This past Friday, an AH-64 Apache helicopter crashed during a training mission at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, the latest in a slew of deadly mishaps from across the services in the past week. The accident comes on the heels of a damning report from the Military Times, documenting an alarming rise in accidents stretching back over four years. The Army, for its part, has seen relatively constant accident rates over the past four years, according to its official safety magazine, Flightfax, with accident rates between FY2013 and 2017 hovering between 0.72 and 1.52 Class A accidents per 100,000 flying hours -- far lower than anything Army Aviation has seen since it began tallying accidents in the early 1970s (p. 123).
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
Billy Beane, the number-one draft pick in 1980, was a victim of bad talent management. Signed for the New York Mets out of high school, talent scouts thought they had found a naturally gifted athlete. But just a decade later, Beane’s career sputtered and died. He didn’t have the right stuff.
We’re less than a month into 2016, and already no fewer than four senior military brass have behaved badly. Senior leader sackings have become so mundane that it’s become a running gag at Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tom Ricks’ Foreign Policy column.
Army aviators have been reading Flightfax— the U.S. Army’s online newsletter for “aircraft mishap prevention information” — since the Vietnam War. The magazine, which is published by the Army Safety Center in Fort Rucker, Alabama, has evolved through the years and even halted production from 2007 until 2011. It offers the entire Army aviation community candid, transparent feedback following fixed- and rotary-wing mishaps. It also contains some seriously cheesy jokes.