Defects in an aircraft can be caused by design flaw, manufacturer flaw or wear and tear from use. Although inspections are performed on the airplane before and after flights, accidents still result from faulty equipment and malfunctioning components. Determining the causes of an aircraft accident is an outcome of a very laborious and often very long investigation process. According to the statistics, currently the human factor has the biggest share within the causal groups. Along with the development of aviation technology came a decline in the number of accidents caused by failures or malfunctions, though such still happen, especially considering aging aircraft. Discovering causes and factors behind an aircraft accident is of crucial significance from the perspective of improving aircraft operational safety. Effective prevention is the basic measure of raising the aircraft reliability level, and the safety-related guidelines must be developed based on verified facts, reliable analysis and logical conclusions. This article presents simulation tests carried out by finite element method and constitutive laboratory tests leading to the explanation of the direct cause of a military aircraft accident. Computer-based simulation methods are particularly useful when it comes to analysing the kinematics of mechanisms and potential stress concentration points. Using computer models enables analysing an individual element failure process, identifying their sequence and locating their primary failure source.