The NTSB has added a number of new documents to the public docket for the April 2, 2011 crash of a flight test Gulfstream G650. The first entry was on April 14, 2011, and included photographs. The NTSB then added no other material to the docket until January 24, and since then information has been added on a frequent basis. After this most recent addition last Wednesday, the number of items now totals 73.
“Eventually, each investigative group chairman prepares a factual report and each of the parties in the group is asked to verify the accuracy of the report. The factual reports are placed in the public docket,” the NTSB website notes. The date of the release of the final report of the G650 accident is not yet known, but many reports are completed about a year after the event.
After all of the tests and analysis are done, the Board staff prepares a draft final report. The final deliberations are done during a public board meeting and then an abstract of the report is published on NTSB’s website, which includes the Board’s conclusions, probable cause and safety recommendations. This is followed a few weeks later by the final report.
While the docket contains a huge amount of data, it is the NTSB’s job to winnow it down, and the docket itself should be viewed with the knowledge that the data is raw and does not at this point represent any conclusive determination.