GILS: Aviation Accident Database

Title: Aviation Accident Database

ORIGINATOR:
Department/Agency Name: National Transportation Safety Board
Name of Unit: Office of Aviation Safety
Local Subject Index:
Local Subject Term: US Federal GILS

Abstract: The Aviation Accident Database contains data describing the aircraft, operations, personnel, environmental conditions, consequences, the probable cause, and contributing factors of civil aviation accidents within the United States, its territories and possessions, and in international waters. An accident is defined as "an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, and in which any person suffers death or serious injury, or in which the aircraft receives substantial damage". The Safety Board also investigates some incidents, including them in the database in the same form as accidents. Typically, incidents do not involve the level of injury or damage characteristic of an accident. An incident is defined as "an occurrence other than an accident, associated with the operation of an aircraft, which affects or could affect the safety of operations."

The database comprises three distinct sub-databases, spanning three time periods: 1962 through 1981, 1982, and 1983 to the present. Most data fields, though similar in purpose among the three sub-databases, are incompatible. In all three databases, many fields contain coded value(s) representing selection(s) from a menu of valid choices. Some important fields contain direct entry data and are not standardized, making their use difficult. The oldest database contains only one data set. The two newest databases are each composed of a "core" data set and several related data sets. These data sets include one that contains a short narrative description of the accident and another in which the accident "sequence of events" is encoded using a menu of aircraft components, environmental factors, human actions and conditions, etc. (See the Aviation Coding Manual for further details.) Beginning with accidents that occurred in 1989, there is a data set that contains a narrative description of the probable cause of the accident. Beginning with accidents that occurred in 1994, a narrative description of each accident is available within 5 days of occurrence. As each investigation progresses, its preliminary narrative is replaced with a full description of the accident and its issues, which is sometimes very detailed. The database contains more than 135,000 accidents and incidents.

A newly-designed accident database was implemented by the Safety Board January 1, 2001, and provides standard fields now also available to the incident database maintained by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Purpose: The Aviation Accident Database is used to store information obtained during the investigation and subsequent analysis of aviation accidents and incidents. The database is used as the source of information for the automated production of "brief reports". These reports satisfy the mandate to publish the results of National Transportation Safety Board investigations. The database serves as the basis for periodical statistical reports and is used as a resource for identifying aviation safety problems and trends.

Agency Program: Public Law 93-633 requires the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate and determine the probable cause of all civil aviation accidents in the United States and report its findings in writing. Other requirements include an annual report to the Congress containing a statistical and analytic summary of its investigations and the responsibility to make information related to accident investigations available to the public upon request. The Aviation Accident Database facilitates these activities.

SPATIAL REFERENCE:
Geographic Name:
Geographic Keyword Name: United States
Geographic Keyword Name: United States Territories and Possessions
Geographic Keyword Name: International Waters
Time Period of Content:
Time Period-Structured: 1962-
Time Period-Textual: 1962 - [ongoing]

AVAILABILITY:

DISTRIBUTOR:
Name: Records Management Division (CIO-40)
Organization: National Transportation Safety Board
Street Address: 490 L'Enfant Plaza East, S.W.
City: Washington
State: DC
Zip Code: 20594-0003
Country: USA
Network Address: avdata@ntsb.gov
Hours of Service: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Telephone: 202-314-6554
Telephone: 800-877-6799 (extension 6554)
Fax: 202-314-6599

Order Process: Limited on-line public access to the aviation accident database is available. Or contact the Records Management Division to discuss your information requirements with a staff member and to request a data search. Staff members perform data searches, print up to 100 pages of output, and arrange delivery of the output via telephone, e-mail, fax, mail, or package delivery service. There is no charge for this service; however, package delivery service must be charged to the recipient's account number. The free 100 pages applies ONLY to output from the aviation accident database that is searched by the NTSB. Data output that exceeds 100 pages is printed by contractor at a cost of $0.15 per page plus a shipping and handling fee of $5 per order. Output exceeding 100 pages may also be compressed and written onto requester-provided, IBM-formatted 3.5-inch diskettes at no charge. Free copies of all or portions of the database are available as ASCII files on 9-track, 6250 bits-per-inch magnetic tapes, which must be provided by the requester. Free copies of portions of the database may also be compressed and written onto requester-provided, IBM-formatted 3.5-inch diskettes at no charge.

Technical Prerequisites: To import the raw ASCII data requires a computer with either a 9-track tape drive or a 3.5-inch disk drive capable of reading IBM-formatted diskettes. To make effective use of that data requires software such as a database management system capable of handling up to 400 text, integer, and date-type data fields.

Sources of Data: The data are developed by aviation accident investigators of the National Transportation Safety Board.

Access Constraints: Safety Board staff are not permitted to search the database for a record using a person's name, pilot certificate number, or other personal identifier. This restriction is imposed by the Privacy Act (5 USC 552a as amended). Some fields in the database are free-form text fields. Aircraft make and model and operator (airline) name are two examples. Searches of such non-standardized fields may miss some variants of the specified search criteria.

Use Constraints: Public Law 93-633 and the National Transportation Safety Board's regulations 49 CFR 835 prohibit the use of accident/incident findings, including the probable cause and contributing factors as evidence in any suit or action for damages arising from that event.

POINT OF CONTACT:
Name: Records Management Division (CIO-40)
Organization: National Transportation Safety Board
Street Address: 490 L'Enfant Plaza East, S.W.
City: Washington
State: DC
Zip Code: 20594-0003
Country: USA
Network Address: avdata@ntsb.gov
Hours of Service: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Telephone: 202-314-6554
Telephone: 800-877-6799 (extension 6550)
Fax: 202-314-6599

Schedule Number: Not scheduled

Control Identifier: NTSB0001

RECORD SOURCE:
Department/Agency Name: National Transportation Safety Board
Major Organizational Subdivision: Office of Chief Information Officer
Name of Unit: Records Management Division