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  #11  
Old 07-25-2017, 11:54 AM
rv8ch rv8ch is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillL View Post
... and maybe a little surprised that it was being closely read. ...
Gobsmacked - this is probably the first time in my life I've used this word, and I think it's perfectly appropriate here.

BillL, I have to admire your "out of the box thinking" to call this guy up to discuss it. It seems like such an obvious thing to do, but I doubt I would have thought of doing that in 100 years. I guess you can pass on to him the fact that 1000s of people read these reports meticulously, both trying to learn how to avoid ending up in one of these reports, and if it does happen, how to not look like a knucklehead.
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  #12  
Old 07-25-2017, 01:11 PM
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RV8JD RV8JD is offline
 
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The NTSB does a better job of investigating GA accidents now than they did in previous decades, but not nearly as well as commercial airliner accidents, train accidents, or bus accidents. They just don't commit (or have) the money and resources necessary for an in-depth investigation of GA accidents. Some other country's accident investigation organizations often do a good job on GA accidents (Canada and Australia come to mind).

But it's to Mr. Nixon's credit (and the NTSB) that corrections will be made. My wife and I were in a partnership with a friend (Dave) and his wife in a Rolladen-Schneider LS1-f sailplane. In October 1978, my partner was flying the sailplane and was involved in a midair collision with a Piper Saratoga on a CAVU day. Dave and 4 people in the Saratoga perished in the accident. The NTSB did a quick investigation, and there were several factual errors in the final report. As co-owner of the sailplane, I pointed these out to the single investigator assigned to the accident. He was adamant that there were no errors and would not change a thing. One that sticks in my mind: The investigator misidentified the Variometer, which is a sensitive rate-of-climb indicator, with a "g"-meter. I explained what a Variometer was, and told him the there was no "g"-meter installed in the sailplane. He was adamant that he knew what a "g'-meter looked like and that (Variometer) was a "g"-meter! I should note that in this case the factual errors did not affect the Probable Cause finding (i.e., The pilots of both aircraft failed to see and avoid each other.)

So I'm always a little bit skeptical of NTSB GA accident reports, but not so much of commercial airline accident reports, which are usually well investigated.
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Last edited by RV8JD : 07-25-2017 at 04:06 PM.
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  #13  
Old 07-25-2017, 02:13 PM
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rv7boy rv7boy is offline
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There are photos available, in the Document Management System.

I assume everyone has access to this link:

https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms/search/h...5E239E3BE61D8C

Or as an embedded link, click here.

I haven't studied these photos intensely. There are three in Section 14, "Onsite Pictures," and there is one photo of interest in Section 10, "Airframe and Engine Examination Report." By hitting the enlarge button, a lot more detail can be seen. I wish we had more photos to view. I'm quite confident they made a lot more photos. I'd like to see the photo of that splayed "aileron cable" they described.

P.S. I found more photos in Section 2, "Structures Group Chairman's Factual Report - Appendix A - Figures."

I'd rather not speculate, but there is a lot to be learned by studying these photos.
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Last edited by rv7boy : 07-25-2017 at 03:06 PM.
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  #14  
Old 07-25-2017, 02:28 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OkieDave View Post
This. Also, if there's ever a lawsuit, the discrepancy is going to be highly relevant. That's the sort of thing defense attorneys dream of.
It's my understanding that, as a point of law, NTSB reports are not admissible in court. The government has exempted itself from that can of worms.
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  #15  
Old 07-25-2017, 02:45 PM
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RV8JD RV8JD is offline
 
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Another interesting error, this one from the "Airframe and Engine Examination Report":
"2.0 Engine and Components Examination

Examination of the ECI/Titan IO-360 engine, serial number 09-70 revealed that it remained attached to the airframe by the engine mounts. The engine accessories remained attached to the engine via their respective mounts. All rocker covers were removed and the cylinder overhead areas were lubricated and unremarkable. The oil quantity stick read about 3 gallons. The crankshaft was unable to be rotated by hand utilizing the propeller due to impact damage to the top of the engine. A borescope inspection of the cylinders revealed evidence of normal operational conditions."
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Arlington, WA (KAWO)
RV-8, 210 Tach Hours
(Pic 1)
RV-8, 1932 Tach Hours
(Pic 1), (Pic 2), (Pic 3) - Sale Pending
Glasflügel H-201B Standard Libelle, N564NS - Sold
Rolladen-Schneider LS1-f, N61MP - No longer owned

Last edited by RV8JD : 07-25-2017 at 03:16 PM.
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  #16  
Old 07-25-2017, 03:11 PM
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airguy airguy is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobTurner View Post
It's my understanding that, as a point of law, NTSB reports are not admissible in court. The government has exempted itself from that can of worms.
The conclusions of the probable cause are not admissible. Factual findings of physical evidence are. Considering the enormous implications in a court of law of these error in the fact-finding, this is a serious issue for the NTSB. This is negligence at best, IMHO.
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Built an off-plan 9A with too much fuel and too much HP. Should drop dead any minute now.

Last edited by airguy : 07-25-2017 at 03:14 PM.
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  #17  
Old 07-25-2017, 03:43 PM
OkieDave OkieDave is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobTurner View Post
It's my understanding that, as a point of law, NTSB reports are not admissible in court. The government has exempted itself from that can of worms.
That would be news to me; there's a very famous Supreme Court case (Beech Aircraft Corporation v. Rainey, 488 U.S. 153 (1988)) directly on point about the admissibility of accident reports. Granted, that was a Navy investigation, not an NTSB investigation, but the case was about the admissibility of public records. From Wikipedia:
Quote:
Beech Aircraft Corporation v. Rainey, 488 U.S. 153 (1988), was a United States Supreme Court case that addressed a longstanding conflict among the Federal Courts of Appeals over whether Federal Rule of Evidence 803(8)(C), which provides an exception to the hearsay rule for public investigatory reports containing "factual findings," extends to conclusions and opinions contained in such reports. The court also considered whether the trial court abused its discretion in refusing to admit, on cross-examination, testimony intended to provide a more complete picture of a document about which the witness had testified on direct.
The Court held, generally, that the JAG report was fully admissible, not just as to factual findings but also as to conclusions and opinions, to wit:
Quote:
The Court reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeals on the Rule 803(8)(C) issue. In the Court's holding, the Court stated: "We hold, therefore, that portions of investigatory reports otherwise admissible under Rule 803(8)(C) are not inadmissible merely because they state a conclusion or opinion. As long as the conclusion is based on a factual investigation and satisfies the Rule's trustworthiness requirement, it should be admissible along with other portions of the report." The Court also agreed with the Court of Appeals that the District Court erred, stating "We agree with the unanimous holding of the Court of Appeals en banc that the District Court erred in refusing to permit Rainey to present a more complete picture of what he had written to Morgan. We have no doubt that the jury was given a distorted and prejudicial impression of Rainey's letter."
If the NTSB is different, I'd love to know why; if nothing else, the report--and its change history--ought to be admissible to impeach the credibility of the witness (the investigator who prepared the report, and possibly other investigators as well).

Incidentally, I think Rainey is ripe for re-examination, albeit for slightly different reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by airguy View Post
The conclusions of the probable cause are not admissible. Factual findings of physical evidence are. Considering the enormous implications in a court of law of these error in the fact-finding, this is a serious issue for the NTSB. This is negligence at best, IMHO.
Again, please cite as to why they're not admissible if you can; that is directly contrary to Rainey, and I'd love to know more.
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  #18  
Old 07-25-2017, 04:11 PM
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airguy airguy is offline
 
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Only took about 30 seconds with Google. You reference Rainey which occurred in 1988 - this slightly more recent reference from 2006 discusses your Rainey decision and several that came after it, including an amendment to section 835.2 dated 1998 which clearly delineates that the final conclusion of the NTSB is NOT admissible, but the factual findings ARE.

http://www.elrodtrial.com/docs/publications/Article%20-%20Get%20in%200r%20keep%20out%20govt%20docs%20in%2 0aviation%20cases.pdf
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N16GN flying! http://websites.expercraft.com/airguy/
Built an off-plan 9A with too much fuel and too much HP. Should drop dead any minute now.

Last edited by airguy : 07-25-2017 at 04:20 PM.
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  #19  
Old 07-25-2017, 04:23 PM
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RV8JD RV8JD is offline
 
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Historically, the purpose of the NTSB investigations have been to find the probable cause and develop safety recommendations to help ensure that the accident won't happen again in the future. The NTSB findings have not been admissible to ensure an unbiased investigation. The sole purpose of the investigations are to improve aviation safety.

Here is a ruling from the Seventh Circuit Court when it was questioned (in Oct. 2015):

http://www.planelyspokenblog.com/wp-...-Decision1.pdf

The above Court Ruling cites 49 CFR 831.4, 49 U.S.C. 1131(e), and another court case, which reiterates the purpose of the NTSB investigations that I mentioned above. It also states that:
"The Board's investigations "are not conducted for the purpose of determining the rights or liabilities of any person.""
http://www.planelyspokenblog.com/nts...not-admissible
"In dismissing the appeal of Helicopters, Inc. [Link], the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has concluded that accident reports from the NTSB are not reviewable since:

- the reports do not create any legal repercussions or consequences for, in this case, Helicopters, Inc. the owner/operator of a helicopter which crashed.

- the reports may not be admitted into evidence or used in a civil action for damages resulting from a matter mentioned in the report.
"
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Carl N.
Arlington, WA (KAWO)
RV-8, 210 Tach Hours
(Pic 1)
RV-8, 1932 Tach Hours
(Pic 1), (Pic 2), (Pic 3) - Sale Pending
Glasflügel H-201B Standard Libelle, N564NS - Sold
Rolladen-Schneider LS1-f, N61MP - No longer owned

Last edited by RV8JD : 07-25-2017 at 04:58 PM.
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  #20  
Old 07-25-2017, 06:05 PM
OkieDave OkieDave is offline
 
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Thank you both! I learned something today.

My apologies for dragging the thread off topic.
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