NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
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NTSB CHAIRMAN TESTIFIES BEFORE CONGRESS ON THE HUDSON RIVER AIRSPACE AND MANAGEMENT OF UNCONTROLLED AIRSPACE CORRIDORS

September 16, 2009

Washington, DC - NTSB Chairman Deborah A. P. Hersman testified today on the status of the ongoing investigation into the mid-air collision over the Hudson River. The collision occurred on August 8 between a helicopter and an airplane.  All 9 persons on board both aircraft were killed.

Chairman Hersman provided an overview of the ongoing investigation based on facts that have been identified to date. The testimony did not provide any analysis or conclusions on what may have caused the accident.

At the hearing before the Subcommittee on Aviation on Transportation and Infrastructure, Hersman noted that the Safety Board has identified some areas of concern that have prompted the Board to issue safety recommendations early in its investigation. 

"We issued early recommendations prior to the conclusion of our investigation because this accident demonstrated that there is a need for new procedures to be put in place to minimize the risk of collision," said Chairman Hersman.  "The Federal Aviation Administration has taken quick action to address operational changes in the Hudson corridor.  We are reviewing their proposal to determine if it meets the intent of our recommendations."

Also during her testimony, Chairman Hersman presented an animation depicting the accident sequence.  The animation was created based on radar data and audio from Air Traffic Control communications. 

The full text of Chairman Hersman's testimony is available on the Board's web site.

NTSB Media Contact:
Keith Holloway
(202) 314-6100
hollowk@ntsb.gov  

 

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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.