Navy’s Mishaps Up 82 Percent
As AVweb reported last week, military aviation is in an uncertain time with U.S. Navy aviation mishaps involving the F/A-18 E/F Super up 108 percent over the past five years, according a story by Military Times. Additionally, in the Navy’s aviation fleet, mishaps jumped 82 percent during the past five years. This is the biggest spike in accidents among all four services, according to mishap data provided by the Defense Department.
The Military Times says it obtained the mishap data through multiple Freedom of Information requests to the Naval Safety Center, the report says.
According to the Times piece there were “engine fires, towing and flight deck collisions during taxi maneuvers, panels blown off aircraft by weather or the exhaust of other aircraft during shipboard operations, maintainer injuries and ground maintenance-generated damage, such as objects being closed within the Super Hornet’s canopy. There were also several lightning strikes affecting Super Hornets during carrier operations.
Pinning down the common causes has proven difficult but contributing factors may include budget sequestration, spending caps, a cut in depot work, fewer spare parts, reduction in experienced maintainers and the trickle-down effect of short-term budget patches at the previous year’s funding levels. The pace of operations also increased.