Aircraft Accident Investigation Course Facilitators

Bob Kells

bob-150x150Bob commenced his aviation career with Trans Australian Airlines in the 1970’s and later joined Northern Territory Aerial Works, an Ansett Airlines subsidiary. He has held senior maintenance positions with several general aviation aircraft and helicopters organisations in the Northern Territory and Queensland before joining the then Civil Aviation Authority as a Senior Airworthiness Surveyor in the Darwin office.

Bob left the CAA to join the then Bureau of Air Safety Investigation (BASI) in 1988. He completed basic accident investigation training with National Transportation Safety Board in Washington, USA, and later completed several advanced accident Investigation training course with BASI in Australia.

As a senior investigator Bob has participated in more than 180 on site investigations including Fixed Wing and Helicopters. He was Investigator in Charge (IIC) or Group Leader for more than 70 on site investigations including: 4 major transport safety investigations (Category 2).

Bob’s investigation expertise relates to the airworthiness of the aircraft/helicopters involved in these accidents specifically in respect of mechanical failure.

Bob served for 24 years as a senior investigator with the BASI/ATSB with the last 6 years prior to retirement in 2013, holding the dual role of senior investigator and Lead Trainer. In his role as Lead Trainer, Bob was instrumental in developing the ATSB Aviation Accident Investigation Fundamentals course, initially for its own personnel. The ATSB also offered this training package to various other government agencies including state and federal police, Dept of defence and the CASA and participants from various developing nations.

From 2010 until 2013 Bob was also involved in an Australian Government to Government initiative to train investigation trainers in such countries as Indonesia, Singapore and Papua New Guinea.


  • Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer.
  • Private Pilot License.
  • Diploma of Transport Safety Investigation
  • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment


Arjen Romeyn

joe-150x150Arjen completed tertiary studies at the University of NSW (1970 – 79) focused on the science of materials, their manufacture and use in engineered systems. After several years conducting research into the solidification of alloys, liquid phase sintering of tungsten alloys, and welding of high strength alloys used in defence applications he joined the Department of Aviation (1984) to develop a career in engineered-systems failure analysis.

Over the course of 24 years Arjen, within the organisations responsible for airworthiness and safety investigation (CAA, CASA, BASI, ATSB), contributed to the continuing airworthiness of civil aircraft through the analysis of reported major defects, incidents and accidents. These analyses ranged in scope from wreckage physical evidence to structural and mechanical system failure across the gamut of aircraft types.

A significant number of these analyses resulted in important outcomes:

  • changes in manufacturing, assembly and repair processes,
  • changes in powerplant operation,
  • the development of inspection schemes to detect defects.

Arjen has an extensive experience leading technical investigations involving representatives of manufacturers and operators. He is also an experienced expert witness. Arjen has published numerous technical papers. He has a deep interest in the processes of investigation and understanding of the factors that contribute to a successful investigation outcome. Since 2007 Arjen has worked as a consultant in private practice.


  • BSc., MSc., PhD, University of NSW
  • Member of the Institution of Engineers, Chartered Professional Engineer (retired)
  • Member of the Institute of Materials Engineering Australasia
  • Aircraft Accident Investigation Course, 1998, Southern California Safety Institute


Joe Hattley

joe-hattley-150x150Following a career in aircraft maintenance and engineering in the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force, Joe commenced working in BASI, the predecessor organisation to the ATSB in 1993. He was also qualified in civil aviation as a Licenced Aircraft Maintenance Engineer.

As an aircraft accident investigator for over 22 years, Joe has been involved in a wide range of aircraft accident investigations throughout Australia, gaining experience in accident site management, reading accident site signatures, developing accident investigation reports and safety recommendations. He has also been involved in the training and development of investigators at the ATSB.

Joe has also been involved in international major accident investigations, including visiting the aircraft reconstruction of the TWA-800 B747 aircraft at Long Island, New York, and being assigned to the Indonesian Aircraft Accident Investigation Commission (AAIC) for the investigation into the SilkAir B737 accident near Palembang, Sumatra, both in 1997.
More recently, Joe has been involved in the Australian Government’s Indonesian Transport Safety Assistance Package (ITSAP), providing assistance to the Indonesian National Transport Safety Commission (NTSC) with training and development of its investigators and assisting with the development of accident investigation reports. He has also been involved in training of investigators from a range of South-east Asian countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and the Philippines.
Joe has held the position of Team Manager of Aviation investigations, and is currently the Assistant General Manager of Strategic Capability at the ATSB.

• Diploma of Transport Safety Investigation
• Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
• Associate Diploma of Engineering (Aircraft Maintenance)
• Associate Member of Engineers Australia

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