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Each mishap has their own characteristics and there is no substitute for good old-fashioned common sense and initiative. Each wrecked aircraft has its own story to tell if properly investigated. However Air Force guidelines are quick to point out that investigators in their eagerness seek out the causes, often ignore safe investigation practices and common safety precautions. Air Force Investigators are maybe in even more difficult position due to the hazards that are unique to the military war fighting machines, Ill discuss a few of these hazards briefly before I get into the steps of Air Force accident investigations.
Extreme care must be given to the munitions that may have been on board the aircraft. Just because the ammunition appears to be damaged beyond being dangerous the slightest amount of static electricity from clothing may detonate munitions. Before starting an investigation of any kind, obtain the list of munitions aboard and have the explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) team remove or inert them. Again eagerness must be controlled and situational awareness must be exercised to be on the lookout for those munitions that may not have been recovered. Also, though tedious, the locations of all munitions need to be noted, as they will hold clues as well. The ejection seats can also present extreme dangers to untrained and careless investigator.
Hydrazine. Its a word that strikes fear in all that are familiar with it. New generation aircraft such as the F-16 use hydrazine for emergency power supplies. It looks like a clear oily substance that smells like ammonia. Some of the effects hydrazine can have on the human body include: liver damage, blindness, skin burns, and prolong exposure may be fatal. Only base bioenvironmental engineers are qualified enough to properly handle it.
Also somewhat unique but is gradually finding its way into the commercial side of aviation is the use of high composite materials along with exotic metals used in the effort to not only strengthen, but to lighten the overall weight of the airframe.
The composites used with most frequency today are boron, graphite and Kevlar. Each of these materials has their own characteristics and must be handled with care. While in its finished form Kevlar is very stable, boron and graphite must be handled with extreme care to avoid breathing in dust created when the structures become damaged. Boron fibers can pierce through skin and stay imbedded indefinitely and cannot be removed easily causing severe infections.
The host base funds all in-house support (except billeting) even if the host base is not assigned to the convening authoritys MAJCOM. In-house support includes administrative support and equipment, work areas, reproduction, and graphics. The MAJCOM or ANG command that possesses the mishap aircraft is responsible for all costs associated with the crash site clean up and restoration. (USAF, 1998)
The following are a condensed version of the steps given to the accident board president to help guide them through the process of getting organized and to better use some the broad assets available to the military accident board president, the steps comprise parts of both AFI 51-503 and AFP 127-1.
1. Get organized before running to the smoking hole.
a. Find out what was done at the crash site.
b. Determine the support needed from the base that owns the aircraft. They will
be best informed of the nature of the airframe.
2. Get to know your board members so youll have an idea of their capabilities and how you can best use them.
a. If you know a sharp officer or NCO that you would like on the board, ask for
b. Secure any voice recordings, videotapes and films pertinent to the mishap and be prepared to send copies when requested.
3. Working with the interim board members:
a. Secure evidence they captured. They might lose it when they go back to their jobs.
b. Have them provide a list of interim board members with their work/home phone numbers.
c. Request they discuss with their safety office any glitches they discovered in the unit mishap response plan.
d. Ensure a face-to-face hand-off takes place for a positive exchange of information and investigative authority.
e. Assess exactly what was accomplished, and what the interim board feels is the next step.
4. Technical assistance/airlift support:
a. Request it only ... more
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The Tragedy Of The Black Death
yourself alone on a street corner, coughing up bloody mucous each time you
exhale. You are gasping for a full breath of air, but realizing that is not
possible, you give up your fight to stay alive. You're thinking, why is this
happening to me? That is how the victims of the Black Death felt. The Black
Death had many different effects on the people of the Middle Ages. To understand
the severity of this tragic epidemic you must realize a few things about the
plague. You should know what the Black Death is, the cause of the plague,
the symptoms, the different effects it had on the people, and the preventions
and cures for the plague.
The Black Death, also known as the Black Plague
or the Bubonic Plague, which struck in 1349, and again in 1361-62, ravaged
all of Europe to the extent of bringing gruesome death to many people of the
Middle Ages. The Black Death struck in 1349, and again in 1361-62, but was
restricted just to Europe (Rowse 29). It was a combination of bubonic, septicaemic,
and pneumonic plague strains (Gottfried xiii) that started in the east and
worked its way west, but never left its native home. One of the things that
made the plague one of the worst was that there were outbreaks almost every
ten years (Rowse 29), but still restricted to Europe. It is thought that one
third to one half could have possibly died by the plague (Strayer and Munro
462), with some towns of a death rate of up to 30 or 40 percent (Strayer and
Munro 462). Very few who were infected with the plague actually survived more
than one month after receiving the disease (Strayer and Munro 462). The Black
Death was an incredible event that effecte
d everyone on either a physical
or emotional level, or both. The Black Death was more terrible, and killed
more people than any war in history (Strayer and Munro 462). The plague was
so horrible and terrifying that people said it made all other disasters in
the Middle Ages seems mild when comparing it to the Black Death (Gies 191).
have been many disputes over what caused the Black Death, but only one is supported
with the most evidence. It is thought that on October of 1347, a Genoese fleet
made its way into a harbor in northeast Sicily with a crew that had "sickness
clinging to their very bones" (Gottfried xiii). The sickness this crew had
was not brought by men, but the rats and fleas aboard the ship. The harbor
tried to control the sickness by attempting to quarantine the fleet, but it
was too late (Gottfried xiii). Within six months of the docking of that very
fleet, half of the region had either fled the country, or died. That fleet,
along with many other fleets along the Mediterranean Sea brought the greatest
natural disaster to the world (Gottfried xiii).
The infested rat, called
the black ship rat, was carried in the baggage of merchants on board the ships
traveling all over the Mediterranean (Norwich 30). They didn't know it, but
it was the people that actually spread the disease across the land. The plague
spread in a great arc across Europe, starting in the east in the Mediterranean
Sea, and ending up in northwest Germany (Strayer and Munro 462). It is incredible
that the plague hit Europe several times, but still no one understood neither
the causes nor the treatments of the epidemic (Strayer and Munro 462).
was another cause that some people strongly believed brought the disease into
their world. Doctors at the University of Paris claimed that on March 20,
1345, at one o'clock in the afternoon, a conjunction of three higher planets
Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars caused a corruption of the surrounding air, which
made the air become poisonous or toxic (Gottfried 110). This is a highly unlikely
theory unless you are coming from a basis of Astrology. Another explanation
of the plague that scientists gave was environmental factors. These scientists
thought that there were many earthquakes that caused toxic fumes to come from
the center of the earth (Gottfried 110), which, again, brought contaminated
air for the people. Certain historians have wondered if the plague could
have been caused by overpopulation of the continent, but they are not completely
convinced (Hoyt and Chodorow 632). Some people, possibly out of desperation,
turned their violence on the Jews and blamed them for the cause of the plague
rayer ... more
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