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Aviation Accident Investigation Compared to Civil Litigation

This lesson discusses the statutory basis for aviation accident investigations. The discussion centers around case studies of two aviation accident investigations. A comparison is drawn between federal statutes and regulations enabling aviation accident investigations and civil actions of the same cases. Specifically, why does the federal government investigate aviation accidents rather than states? What statutes guide accident investigations? What is the objective of accident investigations? What is the relationship, if any, of civil litigation and accident investigations?

The lesson contains a number of questions and exercises to help the student synthesize the content presented. The lesson was produced during the inaugural class of The Legal Environment of Aviation taught by Professor John Sabel, J.D., at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

The lesson is an independent effort of the author and does not represent an official opinion of the National Transportation Safety Board.

SUGGESTED USES OF THIS LESSON Faculty can use this lesson to point out how administrative agencies function. The lesson also provides a background to legal details related to aviation and terminology thereof.

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