DoD Is Rethinking What Defines a Major Aviation Accident

An F-35C Lightning II performs a touch-and-go on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson. The Pentagon is considering revisions to how it classifies aviation mishaps across the services. (MC3 Ethan Soto/Navy)

An F-35C Lightning II performs a touch-and-go on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson. The Pentagon is considering revisions to how it classifies aviation mishaps across the services. (MC3 Ethan Soto/Navy)

April 9, 2019 | Source: Military Times, Tara Copp and Stephen Losey, 1 March 2019

The Pentagon is considering revisions to the dollar amounts and damage levels that qualify an aircraft accident as a major mishap to better reflect the expense of repairing advanced jets. But such changes could lead to less visibility into the actual state of aviation safety, government watchdogs cautioned.

Major aviation accidents are currently classified as Class A, B, and C mishaps.

Class A mishaps occur when there’s more than $2 million in damage to the aircraft, the aircraft is destroyed, or its pilot or crew is killed or permanently, totally disabled. Class B mishaps are recorded when aircraft damage ranges from $500,000 to $2 million, a crew member faces permanent partial disability, or three or more persons are sent to the hospital due to the accident. Class C incidents, the least serious of the top three categories, occurs when damage is between $50,000 and $500,000 or an injury results in loss of time from work.

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