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Tsongas, Turner Concerned by Aviation Mishaps, Will Take Action

Tsongas, Turner Concerned by Aviation Mishaps, Will Take Action

Ranking Member Niki Tsongas (D-MA)and Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH) wrote on Friday to the members of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces (TAL) to seek their feedback on aviation mishaps in advance of a subcommittee hearing/briefing to be scheduled on the issue.

Rep. Tsongas and Rep. Turner are increasingly concerned about the military’s rising number of aviation mishaps. The TAL Subcommittee has held several hearings during the 115th Congress encouraging the Department of Defense (DoD) to move quickly to eliminate these incidents.

However, as the Military Times has reported, 133 troops have been killed in aviation mishaps in the past 5 years, including 16 pilots and crew killed in 6 separate aviation crashes during a three-week span in April. This next hearing will allow members to review the DoD investigative process following these mishap episodes.

“The spike in aviation mishaps over the past several years warrants a renewed look at how the military services identify and report on the cause of serious accidents,”noted Ranking Member Tsongas. “We must work to reduce the frequency of these events to an acceptable and manageable level. We owe it to our pilots to make sure the aircraft they use to serve and protect our nation are flying safe.”

“We’re not certain that the service branches are adequately identifying the source and cause fast enough for us to be able to remedy them, putting more people at risk,”Chairman Turner told Dayton Daily News.“The service branches have been too slow to respond. These are alarming trends. It’s making an unsafe environment for pilots. When we have a hearing or travel to military bases and talk to pilots, we become more and more concerned that the service branches don’t have an answer.”

Chairman Turner and Ranking Member Tsongas will hold a hearing or briefing to investigate aviation mishaps at a future date to be determined.