We speak with Bill English from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) about that agency’s investigations of unmanned aircraft accidents. Bill talks about the scope of their involvement, the data available to investigators, and the similarities to manned aircraft. We also talk about the FAA NPRM and the role of the NTSB when FAA enforcement penalties are appealed.
Bill English is an Investigator-in-Charge in the Major Investigations Division of the Office of Aviation Safety. He has been with the NTSB since 1999 as an investigator on major air carrier events such as Asiana Boeing 777 in San Francisco and the B747 cargo fire in Dubai.
Bill is also the NTSB’s resource for unmanned aircraft investigations. He has built and flown his own small multi-rotor system, and trained on numerous platforms up to the MQ-9. He was also responsible for developing the NTSB’s civil unmanned aircraft accident regulations, investigations manual, and training programs.
In addition to his NTSB responsibilities, Bill is a certified instrument flight instructor and commercial pilot in single and multi-engine airplanes; has flown aerial observation, corporate, and electronics test aircraft; and has extensive experience in flight inspection and advanced navigation technology. He holds degrees in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle University, in Geospatial Intelligence from Penn State, and also graduated from the USAF Mishap Investigation Course.
The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent Federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident the United States and significant accidents in other modes of transportation – railroad, highway, marine and pipeline. The NTSB determines the probable cause of the accidents and issues safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. In addition, the NTSB carries out special studies concerning transportation safety and coordinates the resources of the Federal Government and other organizations to provide assistance to victims and their family members impacted by major transportation disasters.
The latest innovations, unmanned drone demonstrations, and a world of possibilities for young aviation enthusiasts are part of the new Aviation Gateway Park that makes its debut at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015.
One of the highlights of Aviation Gateway Park will be a new “Drone Cage,” where unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will be demonstrated each day during AirVenture. Manufacturer demos, educational presentations, obstacle course contests, and free flight can be viewed from all sides of the cage, including from bleachers inside the Park’s Innovations Center. Companies interested in exhibiting and demonstrating should contact EAA’s exhibits office at firstname.lastname@example.org.