Navy Sees Sharp Increase In Class A Mishaps In 2014
Brass Keeping An Eye On The Situation, But Says One Year Is Not A Trend
The U.S. Navy saw its rate of Class A aviation mishaps nearly triple from 2013 to 2014, a statistic that has the service's top brass concerned.
In FY2013, there were only four Class A accidents in the manned aviation program, according to official summaries reported in the Navy Times. That number spiked to 14 in FY2014, according to the report.
Class A mishaps are described as those "involving a fatality, permanent total disability or upwards of $2 million in damage."
Rear Admiral Christopher Murray, the top officer in the Naval Safety Center and a career fighter pilot, said that "one year, a trend does not make," but he is launching a three-pronged strategy intended to change the Navy's aviation culture and eliminate what he called the "cancer" of Class A mishaps. The action items in the strategy include training and implementing safety petty officers or officers in each command; conduct root cause analyses to identify and stop emerging trends; and launch an informational campaign targeted to those at greatest risk from the accidents.
Navy officials say about two thirds of aviation accidents are caused by pilots, and human error is a factor in as many as 85 percent of the mishaps.
Murray said he hopes to change the Naval Safety Center into a "predictive" organization. He said a "safety professional" will soon be stationed at every command, rather than having that function fall to someone as an "additional duty."
(Image from file)