Report: Not All Plane Crash Investigations Are Handled Equally

Plane crash investigations involving famous people receive more attention from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) than those involving people who are not famous or politically connected, according to a recent report in the USA Today.

The investigation into a plane crash that killed the son of a United States senator involved at least seven investigators, three Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors and four manufacturing companies, according to the report. That’s higher than normal, the report said. Plane Crash Investigations

Special Treatment

A higher number of investigations are used to review private plane crashes when people who are well-known or politically connected are involved in the crash, the report said. Special treatment was given to crashes that killed John F. Kennedy Jr.; Ted Stevens, a former senator; John Denver; and former Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan. Records also show that people who are not well-known but have political ties receive more extensive investigations.

In the case of JFK Jr., at least 56 people were involved in the investigation. That’s compared to the four or five usually involved in similar airplane crash investigations.

Informing the Public

The NTSB said that when someone prominent dies in a plane crash, the public becomes more interested. A larger team is sent for plane crash investigations involving prominent people so that the FAA and NTSB can get the information to the public more quickly.

A manual listing the factors that determine how many officials are sent to a crash site states that the prominence of the victims is a determining factor. The manual directs NTSB offices to notify headquarters if there is a crash involving “public figures or officials of widespread recognition or prominence.”

Unfair to Other Victims?

Lawyers for victims in plane crash investigations that do not involve high-profile individuals say that policy does a disservice to crash victims who are not well-known, according to the report. They also have said that such a policy makes the agencies less credible.

Attorney Group Can Help Plane Crash Victims

When someone is involved in a plane crash, those injuries or the families of those who have died may be eligible for a monetary compensation. Call Attorney Group to discuss your circumstances following a plane crash. If you have a claim, Attorney Group can connect you with an affiliated attorney who can file a lawsuit on your behalf.