Inside the USA's "independent" NTSB
(freed from outside intervention and freed from investigative "safeguards") :
The NTSB's own Staff-Managers?
The NTSB's newest "Quality of Information" upgrade is laced with contradictions:
The various contradictions [eg, NTSB's unworkable 845.41(a)],
hidden as "exceptions" to that added Quality- "mechanism"
immediately yielded that new "mechanism"
just as hopeless and as ineffective as the original "safeguard" -- 845.41(a).
"It is unclear what the NTSB
has been doing with their records . . ."
National Archives, Chief Records Officer:
December 19, 2014; Executive Summary pg-i [pdf-3].
Gibson's attorneys sought judicial relief in this matter. He petitioned the the Court to compel the NTSB to act on his Petition to Reconsider (the Petition dated 2May'91). That court denied Gibson's first request. Then his attorneys filed a timely appeal with Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Forced into action, by these legal proceedings against USA's NTSB, on May 4, 1995 the NTSB did finally react to the court-proceedings: NTSB issued their mysterious letter -- that denied Gibson's Petition to Reconsider (in the interim of the court proceedings). [Rather than an engineering-side response to a technical Petition, the NTSB-letter of May 4th '95 appears instead to be a veiled effort by NTSB's legal-side, Office of the General Counsel, to evade any court-action.]
That court found his second request, the first appeal, to be moot, because the NTSB had acted -- had finally issued their long-delayed May 4th "denial" decision in the interim.
Attorneys then asked that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals review the NTSB's May 4th '95 denial of Gibson's Petition, pursuant to 49 U.S.C. § 1153(b):
Argued and Submitted November 5, 1996.
The NTSB regulations . . . the NTSB's complete discretion
to conduct its investigations as it sees fit.
The denial of Gibson's petition falls within that unreviewable discretion.
The "alpa" Petition of October 9th, 1990 [the first to explain Yorke's analysis] had cited numerous errs in the NTSB AAR-81-8 (damaged aircraft components mislabeled or misidentified), errs which might have contributed to the inability of NTSB-staff investigators to correlate the direct evidence; errs which further confused the documentation in such a way that the pilot-investigators had been provided with wrong wreckage-damage, wrong information about items in the Trail of Debris.
Closer examination of that NTSB-denial letter dated May 4th'95, quickly revealed "errs" that were beyond the technical "errata" found in AAR-81-8: The foundation for the NTSB's May 4th '95 denial-letter, denying "reconsideration" for the Captain Gibson Petition (dated 2May91), was their newly fabricated "facts" about the direct evidence: That direct evidence was first examined during on-scene documentation of "wreckage" (the damaged aircraft parked on taxiway at DTW). The Systems Group had documented a main leakage of hydraulic fluid, from the torn hydraulic- lines near the damaged RHS- Main Landing Gear.
Similarly, the May 4th '95 denial-letter cited newly fabricated "facts" about the yawing motion recorded by FDR-Hdg trace. Shown below are the newly fabricated facts cited in the NTSB's May 4th '95 denial letter, fabrications that clearly were NOT documented by the original investigators in April 1979.
always been difficult
yet properly used are
an essential part of
the scientific record.
"Confusion often occurs about whether, and when,
it is appropriate to issue
a full or partial
expression of concern ..."
Cite this case, ID, or click-copy the image below:
"under certain circumstances" correction-retraction by "other responsible persons"
is a step to recognition-acknowledgement of such published investigator-err, and scientific misconduct.
The NTSB-staff has consistently blocked all efforts to revise AAR-81-8.
Over decades communications to the "Board Members" were diverted to staff.
Without some outside intervention,
NTSB AAR 81-8 will never be revised, nor retracted.
Though the NTSB has no effective oversight,
perhaps an appropriate Subcommittee, in USA's Congress,
might persuade NTSB Board Members toward
512 Dirksen Senate Building; Washington DC, 20510
House: Subcommittee on Aviation
2251 Rayburn House Office Building; Washington, DC 20515
should be seen as a badge of honour,
not something you’re embarrassed about. . . .
However that’s not always how the public perceives it, or the way it’s written up . . .
Institutions may also worry that their definitions of misconduct and … investigation
differ from those of other institutions . . . “
“I think it’s completely improbable … to say
we have had no cases.
It’s just not credible”.
Elizabeth Wager. . . member of UKRIO’s advisory board.
Nature 521, 271(21 May 2015)
(a) Establishment.-- If an accident involves a substantial question about public safety in air transportation,
the National Transportation Safety Board may establish a special board of inquiry composed of--
(1) one member of the Board acting as chairman; and
(2) 2 members representing the public, appointed by the President on notification of the establishment of the special board of inquiry.
(b) Qualifications and conflicts of interest.--The public members of a special board of inquiry must be qualified by training and experience to
participate in the inquiry and may not have a pecuniary interest in an aviation enterprise involved in the accident to be investigated.
(c) Authority.--A special board of inquiry has the same authority that the Board has under this chapter.
. . .
ERA12RA367A . . . collided in flight in the vicinity of Sumerduck, Virginia. . . . Under the provisions of Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation and by mutual agreement, the United States delegated the accident investigation to the government of Canada. The NTSB designated an accredited representative to the investigation on behalf of the United States, and the FAA designated an advisor to the accredited representative.
The investigation was conducted by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada under its statutes.
A review of this investigation, delegated to a different country's "investigating authority", was presented by Jon Lee, at ISASI's Vancouver gathering in 2013:
"... a few talented pilots, engineers, and aircraft accident investigators . . .
their refusal to cynically accept the corruption of their craft . . ."
". . . do we need a public agency like the NTSB . . . ?"
This May 4th '95 letter from NTSB, effectively blocked all Petitions filed against AAR-81-8 (three Petitions filed after Yorke's analysis had finally refuted the Boeing Scenario). Because of legal-logic in that appeals court decision:
that undisclosed NTSB "response" is forever "unreviewable" [protected in law].
That document, the NTSB's denial-response, had remained unknown to other investigators. The engineer-investigators were unaware that the legal-side of the NTSB had responded (on May 4th '95) to one of the Petitions against AAR-81-8:
none of the investigators from the various parties
had ever heard about any NTSB response to the various Petitions.
The earliest NTSB website had listed NTSB responses to Petitions of Reconsideration -- but nothing was ever openly disclosed about any NTSB response to any of the 1990's petitions against AAR-81-8. Similarly, during the mid-'90's, NTSB employees had copies of a LIST of those petitions that required further attention, and a future response. The Petitions against AAR-81-8 were then listed as still open, pending future actions by NTSB-staff.
Currently, NTSB does not disclose any compilation (listing) of its responses to petitions, nor any list of still-open Petitions. NTSB has so far refused to openly verify that any May 4th '95- response was actually created by NTSB; the NTSB's 2014 FOIA response revealed staff's open neglect of law. The only acknowledgement of that May 4th '95 NTSB- response- letter was that item cited in a court decision -- nothing from NTSB to acknowledge that any May 4th'95 response existed. There is no oversight of the USA's "independent" Safety Board: No Scientific Ombudsman, no IG, no Congressional committee permitted to intervene; the political appointed Board Members have refused to insure that NTSB rule 845.41 (Petitions) operates as intended.
This mysterious document, from NTSB (appears only on a website unaffiliated with NTSB), so far that letter exists ONLY in html- format on that website; the letter is labeled "Response to Petition for Reconsideration". In their letter to the court, NTSB cites the history of various petitions filed against AAR-81-8, and NTSB acknowledged the date each Petition was received by NTSB. Furthermore NTSB erroneously told the court that
NTSB would handle EACH petition, separately:
Final Report, Commission of Inquiry into the Air Ontario Crash at Dryden, Ontario, Preface, pg xxii:
... . . . "... reinforced my strong belief in the value of a public Inquiry under the Inquiries Act.
As a means of conducting an investigation . . . such an Inquiry under
. . . . . . the Inquiries Act has the great advantages of
. . . . . .. . ..virtually unlimited power to subpoena witnesses and
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the testing of their evidence in the crucible of cross-examination.
I am convinced that, as an instrument in the search for truth, a public Inquiry, judiciously and fairly conducted has no peer. . . . my intention that the concept of procedural fairness would be the basic tenet of this Inquiry . . .
. . . In the course of any commission of inquiry,
. . . . . . . . allegations will be made at public hearings
. . . . . . . . . . . .which will reflect adversely on certain parties.
It is my position that any party adversely implicated
. . . . by testimony at the public hearings of the Commission
. . . . . . . . shall be given a full opportunity to be heard."
. . . Canadian Aviation Safety Board (CASB) investigators were at the accident site
within hours of the Dryden crash.
However, intense public controversy raged . . .
The CASB Dryden inquiry . . . was halted by
the Minister of Transport, who opted for
a public inquiry. . . .
the Government of Canada,
facing mounting public criticism . . .
replaced the CASB with
a Commission of Inquiry under the Inquiries Act
to investigate the Dryden accident. . . .
The CASB Chief Investigator and most of his team
were seconded to the Commission . . .
Using a Commission in this way is rare and
was done to restore credibility to
the aviation accident investigative process . . .
. . . Credible investigation must be independent and dignified (without appearing elitist), transparent and without constraint. Most importantly, it must be perceived by the public as free from vested influence.
Effectiveness of the Judiciary
It can be argued that the judiciary is uniquely positioned to resolve these issues.
A Commission of Inquiry under the Inquiries Act,
unlike an investigative body such as
CASB or ... TSB
vests in Commissioners:
- - All the powers of a superior court judge;
- - Freedom and independence from
political or governmental influence . . .
This Petition served as:
directed at USA's NTSB AAR-81-8;
--- and as the source document for
court action against NTSB's persistent negligence.
This Petition (dated 2May91), collated by attorneys, differs from other petitions:
This includes records from post-accident court trials. It offers testimony from Boeing engineers who created the written draft of The Boeing Scenario. And this petition offers testimony from the NTSB's Investigator-in-Charge (IIC) "Dean" Kampschror.
In addition, this petition offers a forthright account of NTSB's investigative biases, mistakes. Investigators (instructors and students) can learn from these mistakes.
This petition includes a nice essay about "the corruption of the craft" of mishap-investigation, and the professional outrage against that corruption.
Failure - Interactions
Parallel INVESTIGATIONS, to contrast against USA's investigation of TWA841 / 4Apr79:
NZ's Commission of Inquiry, Air New Zealand DC-10 TE901 / 28Nov79
Chippendale's Report versus the Mahon Report.
"On October 9, 1990, ALPA submitted . . . Petition . . . consists of 116 pages and claims . . . all parties . . . erroneously assumed that the No. 7 leading edge slat . . . was the initiating cause of the accident. . . . The response to the ALPA petition is being handled separately in a manner independent of the subject petition from Captain Gibson. . . ."
" . . . Captain H. G. Gibson Petition for Reconsideration . . . the May 2, 1991 Petition . . . Based on its review of the petition and the facts derived during the course of the investigation and subsequent reviews, the National Transportation Safety Board denies the petition in its entirety.
". . . On December 2, 1991, Trans World Airlines, Inc., filed a petition . . . TWA’s stated purpose of the petition was to 'finally put to rest the questions -raised in the petition of Captain Gibson...' The TWA petition is also being handled independent of the subject petition from Captain Gibson. . . ."
US National Academies aims to shift thinking about scientific misconduct
away from corrupt individuals . . . toward researchers working within a flawed system . . .
The National Academies committee is considering expanding the definition of research misconduct,
and taking into account the responsibilities of . . . institutions, . . . and professional societies. . . .
[From an AAAS session on 13 February 2015,
the National Academies' committee report is now available, released June 2015.]
". . . Board Member ... Ehrlich said CSB’s problems have largely been due to the
‘confused and ambiguous lines of authority’
between the chairman, board members and other staff."
Testimony on March 4th, 2015: details IG-oversight of CSB,
Revision, 24Dec2015: The old 845.41 has been REVISED, renumbered to 845.32
Loss of hydraulic fluid,