Categories: Plane Accident

National Transportation Safety Board Airplane Investigations

While flying may be designated to one of the safest ways to travel, the reality is that accidents happen even with planes. As noted in previous articles, the key consideration that decides what legal claim can be brought against and which defendants to sue is determined by the cause of the airplane accident. Determining the cause of the accident is a role carried out by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). This article will discuss the investigation process of the NTSB in order to come up with a determination as to the cause of an airplane accident.

It is important to note that when an airplane accident occurs it may result in injuries to persons on the plane and/or fatalities. If you have been injured in an airplane accident or are a family member of a person who died in an airplane accident seek out the assistance of an experienced attorney who specializes in plane accident Wasilla [].

The key determining factor as to the extent and scope of any airplane accident investigation is dependent upon the nature of the accident that needs to be investigated. However, a general investigative process is undertaken by the NTSB and this involves the following:

  • Notification of an investigation and the decision to carry it out
  • Gathering of facts at the site of the accident
  • Extensive analysis of these facts and making a determination of the probable or likely cause of the accident
  • Acceptance of the final report
  • Safety recommendation that arrives from the investigation and advocated in order for them to be accepted

In as much as the process appears to be in a chronological order it does not necessarily work that way; phases of the process may overlap and are not necessarily linear. For example, the investigators may analyze weather information while awaiting the discovery of the airplane’s black box [How Black Boxes Work | HowStuffWorks]. When it comes to determining the time frame between the start of the investigation and coming up with a determination as to what the cause of the airplane accident was and compiling a report this varies greatly depending on how complex the investigation is and what the investigators’ workload is like. However, it can generally take the NTSB between 12 to 24 months to complete an investigation; that being said many factors come into play in determining the timing.

For an investigation to actually start it requires the NTSB to be notified of the aircraft accident and then the leadership makes a decision as to launching an investigation. More often than not the decision to launch the investigation is made immediately after an accident has occurred. However, there are some instances whereby the critical nature of safety issues that are uncovered during an investigation by another authority may necessitate the involvement of the NTSB. Where investigations take a criminal turn as being a part of the cause of the airplane crash, other agencies may become involved in the investigation as the NTSB does not investigate any criminal activity. They are solely to focus on transportation safety and coming up with the determination of the probable cause of the accident.

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