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Canadian Agency Investigates US Air Crash

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the sounds-like-a-law-school-hypothetical dept.

Canada 84

knorthern knight writes "When 2 light civilian planes collide in U.S. airspace in Virginia, the usual response includes calling in the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) to investigate and make recommendations based on their results. But what do you do when the crash involves two planes piloted by a crash investigator with the FAA and the chief medical officer with the NTSB? In order to avoid conflict of interest by American investigators working for these agencies, the investigation has been turned over to to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada as a neutral 3rd party."

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84 comments

Amazing! (5, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | about 2 years ago | (#40200035)

A rare moment of common sense for an American agency. I didn't think it possible.

Re:Amazing! (5, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 2 years ago | (#40200053)

Yeah, it's aboot time.

Re:Amazing! (1, Funny)

2.7182 (819680) | about 2 years ago | (#40200197)

Wait a second I think they are investigating the wrong thing. What they need to settle is this - if a plane crashes *exactly* on the border of the US and Canada, where you do bury the survivors?

Re:Amazing! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40200305)

If it was China, it would be where ever it landed. I mean, they buried the train and evidence of the crash a mere 24 hours after the event. Surely there might've been a few more survivors there. http://articles.cnn.com/2011-07-25/world/china.train.accident.outrage_1_bullet-train-wang-yongping-railway-ministry?_s=PM:WORLD [cnn.com]

Re:Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40200401)

Wow! A real world comeback to that particular riddle. You just made my day.

Re:Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40200339)

You don't bury survivors.

Re:Amazing! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40200355)

He said in China. They do that sort of thing there.

Re:Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40200551)

Further off topic than this: I a man and woman get married in Arkansas and get divorced in Tennessee, are they still brother and sister?

Re:Amazing! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40200723)

Not in Texas.

Re:Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40200535)

Yeah, it's about time also.

Re:Amazing! (-1, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40200069)

You see a rational decision, I see an opportunity for collusion. Canadian agencies have been behaving more and more like American ones of late.

Re:Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40200093)

So what would you have them do? Invite someone from the EU to do it?

Re:Amazing! (2, Funny)

digitig (1056110) | about 2 years ago | (#40200287)

They probably couldn't get anybody from the EU to put up with all the visa and security theatre nonsense.

Re:Amazing! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40200121)

You see a rational decision, I see an opportunity for collusion

That's because you have an incredibly negative outlook on life, possibly to the point of paranoia. It must be horrible to be in a constant state of fear, seeing everything as bad, and everyone out to get you. It must paralyse you. I mean seriously, how do you ever even get out of bed in the morning?

Hopefully one day you'll muster the courage to get counselling, and no doubt there are some SSRI or possibly even psychotropic drug therapy that may help, but until then: stay scared, I guess.

Re:Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40200185)

Whether your outlook on life is negative or positive is a matter of standards, not mental illness.

If your standards are low, you'll have a positive outlook. If your standards are high, you'll have a negative outlook.

The illness comes if you let your outlook either way take you over.

Re:Amazing! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40200191)

The illness comes if you let your outlook either way take you over.

From the constant complaining and moaning on Slashdot, I can only assume there are a lot of mentally ill people out there.

Re:Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40200263)

And Martin "drinkypoo" Espinoza is clearly one of them.

Re:Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40200323)

takes one to know one.

Re:Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40200775)

the last-refuge taunt of those who can't tell the difference

Re:Amazing! (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 2 years ago | (#40200283)

Bullshit. One can have high standards and still have a positive outlook on life.

Re:Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40201313)

Only if you're delusional.

If your standards are sufficiently high, you and those around you will fail to achieve them. To have a positive outlook on failure is unhealthy.

Re:Amazing! (2)

Tanktalus (794810) | about 2 years ago | (#40205897)

There's only one person in this world you can control, and that's you.

Having high standards are for yourself. Having high standards doesn't require you to also have high expectations.

Re:Amazing! (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 2 years ago | (#40206969)

Exactly. The people asserting otherwise are the ones who are either delusional or rather just not understanding what having high standards means.

Re:Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40200573)

You have never known the man, you have never met the man, you have never seen the man, and yet in your arrogance you condemn him.

Re:Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40200611)

You must be new here.

Re:Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40200791)

actually you... ok, i'm sorry: he posts enough of this kind of crap to allow a pretty sound diagnosis

Re:Amazing! (-1)

http (589131) | about 2 years ago | (#40202831)

The ultimate test of good manners is bad manners. Here, I fail it...

You're a fucking idiot, possibly living in complete ignorance of history of governments through the ages. Having suspicion of government activities is positive, not negative, implies no fear, and certainly doesn't mean you view everything in life as bad. It does mean that you understand that unchecked government agents might collude to better their own lives at the expense of the public interest. It's not even on the same continent as thinking they're out to get you.

Saying someone should be on drugs because they notice similar patterns of corruption in two nations and suggests, "Where there's smoke, there's fire" doesn't show you in a very positive light. Are you a sales agent for a very large pharmaceutical company?

Re:Amazing! (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about 2 years ago | (#40204739)

I mean seriously, how do you ever even get out of bed in the morning?

I get out of bed just to sit here and tell people like you that the world really is out to get you, and that if you go into every interaction with the mindset that the other side wants to fuck you in the ass, you'll at least be prepared with the lube.

Re:Amazing! (5, Insightful)

FrootLoops (1817694) | about 2 years ago | (#40200195)

The GP sees a rational decision, you see collusion, and I see paranoia mixed with stupidity--yours, not the agencies'. Either the FAA and NTSB called Canada honestly wanting to avoid conflicts of interest, or they just wanted it to appear that they were avoiding a conflict of interest while secretly getting Canadian investigators to cover something up. Of course in this second scenario their fake out brilliantly brought lots of extra publicity to the story. You know, which is exactly what you want when you're covering something up. /sigh

Have mod point distribution rules changed recently or something? This is the third completely overrated post I've seen recently.

Re:Amazing! (1)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#40200321)

You see a rational decision, I see an opportunity for collusion.

So what should the US federal government have done instead? Create a third independent agency for investigating airplane accidents?

Re:Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40200425)

Get the insurance companies involved to do this. ;)

Re:Amazing! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40200217)

Don't worry, the Republican party will counter-balance this with a round of nonsense as soon as they can find a way to blame Obama.

Of course, all Democrats know it is Bush's fault. That's why it will be nonsense.

Re:Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40200279)

Somewhere in the heartland of America, someone is fuming over this step toward world government and the imposition of socialist sharia law.

Re:Amazing! (1)

jbwolfe (241413) | about 2 years ago | (#40200571)

Do you mean "an American agency" in the general sense (this I could understand), the FAA (again, I could understand, but this agency is woefully underfunded) or specifically the the NTSB (the agency solely and independently responsible for investigating this accident)? The NTSB, though not perfect, has an excellent reputation for "an American agency", and IMHO has historically demonstrated considerable "common sense". Their recommendations, however are too often ignored or delayed by political maneuvering. One recent exception comes as a result of Colgan Air Flight 3407 [wikipedia.org], and has resulted in revised FTDT regulations [alpa.org]

Re:Amazing! (4, Insightful)

CrowdedBrainzzzsand9 (2000224) | about 2 years ago | (#40202989)

Kind of heart-warming. Americans genuinely like Canadians and share a relatively peaceful border with them. Conflicts are few...the odd fishing-rights shouting matches and, well, ice-hockey skirmishes. Fairly rare on the planet.

"But what do you do?" (NB: Not a trolling attempt) (-1, Troll)

Reality Master 301 (1462839) | about 2 years ago | (#40200113)

You assume the FAA and NTSB can investigate the incident objectively? No? Sheesh, can the US become more of a third world country? I guess they can refuse to investigate unless they get paid by an "interested party", but that's about it. Seriously? You can't investigate objectively because the people involved were in your organisation? What would happen if a medical doctor ever became hurt by another doctor? Send them to Canada?

Re:"But what do you do?" (NB: Not a trolling attem (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40200159)

Most likely, they can investigate it impartially and come with a neutral conclusions. However, they don't want to take the slightest risk that someone tries to protect, whether conciously or not, their boss, co-worker or underling. Even worse, someone may have a score to settle with one of the people involved. Finally, even if the organization would know everything and manage to carefully pick someone who has nothing to do in any way with the people involved, an outside observer could still claim that the investiagation may not have been impartial. What they did if the right thing and what every organization in a similar situation should have done.

Re:"But what do you do?" (NB: Not a trolling attem (4, Informative)

darkmeridian (119044) | about 2 years ago | (#40200177)

You don't understand pride in your company, do you? They aren't saying that they won't be able to investigate fairly, but they want to avoid the situation where a FAA or NTSB investigator might want to hide some evidence showing that their friend was a drunk who crashed the plane. Again, not saying that they won't be able to investigate fairly, but they just don't want their guys to be in that position.

Re:"But what do you do?" (NB: Not a trolling attem (4, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about 2 years ago | (#40200277)

It's not even that. If the NTSB or the FAA investigate this accident, and do so entirely dispassionately and fairly, there will still be *someone* - probably on slashdot, at that - who will go "ZOMG WTF CONSPIRACY THEY ARE COVERING UP THE TRUTH! THE PLANE WAS WIRED WITH EXPLOSIVES! THE JEWS/MUSLIMS/PETA/MORMON TABERNACLE CHOIR DID IT!".

Re:"But what do you do?" (NB: Not a trolling attem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40200357)

If the choir was in on it, then Romney must be behind the entire thing.

Re:"But what do you do?" (NB: Not a trolling attem (4, Funny)

bitt3n (941736) | about 2 years ago | (#40201425)

THE JEWS/MUSLIMS/PETA/MORMON TABERNACLE CHOIR DID IT!".

I'd have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, blowing things up is generally to be frowned upon. On the other, the fact that these groups could come together to behind a common cause would serve a both an inspiration and a reason to hope for the future of humanity.

Re:"But what do you do?" (NB: Not a trolling attem (3, Informative)

cdrudge (68377) | about 2 years ago | (#40200183)

What would happen if a medical doctor ever became hurt by another doctor? Send them to Canada?

No. You'd find a third doctor that wasn't connected to either of the two doctors. If you were looking for a medical opinion for a malpractice case for instance, you wouldn't use a doctor that is part of the same practice as the accused doctor. There may not be any actual bias, but even the appearance of such can have negative consequences.

Re:"But what do you do?" (NB: Not a trolling attem (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40200475)

You do realize there are all of about 600 of us working in the US who have been trained in any aspect of accident investigation, and like all but 30, I'm in the military.

Re:"But what do you do?" (NB: Not a trolling attem (1)

hairyfish (1653411) | about 2 years ago | (#40206771)

You do realize there are all of about 600 of us working in the US who have been trained in any aspect of accident investigation, and like all but 30, I'm in the military.

I'm surprised, are there that many crashes to keep you all busy? If I had to guess (completely uneducated guess) I would've thought that NTSB crash investigators would number about 10.

Re:"But what do you do?" (NB: Not a trolling attem (1)

CompMD (522020) | about 2 years ago | (#40213001)

The FAA and NTSB get called out for all kinds of incidents, not just crashes.

Re:"But what do you do?" (NB: Not a trolling attem (4, Insightful)

RattFink (93631) | about 2 years ago | (#40200229)

Seriously? You can't investigate objectively because the people involved were in your organisation?
What would happen if a medical doctor ever became hurt by another doctor? Send them to Canada?

NTSB has 400 employees that includes beaurocrats and administrative staff, those that actually investigate crashes is likely far far smaller (likely even smaller for FAA). You would likely have better luck sitting an inpartial jury in a town of 400. People tend to try to defend people they know and work with, it's human nature and often completely subconcious.

Re:"But what do you do?" (NB: Not a trolling attem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40200507)

NTSB has 400 employees that includes beaurocrats

What's a beaurocrat? A government employee whose mission is to escort female government officials?

Re:"But what do you do?" (NB: Not a trolling attem (4, Insightful)

jamesh (87723) | about 2 years ago | (#40200241)

You assume the FAA and NTSB can investigate the incident objectively? No?
Sheesh, can the US become more of a third world country?
I guess they can refuse to investigate unless they get paid by an "interested party", but that's about it.
Seriously? You can't investigate objectively because the people involved were in your organisation?
What would happen if a medical doctor ever became hurt by another doctor? Send them to Canada?

Exactly how big do you think those organisations (FAA, NTSB) are?? The NTSB at least is tiny - everyone would know everyone else. It's not just about them doing their work objectively, it's about being seen to do their work objectively. If a doctor is ever negligent you certainly wouldn't let his mates conduct the investigation.

Re:"But what do you do?" (NB: Not a trolling attem (1, Troll)

bitt3n (941736) | about 2 years ago | (#40201495)

If a doctor is ever negligent you certainly wouldn't let his mates conduct the investigation.

actually, that's standard practice [wikipedia.org]

Geez, these were probably friends (3, Insightful)

dbc (135354) | about 2 years ago | (#40203645)

I'm amazed at the number of people debating the objectivity question. What about the effectiveness question? What about the emotional pain question? One of your closest coworkers that you have known for years, worked with for years, has just died. And now somebody wants you to investigate the accident. Oooof. The grieving process has been studied extensively, and I don't think you want someone who is grieving to be conducting the investigation, purely from effectiveness reasons. And I'm pretty sure they would want to do something else, too. Like maybe see if his friend's kids are OK or need anything. These men's best friends have more imporant things to do right now than document an accident scene.

Re:"But what do you do?" (NB: Not a trolling attem (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40200247)

It's not that they can't be objective, it's that we shouldn't be putting them in a situation to have to choose. Like it or not, we're still human, and the emotional tendency to loyalty shouldn't have to be tested.

It's much the same as judicial refusal. It's entirely likely that the judge could be impartial, but for any cse where they might have an interest, they step aside. That's not an indication of thirld world status...that's acknowledging that we're human, and dealing with it.

Re:"But what do you do?" (NB: Not a trolling attem (2)

OurDailyFred (1997042) | about 2 years ago | (#40212107)

The tradition of judicial recusal (not refusal) is based on exactly what is seen here. By simply removing any implied connection between the authorities and the participants, the court is seen to function as it should, at arms-length from those involved.

This is a wise decision, and I am sure the favour would be returned if there were a similar situation in Canada.

The decision to invite the Canadian participation has nothing at all to do with the quality of U.S. investigators and those complaining about it should realize that it can only help get to the truth and not add ammunition to the conspiracy theorists, which I understand are rather plentiful in the United States.

Re:"But what do you do?" (NB: Not a trolling attem (5, Insightful)

c (8461) | about 2 years ago | (#40200293)

> You assume the FAA and NTSB can investigate the incident objectively?

It's not really a question of whether they can or can't, but whether they can appear to do it objectively. That's a lot tougher; the average person just plain assumes that organizations don't investigate their own people in an unbiased fashion.

Re:"But what do you do?" (NB: Not a trolling attem (3, Insightful)

Lakitu (136170) | about 2 years ago | (#40200439)

Why risk the temptation? The FAA and NTSB investigate a lot of crashes that end up being caused by pilot error. Lots of people in the world are reluctant to place the blame on a well-trained pilot acting in good faith by saying that his actions were the cause of what might be hundreds of deaths.

Compare this to the French investigation of the Air France crash from Brazil a couple of years ago where efforts were made both to protect the pilots' good names and to shift blame away from Airbus. In this case, the FAA and NTSB are investigating events involving people who might have been friends, bosses, or co-workers. There is an undeniable risk of losing impartiality here, no matter how incorruptibly good people might have been investigating it. Why take the risk, even if it's small? Why even place that burden on them to begin with?

The whole essence of these investigations is to impartially find the factual causes of these accidents. To investigate them with any kind of doubt placed on the shoulders of the investigators would do everyone, from the people killed, the agencies, and the citizens who employ them, a great disservice.

Re:"But what do you do?" (NB: Not a trolling attem (4, Interesting)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 2 years ago | (#40200547)

Compare this to the French investigation of the Air France crash from Brazil a couple of years ago where efforts were made both to protect the pilots' good names and to shift blame away from Airbus.

I have to really take issue with this - right up until the black boxes were recovered, everything the BEA released implicated Airbus, to the point that Airbus had to issue several Airworthiness Directives regarding pitot tube icing and other things.

It was only when the flight data recorders were recovered that the BEAs stance shifted, and the pilots actions were called into question. Its highly likely that the BEA will implicate both the pilots and Airbus in its final report later this year.

So I think your assertion that the BEAs objectivity being in question is absurd.

Re:"But what do you do?" (NB: Not a trolling attem (2)

Solandri (704621) | about 2 years ago | (#40203657)

The problem with a lot of these accident reports (or rather, people's reading of them) is that they list multiple causes. Most accident investigation agencies recognize that there is almost always never one cause of an accident. It's a confluence of multiple factors which causes an accident, the lack of any one which may have prevented it. Had the pitot tubes on AF447 not iced over, the pilots would not have gotten contradictory flight information. Had Airbus written the software better, the pilots would have realized exactly what parts of the plane they were/weren't controlling. And had the pilots (or rather one pilot) communicated better and realized they were giving the flight computer contradictory inputs, disaster could have been averted.

Unfortunately, there's a tendency for people to try to narrow things down too much, to one single cause. AF447 crashed because of the pilots. Or it crashed because of Airbus. The Gulf War was about oil, or it was about fighting terrorism. Things are almost never that simple, and most accident reports I've read have avoided this tendency and nearly always report multiple causes.

Re:"But what do you do?" (NB: Not a trolling attem (4, Insightful)

DaveGod (703167) | about 2 years ago | (#40200511)

You can't investigate objectively because the people involved were in your organisation?

By definition, no.

In principle, no.

In practice, no.

It doesn't even matter if in your mind you were "objective". A characteristic of information is not merely how true it actually is, but how reliable it is known to be.

Agents preparing information have to be able to demonstrate objectivity, independence and integrity to their principal else they cannot produce reliable information.

Re:"But what do you do?" (NB: Not a trolling attem (1)

deniable (76198) | about 2 years ago | (#40200867)

Far more likely they got in a pissing match over who got to lead so the powers that be gave it to a third agency (the Canadians) who will run the show but get the other two to do the leg work. They're each going to want to have the best people (themselves) running an investigation into the loss of one of their own people.

Re:"But what do you do?" (NB: Not a trolling attem (3, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | about 2 years ago | (#40201511)

Well, I think that individuals who are honest and care about their work can contain their personal biases by conscientiously following lines of inquiry that lead in directions they'd rather not take. If that were not possible, it would be impossible to be honest with yourself about your own behavior. But like being honest with yourself, it's a lot easier to convince yourself you're being impartial than to actually do it.

I see a number of good reasons for bringing in outsiders, but the most compelling one is credibility. If an inside investigator clears a colleague or wrongdoing, people will suspect a cover-up. If he concludes that a colleague bears individual responsibility, *that* can be seen as a cover-up too: they might be throwing someone under the bus to protect the organization.

That last scenario actually happened in the US Navy investigation of the 1989 investigation of an explosion that killed 47 men in the gun turret of the USS Iowa. The bodies were removed without documenting their location or condition, the equipment in the turret removed and thrown overboard, and the interior repainted. All this was done with the knowledge of the admiral running the investigation. Witness testimony was coerced and in some cases altered, and the technical lead in the investigation was the officer who had overseen the packing of the powder bags that exploded. The only reason we know all this was the attempt at scapegoating was so transparent.

Similar to judicial recusal (disqualification) (1)

knorthern knight (513660) | about 2 years ago | (#40204225)

> You assume the FAA and NTSB can investigate the incident objectively?
> No? Sheesh, can the US become more of a third world country?

The mere appearance of conflict of interest would greatly reduce public confidence in the results of the investigation. This is a long-standing legal principal, e.g. judicial "recusal" (disqualification from judging a legal case) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judicial_disqualification [wikipedia.org]. This attempts to ensure that a judge doesn't preside over a case where s/he is related to or has had business dealings with the defendant (criminal trial) or either party in a civil dispute, or even the law firms representing them. This principal also applies to other professions.

Re:"But what do you do?" (NB: Not a trolling attem (1)

wiedzmin (1269816) | about 2 years ago | (#40215321)

Seriously? You can't investigate objectively because the people involved were in your organisation?

Sure you can, but there would be a billion internet trolls yelling about subjectivity of any such investigation, if it did happen... using words like "Seriously" and "Sheesh" nonetheless.

Investigated under Canadian law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40201059)

What I find weird is not so much that the TSB was called in, that's perfectly natural given the the circumstances, but this:

“We’re going to lead the investigation,” said TSB spokesman Chris Krepski, adding that the gathering of evidence, analysis of the wreckage and drawing of conclusions about what happened “will be carried out under Canadian law.”

In practice this may not matter as much since Canadian and US law will probably pretty much coincide, but I think it's legally iffy.
The pilots were flying over US soil, so to say retroactively that Canadian law applies is wrong, even if it's only the fact finding at issue. People in a country should be ably to trust that they're governed by the laws of that country, and that they won't be handed over like this. It would have been better to give the TSB a primer on applicable US law.

Re:Investigated under Canadian law? (3, Insightful)

digitrev (989335) | about 2 years ago | (#40201179)

What he means to say is that the procedures used to do those things will follow Canadian law. So instead of following the American rules for evidence gathering, Canadian laws will apply. This is presumably to make sure that the investigators aren't constantly second guessing if something is admissible or not because they're using an unfamiliar set of rules.

Re:Investigated under Canadian law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40207699)

It will also ensure that they're working with rules they are familiar with and understand.

The basic principles are the same anyway, things need to be documented recorded and handled appropriately. The procedures may identify specific organizations, titles or classifications that don't exist in the other country. By clearly stating who will be the lead, and which policies will be used should help.

Re:Investigated under Canadian law? (1)

d00f (242859) | about 2 years ago | (#40207877)

The objective of the Canadian TSB is to analyze the evidence and come up with findings. They are well known and well respected within the accident investigation community and there is frequently significant cooperation between the NTSB and the Canadian TSB.

Any time a Canadian registered, designed or manufactured aircraft goes down in the USA it will be the Canadian TSB involved in the investigation. The converse is also true within Canada. I think if you look up annex 13 you'll find a complete section of the Chicago Convention that deals with this.

There really are no Canadian law implications with this investigation as it is a technical investigation done by engineers, not lawyers.

Re:Investigated under Canadian law? (1)

slazzy (864185) | about 2 years ago | (#40201613)

Actually Canadian and US law differ quite a bit, as Canadian is still based heavily on British Common law, however US law changed quite a bit over the past few hundred years (for good and bad). Not sure if it would really matter for this investigation though.

Argument from fallacy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40202001)

In my opinion there is a logical fallacy in your comment.

What arguments do you have for the assumption that Canadian law (specifically) has not evolved with the times? Canada naturally needed laws that applied to their domestic circumstances a long time ago. What's more the close relationship and borders with the US have necessitated the creation of similar laws for trade and commerce. US political influence and monetary power certainly have had their effect on Canadian law.

Both the US and Canada were founded on the same [English] Common Law, so I don't understand how you hold that against them. Note that while part of their respective countries Scotland (UK), Quebec and Louisiana are still not Common Law jurisdictions but rather mixed hybrids. I challenge the notion that US law has changed substantially. While clearly it has changed, it has not forgotten its foundations.

The whole world exchanges legal viewpoints on a regular basis, more so for "First World" countries obviously, and mostly with their peers of the same legal systems. If you need evidence of this just look at the US Supreme Court's consideration of old and new UK law in its cases. It is not too "distant" a source to consider exactly because of the similar legal foundations.

This even extends to general [non-common law] European Union legal decisions such as in the very recent Oracle vs. Google Android/Java case (2012):

"The judge presiding over Oracle v. Google, the Hon. William Alsup, has told the parties they can respond to a list of questions he has, now that he's read yesterday's decision by the EU Court of Justice that found APIs not copyrightable expression. They are to respond by noon on May 10 if they wish to add to their previous briefs on the topic. Then they have until May 14 to respond to the other side's brief."

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20120503175821298 [groklaw.net]

While foreign law and cases have no binding effect in US courts they do provide them with inspiration and arguments.

Re:Investigated under Canadian law? (2)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about 2 years ago | (#40203185)

I don't think law has anything to do with it. It is an investigation. What happened in what sequence leading up to the crash. It will be lawyers and victims afterwards that decide who gets sued, charged, fined etc (if their dead good luck) if anyone.

That's a Good Start (3)

SageMusings (463344) | about 2 years ago | (#40201979)

Now, I would like to see a disinterested, neutral 3rd-party investigate the rest of our three-letter-agencies.

I'd also like to see that same level of oversight on three branches of our Government.

Re:That's a Good Start (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40207411)

Sorry, I'm not sure that our Queen would be willing to take you back.

Re:That's a Good Start (1)

identity0 (77976) | about 2 years ago | (#40209677)

Or regular local police as well. How often do you hear of a police-involved shooting being investigated by the same agency that was involved?

Plot thickens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40202443)

I would watch the hell out of that movie if they did police procedural style.

Treat them the same as the police. (2)

Kernel Kurtz (182424) | about 2 years ago | (#40202991)

They are, in effect, the safety police.

Just like any other police force, they should never be allowed to investigate their own. Even having a separate "independent" police force investigate does not eliminate "thin blue line" bias.

Picking one from another country is as good as it gets from an objectivity perspective.

I realize neither were likely the pilots (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about 2 years ago | (#40203143)

But does anyone else find it funny (in a sick way) that the two agencies involved in flight safety had a mid-air collision? At that point calling in the TSB is like calling in the triads to sort out what happened between the crips and bloods :-) Somehow we need non-biased people in this incident but when it comes to professions we let them police themselves (doctors, accountants, lawyers etc).

Re:I realize neither were likely the pilots (1)

knorthern knight (513660) | about 2 years ago | (#40204665)

> Somehow we need non-biased people in this incident but when it comes to
> professions we let them police themselves (doctors, accountants, lawyers etc).

Not only do you need an impartial 3rd party, they also have to have the necessary expertise. Who else do you know of who is qualified to and capable of conducting the air crash investigation? It's a specialized field with a very limited number of qualified people. And the vast majority of them work for either the FAA or NTSB.

I've only got 5 mod points... (2)

unitron (5733) | about 2 years ago | (#40206363)

...and there are enough worthy candidates here to burn through 15 easily, so I''ll just say

...the crash involves two planes piloted by a crash investigator with the FAA and the chief medical officer with the NTSB...

is something even Clancy wouldn't think he could get away with as a plot device, even if he had dreamed it up.

It's all aboot knowing who you're dealing with eh. (1)

Krau Ming (1620473) | about 2 years ago | (#40207931)

Whoever ponies up a double double with a maple dip donut wins this one.

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