49 CFR Appendix to Part 800, Request to the Secretary of the Department of Transportation To Investigate Certain Aircraft Accidents
(a) Acting pursuant to the authority vested in it by Title VII of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 ( 49 U.S.C. 1441) and section 304(a)(1) of the Independent Safety Board Act of 1974, the National Transportation Safety Board (Board) hereby requests the Secretary of the Department of Transportation (Secretary) to exercise his authority subject to the terms, conditions, and limitations of Title VII and section 304(a)(1) of the Independent Safety Board Act of 1974, and as set forth below to investigate the facts, conditions, and circumstances surrounding certain fixed-wing and rotorcraft aircraft accidents and to submit a report to the Board from which the Board may make a determination of the probable cause.
(b) The authority to be exercised hereunder shall include the investigation of all civil aircraft accidents involving rotorcraft, aerial application, amateur-built aircraft, restricted category aircraft, and all fixed-wing aircraft which have a certificated maximum gross takeoff weight of 12,500 pounds or less except:
(1) Accidents in which fatal injuries have occurred to an occupant of such aircraft, but shall include accidents involving fatalities incurred as a result of aerial application operations, amateur-built aircraft operations, or restricted category aircraft operations.
(2) Accidents involving aircraft operated in accordance with the provisions of Part 135 of the Federal Air Regulations entitled “Air Taxi Operators and Commercial Operators of Small Aircraft.”
(3) Accidents involving aircraft operated by an air carrier authorized by certificate of public convenience and necessity to engage in air transportation.
(4) Accidents involving midair collisions.
(c)Provided, That the Board may, through the chiefs of its field offices, or their designees who receive the initial notifications, advise the Secretary, through his appropriate designee, that the Board will assume the full responsibility for the investigation of an accident included in this request in the same manner as an accident not so included; and Provided further, That the Board, through the chiefs of its field offices, or their designees who receive initial notifications may request the Secretary, through his appropriate designee, to investigate an accident not included in this request, which would normally be investigated by the Board under section (b) (1) through (4) above, and in the same manner as an accident so included.
(d)Provided, That this authority shall not be construed to authorize the Secretary to hold public hearings or to determine the probable cause of the accident; and Provided further, That the Secretary will report to the Board in a form acceptable to the Board the facts, conditions, and circumstances surrounding each accident from which the Board may determine the probable cause.
(e)And provided further, That this request includes authority to conduct autopsies and such other tests of the remains of deceased persons aboard the aircraft at the time of the accident, who die as a result of the accident, necessary to the investigations requested hereunder and such authority may be delegated and redelegated to any official or employee of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). For the purpose of this provision, designated aviation examiners are not deemed to be officials or employees of the FAA.
(f) Invoking the provisions of section 701(f) of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, and section 304(a)(1) of the Independent Safety Board Act of 1974, is necessary inasmuch as sufficient funds have not been made available to the Board to provide adequate facilities and personnel to investigate all accidents involving civil aircraft. This request, therefore, is considered to be temporary in nature and may be modified or terminated by written notice to the Secretary.