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Launched Aug 26 1996.


Web Editorial: How long?

by Ludwig Benner

An editorial opinion by your Webmaster 3/30/99

Problems continue with NTSB reports. A guest editorial at AVWeb by Dan Corich raises serious questions about whether the NTSB asked the right questions or came to the right conclusions about a fatal crash in November 1996 at Quincy IL. The February 1998 IFR Refresher (Vol 12:2) describes the misplaced emphasis in the Board's attribution of blame /cause, including some questionable speculations about what people did. The March 1998 issue describes single aircraft crash for which a photograph exists showing the NTSB incorrectly described radio settings, misleading the analysis. A recent Oliver Ostrich Head in the Sand award candidate referenced an NTSB report which said "The probable cause of the controlled flight into terrain accident was that the pilot descended below the minimum descent altitude for that approach."

Johnson, Ladkin and others are researching the quality of investigation reports and finding significant problems, reinforcing what others have been saying for years.


The TWA 800 investigation - and others -make it evident that NTSB investigations take too long, cost too much and produce delayed or meager results. Add to that list these kinds of errors, and one must begin to wonder how long this kind of work will be tolerated before the public demands major changes?<

Maybe, just maybe, the Rand Report will begin to bring about some badly needed changes. Only time will tell.


In retrospect from 2005, not much changed substantively with investigation processes - most still take too long, cost too much and pruduce delayed or meager results. Only now we have more examples to add to the wind shear, rudder control, crashworthiness and other delayed results. LB