Mishap trends and cause factors in naval aviation: a review of Naval Safety Center data, 1986-90

Aviat Space Environ Med. 1993 May;64(5):392-5.


Although the mishap rate in naval aviation has declined substantially over the period from 1950-90, there remains a residual number of mishaps per 100,000 flight hours. Many of these mishaps represent human error. There seems to be an additional risk in certain air-frames and in specific missions. We reviewed mishap trends and causes for all naval aircraft over a 4-year period, 1986-90. These were graphically represented and compared, both statistically and with other methods. The mishap rates contained a significant portion of aircrew error mishaps. Of 308 total Class A mishaps, 179 (58%) were attributed to air-crew error. There were 145 (47%) attributed to supervisory error, another form of human mistakes. Thus, the most common cause factors were directly related to human failure. The effect on training is already being seen with the establishment of air-crew coordination training as one of the top priorities in the Fleet Replacement Squadrons. Studies, both underway and in press, appear to indicate a positive response to this training.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Aviation* / statistics & numerical data
  • Accidents, Aviation* / trends
  • Aerospace Medicine
  • Humans
  • Military Personnel
  • United States