College of Aviation

Robertson Aircraft Accident Investigation Laboratory

Lab Information

Number: RASC I

Robertson Aircraft Accident Investigation Laboratory

The Robertson Aircraft Crash Investigation Laboratory, located at ERAU's Prescott Campus, offers students the opportunity to conduct simulated hands-on field investigation of selected aircraft accident scenarios. The eight-acre facility, which is adjacent to the RASC 1 building, includes 9 fully recreated field scenario sites, 2 other partial recreations as well as more primitive areas in which crash simulations can be set up. Current inventory at the lab includes a variety of actual accident aircraft such as a Cessna 401, a Piper PA-28-161, a VARGA KACHINA, a SNOW Agplane, a Cessna 140, a Quickie Q2 homebuilt aircraft, a half-scale homebuilt Focke-Wulf 190, a Hughes 269 helicopter, a "Glasflugel" glider, a C-172N involved in a midair at Prescott and the Scenic Airlines C208 Caravan accident from Montrose, Colorado. A recent upgrade of the lab will incorporate another full-scale accident scenario involving a Robinson R-44 fire accident. A thermodynamics laboratory is currently completing construction which will allow research into the effects of fire on materials and structures. The lab is used by the regular academic courses at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. It is also used by students in the professional programs short courses and for special outreach events involving a variety of other schools, safety organizations and safety-related entities. Continued enhancement of the Crash Lab will provide a key component for the Safety Institute as well as the academic safety programs at Prescott.