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TEAM COVERAGE: How the NTSB will investigate the I-75 plane crash

Naples I-75 Plane Crash Aerial still image
Posted at 11:20 PM, Feb 09, 2024

NAPLES, Fla. — As of late Friday night, the FAA advised the southbound lanes of I-75 near Pine Ridge Road would be closed until further notice, while a series of federal, state, and local agencies investigate the crash of a private jet. 5 people were on board, but only 3 survived. The plane was trying to land at the Naples Airport after flying down from Columbus, Ohio.

More federal investigators were expected to arrive Saturday to work the investigation for the National Transportation Safety Board. Also known as the NTSB, is the federal agency in charge of investigating any serious transportation accident.

A process like this can take years, depending on the size of the accident. In the case of the deadly Naples plane crash, a final report can take one to two years.

The NTSB focuses on three areas when it starts an investigation: the pilot, the aircraft and the operating environment.

They will gather information and records from the following:

  • Flight track data
  • Recordings of any air traffic control communications
  • Aircraft maintenance records
  • Weather forecasts and actual weather and lighting conditions around the time of the accident
  • Pilot’s license, ratings and recency of flight experience
  • 72-hour background of the pilot to determine if there were any issues that could have affected the pilot’s ability to safety operate the flight
  • Witness statements
  • Electronic devices that could contain information relevant to the investigation
  • Any available surveillance video, including from doorbell cameras

Witness video and photos are vital to the investigation. They can be given to the NTSB at witness@ntsb.gov.
Fox 4 has learned an NTSB investigator is already at the Naples plane crash, but a spokesperson said more will be heading to the crash site on Saturday.

When investigators are at the scene, the NTSB says investigators will not determine or speculate the cause of the crash.

As far as who died in the crash and how many were injured, the NTSB says that is handled by local authorities.

A preliminary report is typically within the first 30 days from the NTSB, but the FAA will post its own preliminary report by the next business day, which would fall on Monday.

The NTSB says a probable cause of the crash and contributing factors will be detailed in the final report, which is expected to take one to two years.