Do you know what to do if you have an accident?
Most flight training revolves around safety, but accidents do happen.
A recent blog post from the AOPA Insurance Services outlines the six steps you need to take to ensure that everyone is safe, no regulations have been violated, and that insurance matters have been handled properly.
Here’s a quick rundown of what you want to do in the event of an aircraft accident:
- Get away from the aircraft. You never know if a fire will start, so get yourself and your passengers to a safe distance from the aircraft.
- Assess medical needs. Has anyone been injured? If you’re at an airport, notify the authorities. Call 911 if you’re not. Try to be calm.
- Report the accident. As soon as possible, contact the FAA or NTSB.
- Call your insurance agent. Your agent will ask you questions about the time, date, location, and other important details of the accident. Try to collect it all before calling.
- Get pictures. Once the authorities arrive, they will relocate the aircraft to a safe location and moving it could cause further damage. Before it is moved, get pictures from every angle to show all the damage.
- Protect your aircraft. Depending on the location and severity of the accident, you may need to wait for the authorities or your insurance carrier to authorize the movement of your aircraft to a secure area. It may also be your responsibility to see that the aircraft if is relocated. Make sure the new location is secure yet accessible to you and your insurance claims person. Consider a local FBO or repair shop.
It’s also good to keep a copy of your insurance information somewhere safe, like your logbook, so it’s easy to find in the unlikely event of an accident. Be sure to let your passengers and family know where it’s located – you could be seriously injured and need them to locate it.
Print this list and keep it with your logbook and insurance information, as an accident checklist. It might help you organize your thoughts in those frantic moments following an accident or incident.