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 flight mishaps. The spike triggered an intense review of prior mishaps and current mishap-reduction practices using the Human Factors Analysis and Classification 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 flight 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 significant. The mishap reduction at NSAWC was statistically significant 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 significantly greater reduction in NSAWC air wing mishaps and suggests focused aviation mishap reduction efforts in similar circumstances could result in similar reductions.
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