Report an Aircraft Accident to the NTSB

If you are an operator in aviation, Federal regulations require you to notify the NTSB immediately of aviation accidents and certain incidents. See 49 CFR 830.

If you witnessed an accident, please read the Witness Reports section on this page.

Download A Guide to Responding to A Transportation Accident

Contact Us

Call our 24-hour Response Operations Center (ROC) at 844-373-9922. After you call us, we might ask you for a follow-up written description. When you call, have the following information on hand:

  • Type, nationality, and registration marks of the aircraft;
  • Name of owner, and operator of the aircraft;
  • Name of the pilot-in-command;
  • Date and time of the accident;
  • Last point of departure and point of intended landing of the aircraft;
  • Position of the aircraft with reference to some easily defined geographical point;
  • Number of persons aboard, number killed, and number seriously injured;
  • Nature of the accident, the weather and the extent of damage to the aircraft, so far as is known;
  • A description of any explosives, radioactive materials, or other dangerous articles carried.

Next Steps for Operators

After evaluating a reported accident or incident, we will determine whether we will conduct the investigation. If we investigate the event, an investigator will contact you for more information.

Our investigator will require you to complete NTSB Form 6120.1 – Pilot Operator Aircraft Accident/Incident Report. You can edit and save the form-fillable version repeatedly, using the free Adobe Acrobat Reader (or equivalent software). Or simply print it and fill it out manually.

DO NOT submit the form until an investigator contacts you with instructions regarding where to send the form. Forms can be submitted by email, FAX, or traditional postal services.

DO NOT submit a report form in lieu of providing an initial notification of an aircraft accident to the ROC.

Preserve the Scene

As the operator of the aircraft involved in an accident, you are responsible for preserving aircraft wreckage, recorders, documents, etc., until such time as the NTSB or its authorized representative takes custody of such items. See 49 CFR 830.10.

Wreckage may be disturbed only to:

  • remove persons injured or trapped;
  • protect the wreckage from further damage; or
  • protect the public from injury.

After being notified of an accident, we may or may not take custody of wreckage. The investigator-in-charge may immediately release some or all of the wreckage for transport/recovery from the accident site. If you have any questions about whether to move wreckage, contact the investigator assigned to the case, or the ROC.

Witness Reports

If you witnessed an aircraft accident and would like to provide the NTSB with a statement of your observations, please prepare a statement and email it to Please be sure to include a telephone number so that an investigator can contact you if necessary.


See 49 CFR 830.2​​

Accident: an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft that takes place between boarding and the time that all on board have disembarked, including but not limited to occurrences in which anybody dies or is seriously injured, or in which the aircraft is substantially damaged. The definition of “aircraft accident” includes “unmanned aircraft accident” and additional details are provided below.

Unmanned aircraft accident: an occurrence associated with the operation of any public or civil unmanned aircraft system that takes place between the time that the system is activated with the purpose of flight and the time that the system is deactivated at the conclusion of its mission, in which any person suffers death or serious injury; or in certain circumstances, the aircraft sustains substantial damage.

Incident: an occurrence other than an accident that affects or could affect the safety of operations.