Jan 1, 2000
Recent high-profile commercial aviation mishaps have stretched the National Transportation Safety Board's resources to the limit and are testing the agency's ability to unravel the sorts of complex failures that lead to tragic accidents. In recognizing the enormous challenges the NTSB faces, agency Chairman Jim Hall sought a critical examination of the NTSB's ability to investigate major transportation accidents, and in particular commercial aviation accidents. The results of that study are contained in this report, the most comprehensive examination of the workings of the NTSB in the 30-year history of the agency. Adopting a multidisciplinary approach, RAND used a variety of quantitative and qualitative research techniques to assess the NTSB's operations and processes. This research, conducted in the RAND Institute for Civil Justice, outlines recommendations aimed at strengthening the party process-which involves manufacturers, operators, and others in the determination of the probable cause of an accident expanding the statement of causation modernizing the NTSB's investigative procedures and streamlining its internal processes managing the agency's resources and staffing more effectively developing training opportunities for NTSB staff improving the agency's R&D facilities.
The Institute for Civil Justice
Board of Overseers
The NTSB's Role in Aviation Accident Investigation and NTSB's Operational Baseline
Emerging Aviation Trends: Potential Impact on Aircraft Accident Investigations
Aircrash Litigation: the Liability Environment in Which the NTSB Operates
Staffing, Workload, and Training at the NTSB
Improving NTSB Investigative and Operational Processes
Conclusions and Recommendations
History and Structure of the NTSB
Data Anomalies and Baseline Accident Data
NTSB "Party Pledge"
Results from RAND Skills and Experience Questionnaire
RAND Skills and Experience Questionnaire
Case Study Abstracts