Congress Could Make Big Changes Due After Recent Increase in Plane Crashes

Congress To Make Big Changes Due After Increase in Plane Crashes

Pentagon Getting INVOLVED After Mysterious Accidents Reported

(FeaturedNews.com) – The Armed Services Committee in the House of Representatives released the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act on June 8, but there is a chance multiple recent air crashes will influence them to do more for air safety. They already included policies in the bill to cover investigations of accidents and added more safety provisions. Still, recent developments have them eager to do whatever else is necessary to keep military members safe.

A Deadly 2022

The first four days of the year saw five helicopter crashes in four different states. Then, in February, there were two additional helicopter crashes, one occurring in Utah and the other in Hawaii. Both happened during training drills and involved the National Guard and Navy.

An MV-22B Osprey went down in Norway less than a month later. Four Marines died in that accident.

The most recent air accident occurred on June 8, when an MV-22 Osprey crashed in Southern California. Five Marines were on board, and four died in the accident. Only days earlier, on June 6, an AH-64 Apache helicopter carrying Army members went down. Two crew members suffered injuries. Also, on June 3, a F/A-18E Super Hornet Navy fighter jet crashed in Southern California. The pilot died in that incident.

Normal or a Problem?

Statistics generally say helicopters are incredibly safe and pose a low crash risk, so the unusually high number of crashes in 2022 grabbed attention. But Clint Balog, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University aeronautics professor, called the accidents “random distribution.”

He said many crashes in a short period don’t present a need for concern. They all appear to have had different causes. Certified flight instructor John DeCarlo agreed with Balog. He said the crashes were diverse, and there wasn’t a connection that would show a prevailing issue.

Investigations and Recommendations

The National Transportation Safety Board conducts investigations into these types of air accidents. The agency said it’s continuing to investigate all the 2022 incidents, but it will take over a year for final reports to come out.

Still, lawmakers couldn’t ignore what’s been happening. Congress had the National Commission on Military Aviation Safety conduct a probe. The Commission has recommended a joint safety council from the Pentagon to ensure uniform accident reporting and warned against delaying funding that could reduce accidents.

The Pentagon has already produced an interim report. It’s working on a comprehensive response expected to go to Congress in August.

The 2023 National Defense Authorization Act requires the Deputy Defense Secretary to provide an annual report on aviation safety council findings. The lawmakers also set requirements for the implementation of accident investigation recommendations. Additionally, they are considering requiring the Air Force to reconsider reducing HH-60W helicopters, asking the Army to provide reports on how it will lower risks on the tactical missile supply chain, and requiring the Navy to give a statement on the F/A-18E/F relevance.

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