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
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