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Title 49Subtitle BChapter VIIIPart 831 → §831.2

Title 49: Transportation

§831.2   Responsibility of Board.

(a) Aviation. (1) The Board is responsible for the organization, conduct, and control of all accident and incident investigations (see §830.2 of this chapter) within the Untied States, its territories and possessions, where the accident or incident involves any civil aircraft or certain public aircraft (as specified in §830.5 of this chapter), including an investigation involving civil or public aircraft (as specified in §830.5) on the one hand, and an Armed Forces or intelligence agency aircraft on the other hand. It is also responsible for investigating accidents/incidents that occur outside the United States, and which involve civil aircraft and/or certain public aircraft, when the accident/incident is not in the territory of another country (i.e., in international waters).

(2) Certain aviation investigations may be conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), pursuant to a “Request to the Secretary of the Department of Transportation to Investigate Certain Aircraft Accidents,” effective February 10, 1977 (the text of the request is contained in the appendix to part 800 of this chapter), but the Board determines the probable cause of such accidents or incidents.1 Under no circumstances are aviation investigations where the portion of the investigation is so delegated to the FAA by the Board considered to be joint investigations in the sense of sharing responsibility. These investigations remain NTSB investigations.

1The authority of a representative of the FAA during such investigations is the same as that of a Board investigator under this part.

(3) The Board is the agency charged with fulfilling the obligations of the United States under Annex 13 to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation (Eighth Edition, July 1994), and does so consistent with State Department requirements and in coordination with that department. Annex 13 contains specific requirements for the notification, investigation, and reporting of certain incidents and accidents involving international civil aviation. In the case of an accident or incident in a foreign state involving civil aircraft of U.S. registry or manufacture, where the foreign state is a signatory to Annex 13 to the Chicago Convention of the International Civil Aviation Organization, the state of occurrence is responsible for the investigation. If the accident or incident occurs in a foreign state not bound by the provisions of Annex 13 to the Chicago Convention, or if the accident or incident involves a public aircraft (Annex 13 applies only to civil aircraft), the conduct of the investigation shall be in consonance with any agreement entered into between the United States and the foreign state.

(b) Surface. The Board is responsible for the investigation of: railroad accidents in which there is a fatality, substantial property damage, or which involve a passenger train (see part 840 of this chapter); major marine casualties and marine accidents involving a public and non-public vessel or involving Coast Guard functions (see part 850 of this chapter2); highway accidents, including railroad grade-crossing accidents, the investigation of which is selected in cooperation with the States; and pipeline accidents in which there is a fatality, significant injury to the environment, or substantial property damage.

2Part 850 also governs the conduct of certain investigations in which the Board and the Coast Guard participate jointly.

(c) Other accidents/incidents. The Board is also responsible for the investigation of an accident/incident that occurs in connection with the transportation of people or property which, in the judgment of the Board, is catastrophic, involves problems of a recurring character, or would otherwise carry out the policy of the Independent Safety Board Act of 1974. This authority includes, but is not limited to, marine and boating accidents and incidents not covered by part 850 of this chapter, and accidents/incidents selected by the Board involving transportation and/or release of hazardous materials.

[62 FR 3806, Jan. 27, 1997]

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