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Hornet Mishaps on the Rise: Institutional Change the Answer
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
Pagination or Media Count:
The United States Marine Corps FA-18 Hornet mishap rate has risen to an unacceptable level. In FY-04, there were a total of 8 Class A mishaps, accounting for almost half of the 18 total Class A mishaps involving Marine Corps USMC aviation assets. This helped to make it the worst year for Marine aviation since 1990 with 5.20 mishaps occurring per every 100,000 hours flown. Further frustrating USMC leadership, the increase in accidents occurred despite a memo released on May 19, 2003 by Secretary Defense Rumsfeld challenging the services to reduce mishap rates by 50 over the next two years. Instead, in FY-04 the USMC managed to nearly double FY-03s mishap rate, while continuing to post higher mishap numbers than the Navy USN. The Marine Corps must make a conscious and fundamental cultural change in the training for aircrew, the career path they follow, and the emphasis placed on safety to decrease the mishap rate. The increase in mishaps is not a statistical accident. To permanently reduce the mishap rate there must be education on the Training and Readiness manual, as well as aids for its execution provided to the end users. Aircrew must be left longer in squadrons to develop necessary skills and provide flight leadership as they progress. Viable options providing rest and family time must be presented to all aviators. The word no must be made acceptable in peacetime. Unless these steps are taken the mishap rate will continue to rise.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE