“Aviation is Not without Risk”

Eleven airmen were killed in Class A aviation flight mishaps and 14 aircraft were destroyed in Fiscal 2013, senior Air Force leaders said in prepared testimony to the House Armed Services Committee’s tactical air and land forces panel Wednesday. The total number of Class A mishaps dropped from 20 in Fiscal 2012 to 19 in Fiscal 2013; however, there were nine more fatalities and 10 more aircraft destroyed during the same time period, said William LaPlante, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition; and Lt. Gen. Burton Field, deputy chief of staff for operations, plans, and requirements, in the statement. “Analysis of these events found trends similar to previous years, with the top two mishap factors being compliance and decision-making errors,” reads the statement. A mishap is considered “Class A” if someone is killed or if there is more than a million dollars in damage. The number of Class B aviation flight mishaps “significantly” increased from 23 in Fiscal 2012 to 33 in Fiscal 2013, while the number of Class C aviation flight mishaps “stayed relatively consistent,” states the testimony.