NTSB Chair: GA Crashes Won't Be Ignored

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Mark Rosenker, acting chairman of the NTSB, spoke to the GA world on Tuesday at the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) meeting, and made use of the occasion to respond to a recent story in The Washington Post. The Post reported last week that NTSB investigators have been going to fewer accident scenes every year since 2001, showing up at less than half of the crashes involving small aircraft. Rosenker told the GAMA audience on Tuesday, "While it is true that we do not launch on all fatal and serious injury accidents, I must reiterate that we shall continue to lead an investigation into every single one of the nearly 1,800 general aviation accidents that occur each year in the country." Rosenker said the NTSB historically has not conducted an on-scene investigation on fatal accidents involving crop-dusters, homebuilts, illegal ultralights, balloons and gliders, which make up about 25 percent of the fatal accidents each year. "It is simply a matter of prioritizing our efforts," he said. "Our cadre of 43 regional investigators simply cannot travel on every fatal and serious injury accident, and we must rely on some of the 3,500 FAA inspectors to assist us."