Military Times: Aviation Mishap Data Shows Mixed Results

Apr 9, 2019
Defense Drumbeat
Aviation Accident Deaths Hit Six Year High In 2018

WASHINGTON, DC - Last year Military Times published a landmark investigation of military aviation demonstrating that manned aviation accidents “spiked almost 40 percent over the past five years, killing 133 service members since 2013.” This week, Military Times has updated their figures for 2018; finding that while total aviation accidents fell for the first time since 2013’s budget cuts, military aviation deaths hit a six-year high in 2018. 

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“We’ll make a 180 and go back downhill fast”: Rep. Mac Thornberry, Armed Services Committee Ranking Member discussed the findings with Military Times “All the service chiefs said ‘it takes time to recover from a readiness hole like this'…It’s just that we in Congress seem to be impatient, and think ‘OK, I’ll fix that, I’ll put some money on it and move on to another problem.' We cannot afford to do that. If we move to another problem, we’ll make a 180 [degree turn] and go back downhill, fast.”

Military Aviation Accidents Killed 38 Pilots or Crew in FY18: "Military aviation accident deaths hit a six-year high in fiscal year 2018, killing another 38 pilots or crew… For comparison, in that same time frame, 25 service members died in attacks in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan…Those 38 aviation fatalities in 2018 brought the total number of service members killed since 2013 in aviation accidents to 171.”

Total Accidents Are Decreasing: “The total number of military aviation accidents fell last year for the first time since the 2013 budget cuts…Total accidents involving the nation’s manned warplanes — fighters, tankers, helicopters and bombers — decreased 12 percent last year, dropping from 903 mishaps in fiscal year 2017 to 794 in fiscal year 2018…”

116th Congress