Accident – means an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which, in the case of a manned aircraft, takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight until such time as all such persons have disembarked, or in the case of an unmanned aircraft, takes place between the time the aircraft is ready to move with the purpose of flight until such time it comes to rest at the end of the flight and the primary propulsion system is shut down, in which:

  • a person is fatally or seriously injured as a result of:
  • being in the aircraft, or,
  • direct contact with any part of the aircraft, including parts which have become detached from the aircraft, or,
  • direct exposure to jet blast,

except when the injuries are from natural causes, self-inflicted or inflicted by other persons, or when the injuries are to stowaways hiding outside the areas normally available to the passengers and crew; or

  • the aircraft sustains damage or structural failure which adversely affects the structural strength, performance or flight characteristics of the aircraft, and would normally require major repair or replacement of the affected component, except for engine failure or damage, when the damage is limited to a single engine, (including its cowlings or accessories), to propellers, wing tips, antennas, probes, vanes, tires, brakes, wheels, fairings, panels, landing gear doors, windscreens, the aircraft skin (such as small dents or puncture holes) or minor damages to main rotor blades, tail rotor blades, landing gear, and those resulting from hail or bird strike, (including holes in the radome); or
  • the aircraft is missing or is completely inaccessible.

Accredited representative – means a person designated by a State, on the basis of his or her qualifications, for the purpose of participating in a safety investigation conducted by another State. An accredited representative designated by a Member State shall be from a safety investigation authority.

ADREP (Accident/Incident Data Reporting) – is a system operated and maintained by ICAO. The ADREP system receives, stores and provides States with occurrence data that will assist them in validating safety.

Adviser – means a person appointed by a State, on the basis of his or her qualifications, for the purpose of assisting its accredited representative in a safety investigation.

Aeroplane – a power-driven heavier-than-air aircraft, deriving its lift in flight chiefly from aerodynamic reactions on surfaces which remain fixed under given conditions of flight.

Air traffic – means the movement of all aircraft during flight and on the maneuvering area of the aerodrome.

Aircraft – means a machine that can derive support in the atmosphere from the reactions of the air other than the reactions of the air against the earth’s surface.

Anonymisation  means the removal from occurrence reports of all personal details relating to the reporter and to the persons mentioned in occurrence reports and any details, including the name of the organisation(s) involved in the occurrence, which may reveal the identity of the reporter or of a third party or lead to that information being inferred from the occurrence report.

Causes – means actions, omissions, events, conditions, or a combination thereof, which led to the accident or incident; the identification of causes does not imply the assignment of fault or the determination of administrative, civil or criminal liability.

Central Reporting Database (CBZ) – virtual database generally, configured to receive notifications on aviation occurrences, both in a mandatory and voluntary system, as well as anonymously. CBZ was operating in Poland from 2018 to 2023, when it was replaced by the ECCAIRS system.

Contributing factors – actions, omissions, events, conditions, or a combination thereof, which, if eliminated, avoided or absent, would have reduced the probability of the accident or incident occurring, or mitigated the severity of the consequences of the accident or incident. The identification of contributing factors does not imply the assignment of fault or the determination of administrative, civil or criminal liability.

Corrective actions – actions taken after the occurrence that aim to remove or reduce the effects of the occurrence.

Disidentified information – means information arising from occurrence reports from which all personal data such as names or addresses of natural persons have been removed.

Draft final report – a document summarizing the safety investigation, that is subjected to consultation with interested entities and States, containing, among others: factual information, analysis, conclusions, safety recommendations. Depending on the event class, the draft final report is developed by the PKBWL investigation team, PKBWL member or a designated entity under the supervision of PKBWL member.

European Aviation Safety Plan – means safety issues assessment and the related action plan at European level.

European Aviation Safety Programme – means the integrated set of regulations at Union level, together with the activities and processes used to jointly manage the safety of civil aviation at European level.

European Central Repository (ECR) – Repository that is used to store all occurrence reports collected in the European Union.

European Co-ordination Centre for Accident and Incident Reporting Systems (ECCAIRS) – is a cooperative network of civil aviation authorities and safety investigation authorities in Europe. The project is being managed by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (DG JRC) on request of the Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) and in close co-operation with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)– is an agency of the European Union (EU), based in Cologne, Germany established in by Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of the European parliament and the Council in order to ensure: a high and uniform level of safety in civil aviation for the EU citizens,  the highest level of environmental protection, unifying the regulatory and certification process in the Member States, supporting the single aviation market and creating conditions for equal treatment within it, as well as cooperation with other international aviation organizations and lawmakers.

Event notification – a formal notification of an occurrence that is sent by the safety investigation authority of one State to the safety investigation authority of another State, generally in writing letter, with the content that is described in Annex 13, Chapter 4 NOTIFICATION.

Fatal injury – means an injury which is sustained by a person in an accident and which results in his or her death within 30 days of the date of the accident.

Final report – is an investigation report on the occurrence that pose a basis for taking proper actions to prevent similar incidents in the future. The final report shall answer the questions of what happened, how it happened and why. The final report shall contain a description of the facts, analysis, conclusions and causes and/or contributing factors of the occurrence and, in justified cases, safety recommendations.

Flight recorder – means any type of recorder installed in the aircraft for the purpose of facilitating accident/incident safety investigations.

Hazard a condition or an object with the potential to cause or contribute to an aircraft incident or accident

Helicopter – a heavier-than-air aircraft supported in flight chiefly by the reactions of the air on one or more power-driven rotors on substantially vertical axes

Incident – means an occurrence, other than an accident, associated with the operation of an aircraft which affects or could affect the safety of operation.

Interim statement – if it is not possible to publish the final report within twelve months from the occurrence of the occurrence, PKBWL issues an interim statement on each anniversary of the event, informing about the progress of the investigation.

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) – is a specialized agency of the United Nations composed of contracting states whose purpose is to develop the principles and techniques of international aviation and to foster the planning and development of international air transport.

Investigator-in-charge (IIC) – means a person charged, on the basis of his or her qualifications, with responsibility for the organisation, conduct and control of a safety Investigation.

Just culture – means a culture in which front-line operators or other persons are not punished for actions, omissions or decisions taken by them that are commensurate with their experience and training, but in which gross negligence, wilful violations and destructive acts are not tolerated

Major accident investigation – an investigation into an accident involving a large aircraft and usually involving fatalities.

National Civil Aviation Safety Program – an integrated set of regulations and activities that aim to increase the level of safety.

Notifying an occurrence – (as defined by EU regulations) notification to SCAAI about the occurrence that took place in Poland via CBZ/ECCAIRS, or by telephone, fax or email.

Occurrence – means any safety-related event which endangers or which, if not corrected or addressed, could endanger an aircraft, its occupants or any other person and includes in particular an accident or serious incident.

Operational personnel – personnel involved in aviation activities who are in a position to report safety information.

PKBWL investigation team – is a group of persons assigned to investigate a given occurrence, which, depending on the needs, consists of PKBWL members, PKBWL experts and representatives of other bodies and entities approved by PKBWL.

Preliminary report – is a communication used for the prompt dissemination of data obtained during the early stages of the investigation, issued no later than 30 days from the date of the event. The preliminary report is prepared after the occurrence of:

  1. accident to aircraft over 2 250 kg;
  2. accident to aircraft of 2 250 kg or less and when airworthiness or matters considered to be of interest to other States are involved.

The preliminary report is sent to the President of the CAA and to foreign entities. In the case of issues directly related to safety, then a preliminary report is sent as soon as information is obtained, by the most appropriate and quickest means available.

Preventive actions – actions that aim to reduce the identified threat or risk in order to prevent accidents and incidents in the future.

Simplified report – contains the same points as the full report, with the difference that some points contain an annotation “not applicable”, which means that there was no need to investigate a given aspect of the occurrence.

Reporter – means a natural person who reports an occurrence or other safety-related information.

Resolution – is a safety investigation document that is used in a supervised investigation.

Safety – the state in which risks associated with aviation activities, related to, or in direct support of the operation of aircraft, are reduced and controlled to an acceptable level.

Safety investigation – means a process conducted by a safety investigation authority for the purpose of accident and incident prevention which includes the gathering and analysis of information, the drawing of conclusions, including the determination of cause(s) and/or contributing factors and, when appropriate, the making of safety recommendations.

Safety investigation authority (SIA) – foreign equivalent of the SCAAI, that means the permanent national civil aviation safety investigation authority conducting or supervising safety investigations

Safety management system (SMS) – means a systematic approach to managing aviation safety including the necessary organisational structures, accountabilities, policies and procedures, and includes any management system that, independently or integrated with other management systems of the organisation, addresses the management of safety.

Safety performance – a State or a service provider’s safety achievement as defined by its safety performance targets and safety performance indicators.

Safety performance target – the State or service provider’s planned or intended target for a safety performance indicator over a given period that aligns with the safety objectives

Safety recommendation – means a proposal of PKBWL or other safety investigation authority, based on information derived from a safety investigation or other sources such as safety studies, made with the intention of preventing accidents and incidents; which in no way is intended to create an indication of blame or liability for an accident or incident. In addition to recommendations resulting from accident and incident investigations, recommendations may be derived from other sources, including safety analyses.

Safety recommendation of global concern (SRGC) – a safety recommendation regarding a systemic deficiency having a probability of recurrence, with significant consequences at a global level, and requiring timely action to improve safety.

Safety risk – the predicted probability and severity of the consequences or outcomes of a hazard.

Sailplane – means a heavier-than-air aircraft that is supported in flight by the dynamic reaction of the air against its fixed lifting surfaces, the free flight of which does not depend on an engine.

Serious incident – an incident involving circumstances indicating that there was a high probability of an accident and associated with the operation of an aircraft which, in the case of a manned aircraft, takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight until such time as all such persons have disembarked, or in the case of an unmanned aircraft, takes place between the time the aircraft is ready to move with the purpose of flight until such time as it comes to rest at the end of the flight and the primary propulsion system is shut down.

Serious injury – an injury which is sustained by a person in an accident and which:

  1. requires hospitalization for more than 48 hours, commencing within seven days from the date the injury was received; or
  2. results in a fracture of any bone (except simple fractures of fingers, toes or nose); or
  3. involves lacerations which cause severe haemorrhage, nerve, muscle or tendon damage; or
  4. involves injury to any internal organ; or
  5. involves second- or third-degree burns, or any burns affecting more than 5 per cent of the body surface; or
  6. involves verified exposure to infectious substances or injurious radiation.

Standards and recommended practices (SARPs) – means international standards and recommended practices for aircraft accident and incident investigation adopted in accordance with Article 37 of the Chicago Convention.

State of design – the State having jurisdiction over the organization responsible for the type design.

State of manufacturer – the State having jurisdiction over the organization responsible for the final assembly of the aircraft.

State of occurrence – the State in the territory of which an accident or incident occurs.

State of the operator – the State in which the operator’s principal place of business is located or, if there is no such place of business, the operator’s permanent residence.

State Safety Programme (SSP) – means an integrated set of legal acts and activities aimed at managing civil aviation safety in a Member State.

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