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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.

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This commission wants to hear your uncensored concerns about military aviation safety

A team of retired generals and other top military aviation experts is traveling the world to check in with aviation units throughout the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, as well as their Reserve and National Guard components, on a mission to help the Defense Department solve some of its glaring issues with the readiness of its aircraft and aircrews.

As the death toll from helicopter and plane crashes hit a six-year high in 2018 ? 38 in total, 24 of those during training ? Congress responded by ordering a top-to-bottom review of aircraft mishaps from 2013 to 2018, charging the National Commission on Military Aviation Safety to investigate, crunch numbers and come back with some answers.

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Commission zeroes in on military aviation safety

Army aviation safety and readiness were the focus of a round table discussion Aug. 27 between Redstone Arsenal aviation leaders and members of a national commission charged with reviewing the effects of 17 years of war on the military aviation fleet.

Members of the National Commission on Military Aviation Safety participated in the discussion, which took place at Army Materiel Command headquarters and included a safety briefing by Aviation and Missile Command leaders. The two-day, fact-gathering visit also included in-depth focus group discussions with leaders at AMCOM, the Futures Command?s Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation Engineering Directorate and the Program Executive Office for Aviation.

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Is military aviation getting any safer? New mishap data shows mixed results.

Last spring Military Times reported that the Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force?s aircraft were in deep trouble. Manned aviation accidents had spiked almost 40 percent over the past five years, killing 133 service members since 2013.

More catastrophic crashes followed and Congress got laser-focused on the problem. After multiple hearings, lawmakers injected $39.4 billion into this year?s budget ?to begin to overcome the crisis in military aviation by getting more aircraft in the air.? Capitol Hill also passed legislation creating a National Commission on Military Aviation Safety.

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