Government shutdown has impact on plane search in Chickamauga Lake
The government shutdown is impacting the investigation of the recent plane crash on Chickamauga Lake.
Former NTSB Chairman Jim Hall says the shutdown isn’t fair to the families involved.
"Our government reflects our culture. And it reflects how we live. This is shameful,” said Hall.
Jim Hall served as Chairman for the National Transportation and Safety Board for six years. He experienced a government shutdown during that time, but says it did not impact operations like this shutdown has.
"We would have someone on the site in a very short period of time,” Hall said.
This government shutdown has stopped the NTSB and FAA from dispatching teams to investigate crash scenes.
Hall says these agencies make a big difference. It’s the job of local authorities to recover the pieces of the plane. The NTSB and FAA investigate to determine how the crash happened.
"Could you imagine having a fatal accident here on I-24 and it's your family and there is no one to respond? That's the situation we have,” Hall emphasized.
Even if the government were to reopen tomorrow, Hall says it could take time for them to respond.
Passing time could limit what investigators are able to find, which impacts future investigations.
"There might be some factors here that could be very important for preventing any future accidents,” Hall said.
Hall says this crash is one of 10 across the country the NTSB has not been able to respond to due to the shutdown.
If they find the plane, they will have to preserve the evidence until the shutdown ends and the NTSB and FAA can send a team to pick up the investigation.
Local crews will continue their search efforts on Thursday morning.