US releases hard-hitting military mishap report

A new hard-hitting report looking at US military aviation losses between 2013 and 2018 has been published, with a stark headline that more than 6,000 mishaps occurred during the period. Tragically these resulted in 157 aircraft destroyed and 198 lives lost, at a cost of $9.41bn. The 143-page report concludes that a confluence of systemic failures and issues are to blame, some of which require cross-cutting solutions.

Among various identified issues, the report states that both aviator and maintainer experience is in stark decline, and that flight hours are both insufficient for proficiency and are being replaced with hours in often outdated simulators. Due to cuts in administrative support staff “aircrew and maintainers are saddled with additional non-aviation administration duties that are more valued by their seniors than their primary duties, for purposes of promotion.”

C-5B crash [USAF/Doug Curran]
This C-5B Galaxy crash at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, was caused by pilot error, after the aircraft was forced to return to the airfield following a mechanical fault. USAF/Doug Curran*

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