"The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent agency charged with determining the probable cause of transportation accidents and promoting transportation safety. The NTSB investigates accidents, conducts safety studies, evaluates the effectiveness of other government agencies' programs for preventing transportation accidents, and reviews the appeals of enforcement actions involving aviation and mariner certificates issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as the appeals of civil penalty actions taken by the FAA. To help prevent accidents, the NTSB develops safety recommendations based on its investigations and studies. These are issued to Federal, State, and local government agencies and to industry and other organizations in a position to improve transportation safety. Recommendations are the focal point of the NTSB's efforts to improve the safety of the nation's transportation system."
National Transportation Safety Board: http://www.ntsb.gov/