When watching the evening news last night the news anchor kept saying the NTSB reports or NTSB is investigating... I got to wondering how many people actually know what the NTSB stands for or what they do. So today, I thought I'd talk a little bit about this agency.
NTSB is the "National Transportation Safety Board," which investigates every civil aviation accident, no matter how small, and is generally called in for any significant accident in the other modes of transportation, like trains and roadways. When the NTSB was formed in 1967 it was part of the Department of Transportation, but in 1975 it was made an independent agency, which means it has its own budget and administrative staff. It has investigated 124,000 aviation accidents and over 10,000 surface transportation accidents since 1967. If you'd like to read more about it's history and the laws and rules of the agency, check out the NTSB's "History and Mission" web site. I would link to information on the crash in Lexington, Kentucky here, but the NTSB makes it a policy not to release information on the cause of a crash until a through investigation has been made, which can take up to 12 to 18 months. Generally, a preliminary report will come out within a week of the accident, but it has not come out yet. If you are interested in learning more about a particular aviation accident, the NTSB has a database of accident reports, as well as a collection of aviation accident statistics.
For those of you who want to know what some of the other government acronyms (CIA, ATF, etc.) stand for, check out our List of Government Acronyms.