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Government shutdown means plane crash sites aren't investigated

The federal government shutdown has affected Americans in many walks of life. From preschoolers dependent on Head Start to working people trying to remove tax liens to retired people trying to meet with someone in the Social Security Administration, millions of people have felt the sting of reduced funding and staffing.

One area in which most Americans might not have expected to have temporary cutbacks, however, is the people in charge of investigating small plane accidents. However, at least in some instances, that's exactly what has happened. In particular, a small plane crash in Southern California had not been visited by federal investigators several days after it took place -- despite the fact that both people aboard were killed in the accident.

As one retired inspector for the Federal Aviation Administration points out, the sooner an accident can be investigated, the better. But without the human resources to do it, this crash site has just been sitting. It remains to be seen if that will have a measurable impact on the investigation or not.

Another effect of the shutdown is that normal channels that would be working in the aftermath of a crash have been silenced. In fact, the family members of one of the victims said that they heard about the crash from a friend, rather than a government agency as normally would be the case.

Even when the government is functioning regularly, having an experienced aviation accident attorney can be of benefit for a family that is trying to cope with the loss of a loved one.

Source: 7 San Diego, "Julian Plane Crash Not Investigated Due to Shutdown," Todd Strain and Christina London, Oct. 15, 2013

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