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NTSB investigations on hold

By Heather Hintze 5:59 PM October 16, 2013

It was one of the deadliest summers in the skies in Alaska, but the cause of many crashes may go unanswered for a while

ANCHORAGE – This was one of the deadliest summers in the skies in Alaska, with nearly 30 people dying in plane crashes.

But the investigations into the cause of some those crashes are on hold during the government shutdown.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) furloughed nearly 400 employees.

Any open investigations are tabled until the NTSB can get people back to work.

Alaska saw dozens of plane crashes this year; one in Soldotna killed 10 people this summer.

Adam White with the Alaska Airmen’s Association said it’s important to figure out why those aircraft crashed so pilots can make changes if necessary.

“If it’s a mechanical issue that could be a problem with other aircraft in the fleet; we need to know that and be able to fix that,” said White. “If it’s weather related issues or pilot error, those types of things are important to us as an industry so we can go about changing the maintenance or part that may have been a problem.”

Across the country there have been more than a dozen serious crashes, like fatal car wrecks, but the NTSB can’t send out investigators to the scenes.

It also had to postpone a hearing on the Asiana Airline crash in San Fransisco that killed three people in July.

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