investigations - a situation which has continued ever since.
After having various parent Ministries the AIB passed to the Department of Transport in 1983 and in November 1987 its name was changed to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB). Following further government re-organisations the AAIB became part of the Department for Transport (DfT) in 2002.
For further information contact the AAIB: