Military Aviation Joins the Emerging Competency Crisis in the West

by | May 1, 2024


Trend-lines on military aviation accidents are edging upwards to rival in the commercial aviation industry in mishaps. Not only is this a barometer for readiness and training but an indicator for the emerging competency crisis plaguing the West. Peacetime military aviation is dangerous.

As of 9 April 2024, the Marine Corps sustained a sharp increase in Class A mishaps for the first and second quarters of 2024 with a rate of 4.31 per 100,000 flight hours, compared to a 10-year average of 2.24.

There is a pretty good article that gives a fair overview of this brewing crisis here.

Let’s examine the Army: here’s what is alarming, we are a little over half way in this fiscal year (FY) and the accident rate for FY24 is edging toward three times the previous year and that trend will go up more as the year progresses. Class A involves a fatality and Class B and C includes injury but not fatality. This is the Army and doesn’t includes troubling upticks in aviation accidents in the other services.

Flightfax, the online newsletter of the Army Aviation Accident Prevention program, covers the ongoing accidents and mishaps of Army rotary wing aircraft (rare instances of fixed wing but the majority of Army aviation is rotary wing thanks to the Key West Agreement in 1948).

It appears, this crisis will simply deepen.

Classification of mishaps:

screenshot 2024 05 01 at 05 53 55 mishap classification chart 20200324.pdf

Here’s a snapshot of of comparisons between 2023 and 2024 for incidents per 100k flight hours:

screenshot 2024 05 01 at 05 49 59 ff130 april 2024.pdf

Here’s a snapshot of one month from the April 2024 edition:

screenshot 2024 05 01 at 05 44 49 ff130 april 2024.pdf

Bill Buppert

Bill Buppert

Bill Buppert is the host of Chasing Ghosts: An Irregular Warfare Podcast and a contributor over time to various liberty endeavors. He served in the military for nearly a quarter century and contractor tours after retirement on occasion and was a combat tourist in a number of neo-imperialist shit-pits around the world.

He can be found on twitter at @wbuppert and reached via email at

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