The NTSB, which operates independently of other government agencies, is primarily responsible for investigating aviation accidents and issuing safety recommendations based on its findings. While the NTSB has no direct regulatory or enforcement power with regard to aviation law, it does have significant power of influence on those who can effect change. In fact, approximately 80 percent of all NTSB safety recommendations are adopted by the FAA or other regulatory agencies.
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"Air Show Plane Crash Kills Three"
September 26, 2006
Two men and an 11-year-old boy died when a small airplane crashed into an airport fence during an air show in Calera, Alabama.
The passengers were on an air tour in the single-engine plane when it crashed during takeoff, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen.
The plane went down just past the end of the runway after barely getting airborne, said Connie Smith, publicity chairman for the Birmingham Aero Club.
“It was so far down not many people could see it,” Smith said. “Some did and they said he got up a little and went back down.”
The pilot, Clayton Reues, and the two passengers – John Smitherman, and his son Landon Smitherman – died.
FAA officials and emergency crew were already present for the air show, and arrived on the scene of the crash within seconds. There was no fire. Air show activities resumed half an hour after the crash.
Officials are investigating, but the cause of the crash is not yet known.
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