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I have had a question for quite some time now, but, have never really known where I can ask. My question concerns what happens to a pilot that is found responsible for an accident by the NTSB investigation such as the Wheels-Up Landing of Continental Airlines flight 1943? The NTSB found that several steps were left out, and even though changes were recommended to the before landing checklist that may prevent future such accidents, the pilot was still found to be at fault for the accident.
I know full well from watching Air Emergency and Seconds From Disaster that no ONE thing causes an accident, but, a chain of events is usually the cause, so, even with that being said, fault is usually placed somewhere.
I know we do not always agree with the NTSB. Does the airline always side with the NTSB? What actions do they take against the pilot/s, when they survive accidents like the one I mentioned above?
Thanks in advance.
Your question has a very simple answer. Remember first that the NTSB is NOT a regulatory agency but a government approved investigative body without regulatory authority. They can only publish findings and make recommendations. It is the Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration that enforces Codes of Federal Regulations in a court of law.
FAA investigates incidents and accidents and proposes sanctions if non compliance is found. The result of an accident can be a fine levied against an operator (airline) or suspension or revocation of a pilot's certificate.
As long as we have men and women flying aircraft the potential for accidents is always there. We have made amazing progress in the areas of safety but the threat or inevitability for an accident will always be there.
Take extra care to avoid activities that might detract from flying.
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