National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs
Washington, DC -- In an address to the International Society of Air Safety Investigators, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Mark V. Rosenker today spoke about how the NTSB improves safety through its transparent, objective and comprehensive approach to accident investigations.
Speaking at the gathering in Herndon, VA, yesterday, Rosenker noted that all documents and records that become part of an NTSB investigation are available to the public. "We believe open access to information provides full transparency and a more complete understanding of the investigation process," Rosenker said. "In this manner we maintain the credibility of the investigation and make a significant contribution to aviation safety in every corner of the world."
Rosenker reminded the group that the Safety Board approaches every accident with a rigorous commitment to objectivity. Referring to the October 2006 accident in which baseball player Cory Lidle's airplane crashed into a high-rise apartment building in Manhattan, Rosenker said, "We didn't let the high profile nature of the accident obscure the facts." On May 1, the NTSB determined that the probable cause of that accident was "the pilot's inadequate planning, judgment and airmanship in the performance of a 180-degree turn maneuver inside of a limited turning space."
In addressing the NTSB's comprehensive approach, Rosenker cited the ongoing investigation of the Comair accident in Lexington, KY, in August 2006, in which 49 people were killed. "We are examining all possible areas including airport markings, construction issues, the notice to airman system, air traffic control procedures, crew resource management, personnel fatigue, and new technologies in the cockpit." The investigation is expected to take at least a year to complete.
Chairman Rosenker also reiterated the Board's view that aircraft in the taxiing and landing phases of operations, at airports of all sizes, are still at much too high of a risk of collision. "The current aircraft movement system, or AMASS, is not sufficient," said Rosenker. "We need ground movement safety systems that will prevent runway incursions at both large and small airports." The call for a new system to prevent runway incursions and ground collisions has been on the NTSB list of Most Wanted safety improvements since 1990.
NTSB Office of Public Affairs: (202) 314-6100
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.