(2) Analyzing all accident data without regard to the type of airframe provides for an easy sampling and less potential bias toward fixed wing vs. rotary wing aircraft.
(3) Not including ground accidents into the research will allow the research to focus only on aviation accidents.
(4) Limiting the research to a four-year period; 2003 to 2006 will provide an adequate sampling of the data and not constrain the research results.
The first assumption is that accident data to be used will be an adequate sample of class a through class C accidents within the USAREUR area of operations.
The second assumption is that ARMS inspection dates derived from official USAREUR Publications and historical data files will reflect actual dates of ARMS inspections.
The third assumption is that current ARMS inspections continue to incorporate comprehensive checklist used to evaluate resource management and assist in improving operational readiness and safety for USAREUR aviation.
Definition of Terms
ARMS Team -- Comprised of subject matter experts within each aviation functional areas such as: aircraft armament, airfield and heliport operations, aviation life-support systems (ALSSs), aviation maintenance, aviation night vision goggle (NVG) maintenance, aviation safety, flight operations, petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) operations, standardization and aircrew training program (ATP).
CLASS a ACCIDENT - an Army accident in which the resulting total cost of property damage is $1,000,000 or more; an Army aircraft or missile is destroyed, missing, or abandoned; or an injury and/or occupational illness results in a fatality or permanent total disability. (Department of the Army Regulation 385-40, 1 November 1994)
CLASS B. ACCIDENT - an Army accident in which the resulting total cost of property damage is $200,000 or more, but less than $1, 000,000; an injury and/or occupational illness results in permanent partial disability, or when five or more personnel are hospitalized as inpatients as the result of a single occurrence. (Department of the Army Pamphlet 385-40, 1 November 1994)
CLASS C. ACCIDENT - an Army accident in which the resulting total cost of property damage is $10,000 or more, but less than $200,000; a nonfatal injury that causes any loss of time from work beyond the day or shift on which it occurred; or a nonfatal occupational illness that causes loss of time from work (for example, 1 work day) or disability at any time (lost time case). (Department of the Army Pamphlet 385-40, 1 November 1994)
ADA -- Airline Deregulation Act
AR -- Army Regulation
ALSSs -- Aviation Life Support Systems
ARMS -- Aviation Resource Management Survey
ASMIS -- Army Safety Management Information System
ASNCO -- Aviation Safety NCO
ASO -- Aviation Safety Officer
ATP -- Aircrew Training Program
CAA -- Civil Aeronautics Act
CAB -- Civil Aeronautics Board
CRM -- Composite Risk Management
CSC -- Command Safety Council
DA Pam -- Department of the Army Pamphlet
ECOD -- Estimated Cost of Damage
ESC -- Enlisted Safety Council
FAA -- Federal Aviation Administration
FM -- Field Manual
FORSCOM -- U.S.. Army Forces Command
IP -- Instructor Pilot
MACOM - Major Army Command
METT-TC -- Mission, Enemy, Terrain and Weather, Troop and Support Available, Time
Available, Civil Considerations
MRM -- Maintenance Resource management
NATI -- National Air Transportation Inspection
NVG -- Night Vision Goggle
OHR -- Operational Hazard Report
POL -- Petroleum, Oils and Lubricants
RAC -- Risk Assessment Codes
SP -- Standardization Instructor Pilot
SOP -- Standard Operating Procedures
TC -- Training Circulars
USACRC -- United States Army Combat Readiness Center
UASSD -- USAREUR Aviation Safety and Standardization Detachment
USAREUR -- United States Army Europe and Seventh Army
REVIEW of RELEVANT LITERATURE and RESEARCH
History of Aviation Safety
The work of Hansen, McAndrews and Berkeley (2005) entitled: "History of Aviation Safety Oversight in the United States" relates that federal aviation safety with the Air Mail Service, including a safety program that featured "strict selection criteria for pilots and rigorous maintenance" (p.v). This programs' value was realized through the lowering of fatality rates when "compared with unregulated itinerant commercial fliers" (p.v). This led to a call for regulation of civil aviation by the industry leaders in aviation resulting in the Air Commerce Act being passed in 1926 establishing the Aeronautics Branch (AB) in the Department of Commerce, and made it responsible for licensing and ensuring the airworthiness of aircraft and certifying airmen" (p.v). In the early days of airline safety the leaders of the AB held an objective that was "not so much to regulate as to promote." (Hansen, McAndrews and Berkeley, 2005, p.v). The intention was safety improvement without excessive regulations that increased costs dramatically. During this period of aviation AB leaders generally consulted with leaders of business prior to issuing rules and setting regulations in order to "accommodate industry." (Hansen, McAndrews and Berkeley, 2005, p.v). Aircraft were even granted temporary certificates by the AB allowing them a space of time to correct any noted deficiencies and as well as the AB "work constantly to modify the rules in the face of experience and rapid development of the aviation industry" (p.v).
In 1930, "certification requirements were extended to business enterprises engaged in aviation, such as airlines and flight schools." (Hansen, McAndrews and Berkeley, 2005, p.v) From the very start, the oversight system "employed inspectors who were assigned to districts around the U.S." (Hansen, McAndrews and Berkeley, 2005, p.vi) in 1938, the Civil Aeronautics Act was passed "motivated in part by the accident of the TWA plane in 1935 that resulted in the death of Senator Bronson Cutting." (Hansen, McAndrews and Berkeley, 2005, p.vi) Under the CAA the responsibilities for aviation oversight belonged to a "five-member Civil Aeronautics Authority Board, a three-member Air Safety Board, and an Administrator." (Hansen, McAndrews and Berkeley, 2005, p.vi)
Policies were set by the CAA board who was responsible for promulgating safety rules and the Air Safety Board held the responsibility for investigation of accidents however, "this structure proved unworkable, and in 1939 it was changed to include a Civil Aeronautics Board with responsibility for accident investigation and economic regulation, and a CAA, back again in the Department of Commerce, with responsibility for safety regulation." (Hansen, McAndrews and Berkeley, 2005, p.vi) the responsibility for oversight was held by the CAA Office for Safety Regulations with "divisions devoted to general aviation, airlines, aircraft design, and flight testing and factory inspection." (Hansen, McAndrews and Berkeley, 2005, p.vi)
Challenges cited by the CAA inspector workforce included not only a heavy workload but also "being forced to play the role of instructors when checking ill-prepared pilots." (Hansen, McAndrews and Berkeley, 2005, p.vi) Complaints were made about inspectors "cutting corners in testing and reporting, discourteousness, and large work backlogs." The safety record was improving by 1939 and in 1940 more than a year passed with no incident involving fatalities for single commercial airlines. While accidents eventually "became the exception rather that the rule" however, when they did occur and most notably when there were "several in a short time period" the public's attention was heightened which led to excessive rules "causing rule adherence to supplant safety as the primary goal." (Hansen, McAndrews and Berkeley, 2005, p.vi)
In 1959, the Federal Aviation Agency was assigned as responsible for safety oversight with the Bureau of Flight Standards absorbing the Office of Flight Operations and Airworthiness while "also absorbing the safety rulemaking authority that had previously belonged to the CAB, "(Hansen, McAndrews and Berkeley, 2005, p.vii) the FAA is responsible for development of the capacity for quick diagnosis and solution proposal however political challenges remained to implementation of the solutions. In 1966, the FAA "was absorbed into the newly created Department of Transportation. Accident investigation responsibility was also shifted from the CAB to the newly created National Transportation Safety Board." (p. x)
In 1978, the Airline Deregulation Act (ADA) was passed by Congress. This Act served to liberalize the economic regulation of airline fares and routes as well "curtailed the authority of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) the agency that administered the economic regulations, until it was finally abolished in 1985." (Hansen, McAndrews and Berkeley, 2005, p.x) the structure, conducted and performance of the aviation industry was dramatic changed by economic deregulation. (paraphrased) in 1984, the Department of Transportation Secretary "initiated the National Air Transportation Inspection (NATI) effort" (p.x). This program was "both a broad and deep surveillance effort in which all major and commuter airlines received additional inspections." (Hansen, McAndrews and Berkeley, 2005, p.xi) This represented the "first comprehensive audit of the surveillance element of the safety oversight program, and it provided data that could be used to change the safety oversight system." (p.xi) a following review of the safety oversight by the Safety Activity Functional Evaluation (SAFE) resulted in an extension of the efforts of the NATI program and "called for increased standardization in safety oversight." (Hansen, McAndrews and Berkeley, 2005, p.xi)