Army Has Lowest Aviation Mishap Rate in 35 Years

Army Has Lowest Aviation Mishap Rate in 35 Years

Photo by: Mississippi National Guard

Army aviation incidents have dramatically declined, the director of Army Safety told Congress. In fiscal 2007, the Army had a Class A flight mishap rate of 2.39 mishaps per 100,000 flying hours. The rate for fiscal 2018 has dropped to .93 mishaps per 100,00 flying hours.

Testifying before the House Armed Services subcommittee on tactical air and land forces, Brig. Gen. David J. Francis, who also serves as Army Combat Readiness Center commanding general, said up to 80 percent of aviation accidents are the result of human factors, something the Army is closely categorizing to determine how training changes could address problems. There are weekly meetings to discuss causes and prevention, Francis said.

Francis warned against the Army becoming too risk-adverse so it doesn’t train hard enough to prepare for future combat risks. “Aggressive, realistic training in the most demanding mode of flight is the best way to mitigate a rise in mishaps associated with large-scale combat operations,” he said.

“The Army is committed to aggressively driving our mishap rates down,” he said. “The single most important thing we can do to reduce aviation mishaps is continue to train in the most demanding conditions as we prepare to fight and win against peer and near-peer adversaries.

“The leading causal factors are performance-based and judgment errors; while individual training, experience level, supervision, planning, and crew and team training represent the predominant underlying causal factors,” Francis said. “Army leadership is working diligently to prevent future mishaps.”