ICAO ANNEX 13
Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation
|Publication Date:||1 July 2020|
Standards and Recommended Practices for Aircraft Accident Inquiries were first adopted by the Council on 11 April 1951 pursuant to Article 37 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago, 1944) and were designated as Annex 13 to the Convention. The Standards and Recommended Practices were based on recommendations of the Accident Investigation Division at its First Session in February 1946 which were further developed at the Second Session of the Division in February 1947.
The Fourteenth Session of the Assembly (Rome, August-September 1962) considered the subject of aircraft accident investigation and adopted Resolutions A14-22 and A14-27, Appendix P.* The first of these:
1) directed "the Council to:
"a) study the possibility of initiating a uniform procedure to be used by States to make available promptly the reports of aircraft accident investigations and inquiries, particularly when related to large modern transport aircraft, so that the dissemination of such reports by all Contracting States may be improved;
"b) study whether it is practicable to establish procedures by which the State of Manufacture or the State that first certificated the aircraft type, would, in appropriate cases and upon invitation, make available competent experts for advice or consultation in the investigation of accidents, and in the light of the results of such study:
"i) determine the most practicable means of ensuring that the fullest possible advantage will be taken of the specialized knowledge of such experts and notify all Contracting States accordingly, and
"ii) urge all Contracting States to co-operate in the use of such experts so as to contribute to the safety of air navigation;"
2) urged "all Contracting States to provide timely notification of aircraft accidents, especially those involving large modern transport aircraft, to the State of Manufacture or the State that first certificated the aircraft type, whenever it is considered that such action would be appropriate."
In addition, by Resolution A14-27, Appendix P, the Assembly resolved that, "in respect of accident investigation, that it is of great importance for the general improvement of the safety of air navigation that, to the greatest practicable extent, a Contracting State in which an accident has occurred involving aircraft other than of its manufacture communicate to the State of Manufacture as soon as possible any pertinent information which results from the inquiry and which may reflect on the airworthiness of the aircraft type or its equipment, or which might be used to effect improvement in safety."
Table A shows the origin of subsequent amendments together with a list of the principal subjects involved and the dates on which the Annex and the amendments were adopted by the Council, when they became effective and when they became applicable.
While the Annex has been adopted pursuant to the provisions of Article 37 of the Convention, Aircraft Accident Inquiry is itself the subject of Article 26 of the Convention. This Article imposes an obligation on the State in which the aircraft accident occurs to institute an inquiry in certain circumstances and, as far as its laws permit, to conduct the inquiry in accordance with ICAO procedure. However, Article 26 does not preclude the taking of further action in the field of aircraft accident investigation and the procedures set forth in this Annex are not limited solely to an inquiry instituted under the requirements of Article 26, but under prescribed circumstances apply in the event of an inquiry into any "aircraft accident" within the terms of the definition herein. In order to maintain the correct relationship between the provisions of Article 26 and those of the Annex, the following principles have been observed:
a) Article 37 of the Convention is the Controlling Article in the development of an Aircraft Accident Inquiry Annex, but nothing in the Annex must contravene the express terms of Article 26, or any other Article of the Convention, nor should it contain any provision which would do violence to the spirit and intent of the Convention.
b) Subject to a) the Annex may deal with any relevant matter whether or not expressly dealt with by Article 26 or by any other Article of the Convention. For instance it is not a contravention of the Convention for the Annex to deal with the rights or obligations of States other than the State of Registry and the State in which the accident occurred; similarly the Annex may deal with the privileges to be accorded to observers entitled by Article 26 to be "present" at the inquiry. These are matters upon which Article 26 is silent. The Annex may also deal with accidents of a kind which do not fall within the provisions of Article 26.
Relationship between Annex 13 and Article 26 of the Convention
In order to clarify the relationship between the provisions of Article 26 and those of the present Annex the Council, at the 20th meeting of its Twelfth Session on 13 April 1951, adopted the following additional resolution:
"Whereas Article 26 of the Convention provides that a State in which an accident to an aircraft occurs within the terms of the Article, 'will institute an inquiry into the circumstances of the accident in accordance, in so far as its laws permit, with the procedure which may be recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organization'; and
"Whereas the Council, at the 18th meeting of its Twelfth Session on 11 April 1951, adopted Annex 13 on Aircraft Accident Inquiry;
"The Council recommends the Standards and Recommended Practices for Aircraft Accident Inquiry contained in Annex 13 to the Convention, as the procedure to be followed by Contracting States for inquiries into accidents involving death or serious injury and instituted in accordance with the provisions of Article 26;
"It being understood:
"1) that States may in accordance with Article 38 of the Convention, deviate from any provision of Annex 13, except that, with respect to accidents covered by terms of Article 26 of the Convention and pursuant to this Article, 'the State in which the accident occurs will institute an inquiry', 'the State in which the aircraft is registered shall be given the opportunity to appoint observers to be present at the inquiry' and 'the State holding the inquiry shall communicate the report and findings in the matter to that State'; and
"2) that the procedure here recommended is not applicable when an accident to an aircraft not involving death or serious injury 'indicates serious technical defect in the aircraft or air navigation facilities', in which cases and until ICAO recommends a procedure to this effect, the inquiry shall be conducted in accordance with the national procedure of the State concerned, subject to the obligations deriving from the provisions of Article 26."
The accredited representative and the advisers referred to in the Annex together comprise the observers that are given the right to be present at an inquiry under Article 26.
Action by Contracting States
Notification of differences.
The attention of Contracting States is drawn to the obligation imposed by Article 38 of the Convention by which Contracting States are required to notify the Organization of any differences between their national regulations and practices and the International Standards contained in this Annex and any amendments thereto. Contracting States are invited to extend such notification to any differences from the Recommended Practices contained in this Annex and any amendments thereto, when the notification of such differences is important for the safety of air navigation. Further, Contracting States are invited to keep the Organization currently informed of any differences which may subsequently occur, or of the withdrawal of any differences previously notified. A specific request for notification of differences will be sent to Contracting States immediately after the adoption of each amendment to this Annex.
Attention of States is also drawn to the provisions of Annex 15 related to the publication of differences between their national regulations and practices and the related ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices through the Aeronautical Information Service, in addition to the obligation of States under Article 38 of the Convention.
Use of the text of the Annex in national regulations.
The Council, on 13 April 1948, adopted a resolution inviting the attention of Contracting States to the desirability of using in their own national regulations, as far as is practicable, the precise language of those ICAO Standards that are of a regulatory character and also of indicating departures from the Standards, including any additional national regulations that were important for the safety or regularity of air navigation. However, the Standards and Recommended Practices of Annex 13 while of general applicability will, in many cases, require amplification in order to enable a complete national code to be formulated.
Status of Annex components
An Annex is made up of the following component parts, not all of which, however, are necessarily found in every Annex; they have the status indicated:
1.- Material comprising the Annex proper:
a) Standards and Recommended Practices adopted by the Council under the provisions of the Convention. They are defined as follows:
Any specification for physical characteristics, configuration, matériel, performance, personnel or procedure, the uniform application of which is recognized as necessary for the safety or regularity of international air navigation and to which Contracting States will conform in accordance with the Convention; in the event of impossibility of compliance, notification to the Council is compulsory under Article 38.
Any specification for physical characteristics, configuration, matériel, performance, personnel or procedure, the uniform application of which is recognized as desirable in the interests of safety, regularity or efficiency of international air navigation, and to which Contracting States will endeavour to conform in accordance with the Convention.
b) Appendices comprising material grouped separately for convenience but forming part of the Standards and Recommended Practices adopted by the Council.
c) Provisions governing the applicability of the Standards and Recommended Practices.
d) Definitions of terms used in the Standards and Recommended Practices which are not self-explanatory in that they do not have accepted dictionary meanings. A definition does not have an independent status but is an essential part of each Standard and Recommended Practice in which the term is used, since a change in the meaning of the term would affect the specification.
2.- Material approved by the Council for publication in association with the Standards and Recommended Practices:
a) Forewords comprising historical and explanatory material based on the action of the Council and including an explanation of the obligations of States with regard to the application of the Standards and Recommended Practices ensuing from the Convention and the Resolution of Adoption.
b) Introductions comprising explanatory material introduced at the beginning of parts, chapters or sections of the Annex to assist in the understanding of the application of the text.
c) Notes included in the text, where appropriate, to give factual information or references bearing on the Standards or Recommended Practices in question, but not constituting part of the Standards or Recommended Practices.
d) Attachments comprising material supplementary to the Standards and Recommended Practices, or included as a guide to their application.
Selection of language
This Annex has been adopted in six languages - English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish. Each Contracting State is requested to select one of those texts for the purpose of national implementation and for other effects provided for in the Convention, either through direct use or through translation into its own national language, and to notify the Organization accordingly.
The following practice has been adhered to in order to indicate at a glance the status of each statement:
Standards have been printed in light face roman; Recommended Practices have been printed in light face italics, the status being indicated by the prefix Recommendation; Notes have been printed in light face italics, the status being indicated by the prefix Note.
The following editorial practice has been followed in the writing of specifications: for Standards the operative verb "shall" is used, and for Recommended Practices the operative verb "should" is used.
Any reference to a portion of this document which is identified by a number includes all subdivisions of that portion.
Throughout this Annex, the use of the male gender should be understood to include male and female persons.
* The Fifteenth Session of the Assembly (Montreal, June-July 1965) subsequently adopted Resolution A15-8, Appendix P, which consolidated and superseded resolving clause 2 of Resolution A14-22 and Resolution A14-27, Appendix P.