USAF Aircraft Mishap Safety Investigation Boards Are the Results Getting Published
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLL MAXWELL AFB AL
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The United States Air Force USAF has a formal process for conducting investigations of its aircraft mishaps. The system has undergone several changes over the years, each designed to make the process more effective in saving lives and resources. Critics of the current system believe that the USAF has still not gone far enough with their changes. Organizations not directly involved in mishap investigations still have too much influence on what information goes in the memorandum of final evaluation MOFE, or the Air Forces official position on each mishap. This disrupts the investigation process. As a result of the outside influences, the investigation boards lose credibility and the aviation community loses confidence in their mishap reports. The effectiveness of the program is weakened. This paper analyzes the concerns of the critics. This is supported by a review of past mishap reports where the author compares safety investigation board reports with their respective MOFEs. Also, the paper reviews comments provided by other research, including a report by the Blue Ribbon Panel on Aviation. Using this information, the paper provides suggested improvements to the USAF aviation safety mishap reporting process. The improvements minimize the changes that are occurring between the safety investigation board report and the generation of the MOFE. This will revitalize confidence in the mishap reports, resulting in a more effective program that saves more lives and resources.
- Military Aircraft Operations