Ever wonder what goes into the NTSB determining if an aircraft crash is an accident or incident?
In a new blog post in the NTSB Safety Compass, Mike Hodges, an air safety investigator, and Clint Crookshanks, an aerospace engineer, detail how NTSB officials make the determination.
They start with the definition of each:
An accident is “…an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, and in which any person suffers death or serious injury, or in which the aircraft receives substantial damage.”
While an incident is “…an occurrence other than an accident, associated with the operation of an aircraft, which affects or could affect the safety of operations.”
That leads investigators to focus on damages. Sometimes the damage is quite evident with broken wings or aircraft destroyed by fire.
Other times, the damage isn’t visible to the eye, but still substantial. But investigators often don’t know that until they inspect an aircraft, often finding damage to the fuselage due to a hard landing, for example.
A lot goes into determining if an aircraft has sustained “substantial” damaged. Interestingly, the cost to repair the aircraft is not one of those factors.
To discover the factors that are considered, check out the entire blog post here.