Carrier air wing mishap reduction using a human factors classification system and risk management

Kris M. Belland, Cara Olsen, Russell Lawry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Introduction: In 1998, the Navy's center of excellence for advanced air wing combat operations, namely the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC), had a spike in Class A fl ight mishaps. The spike triggered an intense review of prior mishaps and current mishap-reduction practices using the Human Factors Analysis and Classifi cation System (HFACS). The review resulted in NSAWC instituting a comprehensive multifactorial mishap reduction plan applying Operational Risk Management (ORM) precepts. Methods: This is a nonrandomized investigational study with use of a historical comparison population. The Class A mishap rate per fl ight hour covering 10 yr prior to the mishap reduction efforts was estimated and compared to the Class A mishap rate per flight hour for the 10 yr after implementation using Poisson regression. Results: Combined Fleet and NSAWC data shows a 27% reduction in mishap rate, but the 21% reduction in the Fleet alone was not statistically signifi cant. The mishap reduction at NSAWC was statistically signifi cant with an 84% reduction. Fallon carrier air wing mishap rates post-ORM mishap reduction efforts are approaching those seen in the Fleet, but are still elevated overall (3.7 vs. 2.4). Conclusion: The incidence rate ratio was 80% lower at Fallon than the rest of the Fleet, indicating a signifi - cantly greater reduction in NSAWC air wing mishaps and suggests focused aviation mishap reduction efforts in similar circumstances could result in similar reductions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1028-1032
Number of pages5
JournalAviation Space and Environmental Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Carrier air wing
  • Dual designator
  • Flight surgeon pilot
  • Human Factors Classification System
  • Human factors
  • Mishap
  • Mishap reduction
  • Operational risk management
  • Patient safety
  • Risk management


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