June 14, 2019

The NTSB and the FAA: What Roles does Each Play in an Aircraft Accident?

If you or a loved one has been involved in an aircraft accident, you may be wondering about the intricacies involved with how the federal government deals with the aftermath of the accident. An aircraft accident attorney can help you better understand what’s at stake and who determines the consequences of an aircraft accident.

The two main players involved after an aircraft accident are the National Transportation Security Board, or the NTSB, and the Federal Aviation Administration, or the FAA.

Each of these is designed to handle different aspects of the post-accident paperwork and procedures in different ways.

What is the NTSB?

The NTSB is an independent governmental agency charged with investigating every civil aviation accident that occurs within the United States. They have also been known to investigate some international aviation accidents. The international aviation accidents which the NTSB are often charged with investigating are accidents which involve an airline based in the United States, accidents concerning an aircraft that was supposed to arrive in the United States, and accidents involving aircraft that departed from the United States.

What role does the NTSB play in an aircraft accident?

In the event of an aviation accident, the NTSB will conduct an objective investigation. They will also issue further safety recommendations for the future as well as assist any victims and their families.

The number of NTSB staff assigned to a particular aviation accident can vary. For major investigations, a “go team” of NTSB employees may be sent to the scene of the accident to investigate what happened. However, for more general accidents, only one or two specialists will be sent to conduct the NTSB’s thorough investigation.

One of the important aspects of an NTSB investigation is that their team or specialist will provide information as to what the probable cause of the aviation accident might have been. This information can be very helpful to your legal team if you were involved in this accident and are seeking compensation or filing a claim.

What is the FAA?

The FAA is a part of the Department of Transportation or the DOT. This branch of the DOT is responsible for oversight of all aspects of aviation in the United States. The FAA is responsible for air traffic control at airports all around the country, as well as setting the standards and regulations for aircraft construction, maintenance, and care. They are also responsible for training pilots who wish to fly aircraft.

What role does the FAA play in an aircraft accident?

When an aviation accident occurs in the United States, the FAA may take part in the investigation being conducted by the NTSB. They may join in the investigation to best determine whether any of its regulations were violated, whether any safety issues occurred and whether any further legal action needs to be considered on behalf of the DOT and the United States government.

However, not all aviation accidents will conclusively warrant an FAA investigation.

Other agencies that may be involved

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, or the FBI, may become involved with the aftermath of an aircraft accident if there is some proof that a national security breach or an act of domestic terrorism may have played a role in the accident.

If the accident occurs at an airport, local law enforcement, as well as firefighters, medical workers, and airport staff may play roles in the mitigation of damages as well as the subsequent investigation as well.

Final thoughts

If you believe that the aircraft accident you or a loved one was involved in is something you should seek legal assistance for, it’s important to look for an aircraft accident attorney like Terry Cochran, and Eileen Kroll who have the skill and experience necessary to work with your case and see it through to the finish. If you are seeking legal representation, consider an attorney from Cochran, Kroll and Associates, P.C. For a FREE consultation call our law firm at 1-866-MICH-LAW (1-866-642-4529). We never charge a fee unless a recovery is made.

Ms. Barry is studying Communications at the University of Pennsylvania. She has won multiple awards both for her persuasive and creative writing and has written extensively on the topics of medical malpractice law, personal and birth injury law, product liability law. When she’s not researching and writing about these topics, she edits a literary magazine and tutors students at Penn’s writing center.

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