Monday, February 23, 2009

Aviation Accidents and Incidents

Question: A relative of mine was involved in a plane crash near Juneau in the summer of 1987. Where can I find more information about the crash?
Answer: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) publish information about aviation accidents and incidents. You can search NTSB’s Accident Database and Synopses, which covers aviation accidents and some incidents occurring after 1962, at http://www.ntsb.gov/NTSB/Query.asp. Available data includes type of aircraft, date and location, airline, type of air carrier operation, severity of any injuries, NTSB’s report status, and preliminary or final report. The full reports are generally not available for events occurring before 1993. Selected major accidents occurring more than ten years ago are also listed at http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/A_Acc2.htm. NTSB retains detailed records and files relating to its accident investigations. For information about reviewing and ordering these documents, see http://www.ntsb.gov/info/sources.htm#PIB.
If the “crash” you are researching was not investigated by NTSB, you may find it in the FAA’s Accident/Incident Data System (AIDS), at http://www.nasdac.faa.gov/. At this page, select the Data & Information tab, then the link for the Accident/Incident Data System. This database covers general aviation and commercial air carrier incidents since 1978. FAA defines “incidents” as “events that do not meet the aircraft damage or personal injury thresholds contained in the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) definition of an accident.”
In addition, you may find articles about the crash in the Juneau Empire or other Alaska newspapers. We have an extensive collection of Alaska newspapers on microfilm. More information about our newspaper collection, including information about ordering microfilm through interlibrary loan, is available on this blog at http://askasl.blogspot.com/search/label/newspapers.

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