Danny49er1997
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Is an NTSB GA crash investigation the same as a commercial crash?

Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:58 pm

In August my friend was flying at Grumman AA-1B at Deer Valley Airport with one of his buddies and right after takeoff he had an engine failure. He declared an emergency and tried to return back and ended up crashing into a tree short of the runway. Both him and the friend he was with were in critical condition. He was put in a comma for a while after and transported to a rehab facility in Denver. He has recently started talking again however his brain isn't fully there yet. Luckily I've recently been able to communicate with him through Snapchat and he appears to be closer to a full recovery everyday. As for his friend his condition wasn't as bad and he supposedly wrote a blog about the accident that I have not been able to find. Anyway as I ask everyone who reads this to keep your prayers for them, I have been wondering how will the NTSB investigation work and how will it be similar to the investigation of an airline accident? As someone who is a fan of the show "Mayday Air Crash Investigation" and has followed many airline accidents from the past, I'm very curious as to what the investigation for this incident will be like. Since it was clearly a mechanical failure, would the Grumman company or someone be liable for the damages? Anyway here's some links to somethings about the accident including a Go fund me page for my friend Brody Burnell that has raised $35,000.
https://www.gofundme.com/bsdf68-brodys-recovery
https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=197082
http://www.azfamily.com/story/36024852/ ... ey-airport
https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.avia ... 0801X65228

Also in the month after the incident I tried hard to find the ATC recordings from the Deer Valley Airport on LiveATC.net since their archives are up for a month, however the tower itself wasn't the main frequency on the site and it seems to have a mix of the tower and approach/departure frequencies so I wasn't able to find the archive of it, would there be anyway to hear the recording from the tower? So glad that Brody and Chandler are okay after a very serious accident :(
Last edited by atcsundevil on Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Shortened title
 
drdisque
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Re: Is an NTSB GA crash investigation the same as a commercial crash?

Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:40 pm

There will be a full investigation but unless something seems unusual, they will only have one or two investigators on it and they may not do much additional research between the "Fact" report and the "Final" report. The Fact report is where they state the facts of the incident as far as they can determine them. Final is where they attempt to distinguish an underlying cause from the facts.

Basically, since they know of the engine failure - they will tear down the engine and attempt to figure out what cause the failure.

They may inspect the likely flight path and the reported altitude of the engine failure and see if an alternative path would have gotten back to the field safely, or they may not.

They may inspect the tree and determine if it is a hazard to aviation.

The fault for the engine failure will either be no fault, the fault of the engine designer, or the fault of the shop that last serviced the engine. They will thoroughly go through the service records on the engine once they figure out what failed.
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: Is an NTSB GA crash investigation the same as a commercial crash?

Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:47 pm

There will certainly be investigations done by the NTSB and the FAA, but they won't be nearly as involved as a commercial aircraft. They simply can't dedicate the resources, particularly when general aviation incidents and accidents are fairly common.

They'll try to determine the cause of the engine failure, and if applicable, offer findings which could have mitigated or prevented the outcome.

Without knowing specifics, an engine failure would be exceedingly difficult to sue a manufacturer. Unless the crash investigation found a manufacturer defect, or there was a known defect that directly led to the outcome, then there just wouldn't be a case. Engine failure on propeller driven aircraft is something like 100x more likely than a jet aircraft, so at the end of the day, it's a known risk on the part of the pilot.

ATC recordings wouldn't do you much good at this stage. They may have declared an emergency with Phoenix Approach, in which case most information would have been relayed via coordination with DVT tower (shout lines, override lines, and landlines wouldn't be on Live ATC, it would only be made accessible in the investigation transcript). When emergencies develop rapidly, we're only focused on getting specifics — nature of the emergency, pilot intentions, and what's needed to best facilitate the emergency. If they had an engine failure, they may have only had enough time to declare an emergency and say they were landing at DVT. If they were talking to P50, the approach controller would have passed the aircraft ID, that he'd suffered an engine failure, would be landing at DVT, and would require equipment (fire and EMS). They'll probably release transcripts with the investigation, but having worked emergencies like this as a controller, I can say with relative confidence that you probably wouldn't learn much more than you already know. When these things happen quickly, we're only focused on getting the information we need, and providing the pilot everything we can to help them get down safely.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Is an NTSB GA crash investigation the same as a commercial crash?

Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:47 pm

Probably not investigated by the NTSB, they delegate light aircraft GA accidents to the FAA usually. The defining factor being visibility of the accident and its potential value for increasing safety in transportation. Hence, JFK Jr’s accident attracted NTSB attention, as did the Handcom Gulfstream accident.
 
Flaps
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Re: Is an NTSB GA crash investigation the same as a commercial crash?

Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:30 pm

Reading the NTSB report it sounds more like a departure stall than an attempted turnback. The tree does not seem to be relavant at all, rather they just happpened to hit that after losing control and the initial impact. First impact was with the perimeter fence then it slid into the tree and road. Not judging by the way, just reading staright out of the report and comparing the photos to the airport and surrounding area.
 
Danny49er1997
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Re: Is an NTSB GA crash investigation the same as a commercial crash?

Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:40 pm

Flaps wrote:
Reading the NTSB report it sounds more like a departure stall than an attempted turnback. The tree does not seem to be relavant at all, rather they just happpened to hit that after losing control and the initial impact. First impact was with the perimeter fence then it slid into the tree and road. Not judging by the way, just reading staright out of the report and comparing the photos to the airport and surrounding area.


What I'm trying to figure out is whether he was trying to make an approach when he hit the tree or if it was just a departure stall. From what I heard he did radio ATC of mechanical problems so I think he was trying to make an approach since he went out a few feet from the runway. But yeah I'm not completely sure on that either which is why I was hoping there was someway to hear the ATC recordings or see a transcript of it.
 
IPFreely
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Re: Is an NTSB GA crash investigation the same as a commercial crash?

Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:39 am

Danny49er1997 wrote:
Since it was clearly a mechanical failure, would the Grumman company or someone be liable for the damages?


If this accident got any press your friend should have had several ambulance-chasing personal injury lawyers contacting him and offering to sue the airplane manufacturer and any and every component manufacturer and service shop that might be remotely involved, all on contingency for a percentage of whatever settlement is reached. Proving liability in court might be difficult-to-impossible unless there was something obvious but most lawyers are just hoping a company or companies will offer a settlement anyway.
 
Danny49er1997
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Re: Is an NTSB GA crash investigation the same as a commercial crash?

Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:14 am

IPFreely wrote:
Danny49er1997 wrote:
Since it was clearly a mechanical failure, would the Grumman company or someone be liable for the damages?


If this accident got any press your friend should have had several ambulance-chasing personal injury lawyers contacting him and offering to sue the airplane manufacturer and any and every component manufacturer and service shop that might be remotely involved, all on contingency for a percentage of whatever settlement is reached. Proving liability in court might be difficult-to-impossible unless there was something obvious but most lawyers are just hoping a company or companies will offer a settlement anyway.



It got quite a bit of local news coverage, including recent updates on his recovery. His go fund me page also raised $35,000!
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Is an NTSB GA crash investigation the same as a commercial crash?

Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:24 am

Who holds the certificate to sue?

GF
 
Danny49er1997
Topic Author
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Re: Is an NTSB GA crash investigation the same as a commercial crash?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:53 am

Here's a video from a few days ago of his girlfriend and another friend visiting him in Colorado and showing his recovery efforts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtSOB41DwrQ
 
benbeny
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Re: Is an NTSB GA crash investigation the same as a commercial crash?

Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:19 am

Is it legal for NTSB report to be used as proof in the court?
 
INFINITI329
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Re: Is an NTSB GA crash investigation the same as a commercial crash?

Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:33 am

benbeny wrote:
Is it legal for NTSB report to be used as proof in the court?


Its public record so its fair game
 
Danny49er1997
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Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:49 pm

Re: Is an NTSB GA crash investigation the same as a commercial crash?

Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:51 am

benbeny wrote:
Is it legal for NTSB report to be used as proof in the court?



I would think no one would have to read the NTSB report to know an engine failure is a mechnicial failure and not anything else. I feel the NTSB report is actually leaving out a lot of detail. I'm just happy ny friend is making a speedy recovery. His mom is a Southwest flight attendent and his dream was to be a Southwest pilot. Hopefully that dream could still come true!

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