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August 13, 2012
When a plane crashes, two federal agencies investigate the causes of the accident: the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Whereas the FAA is a federal regulating agency, the NTSB is an independent government agency.
The NTSB investigates every civil aviation accident in the U.S. and also has the authority to cite the FAA for regulatory issues. Each year, the board receives about 2,500 accident reports.
After a plane crash that involves a fatality, the NTSB will publish its first preliminary report within five days. The report will have the basic information about the crash, such as the date, time, and type of flight.
Then, the NTSB will begin a thorough fact finding investigation, portions of which will be posted online as completed, according to the Juneau Empire.
An autopsy is required for any pilot who dies in a plane accident. A state examiner medical office conducts the autopsy, but the results of an autopsy will not be known for another three to four weeks since tissue samples will be sent to the FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute.
Nine months to a year later, when the final report is finished, it will be sent to the NTSB in Washington, D.C.
If you or someone you know has had his or her safety compromised in a commercial aviation accident, the aviation accident lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy may be able to help.
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