Fire and Explosion Investigation
(FEI)

Course Description

Fire can either be a cause of an aircraft accident or incident or result from it. Fires occur in engines, engine bays, cabins, cargo holds, wheel wells and fuel tanks. Despite the fact that in-flight fire events are relatively rare, post-impact fires are not. Even when there is no evidence of an in-flight fire or reason to suspect one, the post impact fire can destroy a lot of evidence related to aircraft systems and structure. For this reason, some knowledge of how materials behave in the presence of fire is useful to the aircraft accident investigator. In addition, one of the areas an investigator must evaluate is the Fire Response and Survivability aspects of the accident. This requires familiarity with aircraft fire response procedures and capability. This course will provide this knowledge.

This course is designed to introduce the aircraft accident investigator to the fundamentals of fire investigation. Based on the NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations, the course will begin with some basic fire science concepts and how fires begin and propagate. There will be a discussion of the behavior of aircraft fluids and materials in the presence of fire to include recognition of the differences between inflight and post-impact fire evidence. There will also be a discussion of basic fire investigation techniques. The fire investigation will be followed by an introduction to identifying and investigating explosions. This portion of the course will include discussion on explosion evidence, typical causes and investigation procedures. The course will conclude with a brief review of fire response capability levels and how to evaluate such response.

Who Should Attend

This course is for anyone involved in aircraft accident or incident investigation who desires a more comprehensive understanding of fire dynamics and fire investigation.

How You Will Benefit

  • This course provides a basic knowledge of fire chemistry and fire investigation processes, tools and techniques.
  • You will be introduced to typical types of fire evidence and how to recognize them.
  • You will learn the typical patterns and behaviors of fire in the aviation environment.
  • You will be introduced to the process of recognizing and investigating explosions.
  • You will become familiar with typical airport fire response and suppression capabilities and where to find more information.
  • You will learn how and where to request technical fire investigation assistance.
  • You will use case studies and practical exercises to reinforce and illustrate the subjects covered in the course.
  • This course is an elective course for the SCSI Certificate in Aircraft Accident Investigation.
  • The Board of Certified Safety Professionals accepts this course for Continuation of Certification Credit.
  • SCSI will award 3.6 CEUs to each participant who successfully completes this course.

Course Topics

  • An Introduction to Fire Science.
  • Typical Fire Behavior and Fire Pattern Analysis
  • Characteristics of Aircraft Fluids and Materials.
  • Recognizing In-flight and Post-impact fire evidence.
  • Aircraft Fire Investigation Techniques
  • Investigating Explosions
  • Airport Fire Response and Rescue Capabilities.
  • Case Studies and Practical Exercises in Aircraft Fire Investigation.

Course Administration

The Fire and Explosion Investigation Course consists of 4.5 days (36 hours) of instruction including time spent in the SCSI crash lab. Students receive lecture outlines, additional reference material and a Certificate of Completion. Classes begin daily at 0800 and end at noon on Friday.

Typical Comments from Attendees

  • "excellent course"
  • "Great course, great instructors."
  • "Excellent instructor with great knowledge to share, kept the class active with participation"
  • "I would not change a thing."
  • "I liked basic knowledge of fire chemistry and test patterns."