49 USC 1134 - Inspections and autopsies

(a) Entry and Inspection.— 
An officer or employee of the National Transportation Safety Board
(1) on display of appropriate credentials and written notice of inspection authority, may enter property where a transportation accident has occurred or wreckage from the accident is located and do anything necessary to conduct an investigation; and
(2) during reasonable hours, may inspect any record, process, control, or facility related to an accident investigation under this chapter.
(b) Inspection, Testing, Preservation, and Moving of Aircraft and Parts.— 


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(1) In investigating an aircraft accident under this chapter, the Board may inspect and test, to the extent necessary, any civil aircraft, aircraft engine, propeller, appliance, or property on an aircraft involved in an accident in air commerce.
(2) Any civil aircraft, aircraft engine, propeller, appliance, or property on an aircraft involved in an accident in air commerce shall be preserved, and may be moved, only as provided by regulations of the Board.
(c) Avoiding Unnecessary Interference and Preserving Evidence.— 
In carrying out subsection (a)(1) of this section, an officer or employee may examine or test any vehicle, vessel, rolling stock, track, or pipeline component. The examination or test shall be conducted in a way that
(1) does not interfere unnecessarily with transportation services provided by the owner or operator of the vehicle, vessel, rolling stock, track, or pipeline component; and
(2) to the maximum extent feasible, preserves evidence related to the accident, consistent with the needs of the investigation and with the cooperation of that owner or operator.
(d) Exclusive Authority of Board.— 
Only the Board has the authority to decide on the way in which testing under this section will be conducted, including decisions on the person that will conduct the test, the type of test that will be conducted, and any individual who will witness the test. Those decisions are committed to the discretion of the Board. The Board shall make any of those decisions based on the needs of the investigation being conducted and, when applicable, subsections (a), (c), and (e) of this section.
(e) Promptness of Tests and Availability of Results.— 
An inspection, examination, or test under subsection (a) or (c) of this section shall be started and completed promptly, and the results shall be made available.
(f) Autopsies.— 

(1) The Board may order an autopsy to be performed and have other tests made when necessary to investigate an accident under this chapter. However, local law protecting religious beliefs related to autopsies shall be observed to the extent consistent with the needs of the accident investigation.
(2) With or without reimbursement, the Board may obtain a copy of an autopsy report performed by a State or local official on an individual who died because of a transportation accident investigated by the Board under this chapter.