As aviation accidents become more complex, the need to better understand human factors aspects increasingly requires more sophisticated investigative tools and techniques. The capabilities of modern research, engineering, and flight training simulators provide human performance investigators with unique opportunities to reconstruct aviation accidents and test hypotheses regarding possible causal and contributing human factors. Two recent examples - the investigation of a flight test accident in October 2000, and the investigation of the crash of American Airlines flight 587 in November 2001 - highlight the potential role of flight simulation as an investigative tool. Building on these experiences, agencies responsible for accident investigations may consider adopting more formal guidelines for using flight simulation as a tool for understanding human factors in aviation accidents.
(2005). Flight Simulation as an Investigative Tool for Understanding Human Factors in Aviation Accidents. 2005 International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 219-224.