Parties to the Investigation

Parties to the Investigation


Under U.S. federal law, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which investigates 2,000 aviation accidents and incidents per year and about 500 accidents in other modes of transportation, is allowed to designate other organizations or companies as "[parties" to its investigations.

Other than the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which by law is automatically designated a party to any aviation investigation, the NTSB has complete discretion over which organizes it designates as parties to an investigation. Only organizations or companies that provide expertise are granted party status, and individuals within those organizations or companies who can provide needed technical or specialized expertise are permitted to serve on an investigation. Individuals in legal or litigation positions cannot be assigned to the investigation.

According to NTSB documentation: "Parties, and party representatives or participants, to an NTSB investigation only participate directly in the fact-finding phase of an NTSB investigation. Although parties are encouraged to submit their own proposed findings and analysis regarding an accident, at the appropriate time, NTSB staff independently conducts its own analyses of the factual information developed during the investigation."

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