Marine Corps Finds 2018 Crash Investigation Had Flaws, Proposes New Safety Measures

A review of two previous Marine Corps aviation mishaps and their subsequent command investigations concludes that “organizational culture and command climate” contributed to both a 2016 and 2018 mishap within 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Japan – and it adds that some conclusions made by the chain of command regarding the fatal 2018 crash were inaccurate or misleading.

In 2018, an F/A-18D Hornet aircraft from Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242 and a KC-130J Super Hercules aircraft from Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 collided off the coast of Japan during a nighttime refueling, killing all five Marines on the KC-130J and the pilot of the Hornet. The weapons system officer on the jet survived. In 2016, aircraft from these same two units were involved in another refueling mishap, though no one was injured.


Congressional committee examines aviation safety

Created by the John McCain National Defense Authorization Act of 2019, a committee of eight aviation and transportation safety experts have been tasked with identifying the causes of and ways to avoid aviation accidents by going from site to site and talking with everyone in the field, from senior commanders to trainers and maintainers.

Congress established the National Commission on Military Aviation Safety (NCMAS) in early 2019 and tasked it with five areas to examine: assess the rate of accidents; assess the underlying cause of physiological episodes; identify the underlying causes regarding aircraft availability; assess the causes that contributed to accidents; and make recommendations.


Before 737 MAX Returns to Service, Airlines Plan to Show It Is Safe

Airlines aren?t leaving it to Boeing Co. and the Federal Aviation Administration to reassure travelers the 737 MAX will be safe to fly. They are devising plans to conduct their own demonstration flights with senior company officials on board to amplify that message.

As regulators consider allowing the jetliners to resume service, eight months after they were grounded world-wide following two deadly accidents, U.S. airlines intend to put the MAX back in the air initially without passengers.

The plans by all three domestic MAX operators partly reflect concerns by airline officials about the need to shore up pilot and passenger confidence in the fleet, according to government and industry officials familiar with the matter.


Aircraft mission-capable rates hit new low in Air Force, despite efforts to improve

The Air Force?s aircraft readiness continued its multi-year slide in fiscal 2018, as the overall mission-capable rate for the aging fleet dropped below 70 percent ? its lowest point in at least six years.

Of the 5,413 or so aircraft in the fleet, the percentage that are able to fly at any given time has decreased steadily each year since at least fiscal 2012, when 77.9 percent of aircraft were deemed flyable. By fiscal 2017, that metric had plunged to 71.3 percent, and it dipped further to 69.97 percent in 2018, according to statistics obtained by Air Force Times via the Freedom of Information Act. That is an overall decrease of nearly 8 percentage points since 2012.


What Went Right: Revisiting Captain “Sully” Sullenberger and Flight 1549 Ditch Into the Hudson

Miraculous. That’s the descriptor that popped up in the days after the successful landing of US Air Flight 1549 in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009. But then, as now, aviation experts saw the events of “The Miracle on the Hudson” a little differently.

What happened to captain Chesley Sullenberger III and his crew was a piece of tremendously bad luck, mitigated by a few turns of equally stunning good fortune and a sequence of smart decisions by the captain and his crew. Here’s a pilot’s-eye view of what went right during the emergency, the landing and the rescue that saw all 150 passengers rescued safely from the plane. (This piece was originally published the week of the landing and has been updated.)