NTSB Reports: Final, Fact, Prel?

Wiggums

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What's the difference between Final, Fact, and Prel NTSB accident report? If an accident has changed to Fact, is it finished or will they ever come up with a probable cause?
 

flx757

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A prelim is like an initial notification, all subject to change. The factual is the completed narrative with all the facts. The final will include a breif narrative and probable cause. So, to answer the question, the factual is not the complete report. The Board reviews factual accident reports prior to releasing a probable cause, which sometimes takes time with the amount of reports to review. After that the final report with probable cause becomes available. Even in the extremely rare case where the probable cause is for undetermined reasons, there is still a final report issued.
 

alimaui

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flx757 said:
A prelim is like an initial notification, all subject to change. The factual is the completed narrative with all the facts. The final will include a breif narrative and probable cause. So, to answer the question, the factual is not the complete report. The Board reviews factual accident reports prior to releasing a probable cause, which sometimes takes time with the amount of reports to review. After that the final report with probable cause becomes available. Even in the extremely rare case where the probable cause is for undetermined reasons, there is still a final report issued.

Some times the factual report doesn't exactly have all the facts either. It is not very comforting to know that the NTSB doesn't even go beyond questioning the pilot in some cases.

As he proceeded further in the turn he realized he was approaching the grass medium in-between runway 4 and "c" taxiway. He applied full brakes and the left wing collided with the taxiway sign located in the grass median. NTSB MIA01LA034

This incident actually happened on Taxiway Delta. The pilot, in his confusion said charlie, but no one ever checked (the broken sign or even the location on the runway). Any pilot can verifying the accuracy of this report by looking at the location of R4, Delta, Romeo and Charlie on a diagram of the melbourne airport.

It makes you wonder if a little error like this could be made what else could happen, and what other "small errors" in reporting could be made.

Ali
 

flx757

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alimaui,

It's very easy to criticize something you know nothing about.

Was this accident you referred to a fatal accident? Do you have any idea how many cases a typical field investigator is working on at any given time? Try 40 to 50. Go to the NTSB web site and add up the number of accidents and incidents in any given year. There are only approx. 50 field investigators nationwide to investigate and write reports on all of these accidents and incidents; in addition to sometimes being called to assist the major investigation team from DC on major accidents. Do you have any idea how limited the budget of the NTSB is and how they are constantly fighting for enough money to even add one investigator to the office? You refer to this as an "incident". I doubt that the investigator had the time, nor did this "incident" warrent a visit to the scene. The Safety Board has to prioritize their investigations, and an "incident" such as this will warrent probably no more than telephone interviews.

The attention to detail that goes into investigating an accident where there are actual safety of flight issues (not necessarily one where a student pilot makes a wrong turn-off and clips a taxiway sign), is incredible and time consuming. Every possible scenario is eliminated before a probable cause is determined..even when it seems the cause is obvious.

If you feel this isn't to your satisfaction, write your Congressman. Maybe you can get the Board the money they need to "properly" investigate all accidents and incidents.

IMHO, the NTSB is the ONE federal agency actually doing all they can do to serve the best interest of aviation safety. If you feel you have a better idea, I'm sure they would be willing to listen.

BTW, this factual report did contain the facts--the facts as reported by the pilot involved. Was this you????
 

alimaui

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flx757 said:
alimaui,

It's very easy to criticize something you know nothing about.

Was this accident you referred to a fatal accident? Do you have any idea how many cases a typical field investigator is working on at any given time?

No, this accident was not a fatal accident. No I do not know how many cases an investigator is working on, at any given time.

Do you have any idea how limited the budget of the NTSB is and how they are constantly fighting for enough money to even add one investigator to the office? You refer to this as an "incident". I doubt that the investigator had the time, nor did this "incident" warrent a visit to the scene. The Safety Board has to prioritize their investigations, and an "incident" such as this will warrent probably no more than telephone interviews.

I do understand that bugets are limited, and never did I criticize the difficult job that they do. I have the utmost respect for the people who investigate for the NTSB and all other types of accidents. I understand how trying this type of job can be personally as well as to the family.

And, this accident however insignifant did warrant an investigator to the scene.

The attention to detail that goes into investigating an accident where there are actual safety of flight issues (not necessarily one where a student pilot makes a wrong turn-off and clips a taxiway sign), is incredible and time consuming.

If you feel this isn't to your satisfaction, write your Congressman. Maybe you can get the Board the money they need to "properly" investigate all accidents and incidents.

I understand the great difficulty in pulling apart an accident scene. Like I said above, I do have the utmost respect for those people who faces disastrous scenes daily to make flying safer for me and everyone around me.

I never once said I was dissatisfied with the service now being provided, and I think it was inappropriate for the personal attack on harmless comment that I made.

IMHO, the NTSB is the ONE federal agency actually doing all they can do to serve the best interest of aviation safety. If you feel you have a better idea, I'm sure they would be willing to listen.

Totally agree with you here!

BTW, this factual report did contain the facts--the facts as reported by the pilot involved. Was this you????

Lastly, let me clarify that this was not me. However I did witness this accident so I do know the facts surrounding it. The pilot was also a friend of mine.

The comments I made in my previous post were just addressing the issue that a very simple factual error was made when reporting. Whether the pilot or anyone else reported it as one thing. There was no arguing that the broken sign actually said "D"elta on it. I was simply pointing out that when you see these errors on things you know personally are incorrect, it leads you to question other things that you do not have as much information on.

Once again. I do have a great deal of respect for the NTSB. I am sorry if you feel otherwise. I do feel that for my somewhat harmless post you got your panties in quite a twist and said some things that need not be said in a friendly discussion. But this type of message board is educational for all, and I have learned to choose my words a little more carefully.

Ali
 
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