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to the contractor Accidents

Aircraft Investigation
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.
Munitions
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.
Toxins
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.
Materials
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.
Funding Issues
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)
Steps
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
them.
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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US Economy Expansion

The
million (or should we say 'billion' now) dollar question is whether or not the
United States' economy will stay in it's record 107 month expansion (according
to the index of leading indicators) or come out of the boom and take a downturn
into a recession. Nobody, including the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan
Greenspan has a crystal ball to provide insight as to what will happen if
interest rates are raised, lowered, or left alone. However, Economists have
developed a set of indicators to aid in predicting when a recession is about to
occur and when the economy is in one. Indicators should not be mistaken for
predictors. They are simply forecasting tools, and like any forecast can be
misleading. The index of leading indicators that is reported in the popular
press shows our economy is still in an expansion. For the purposes of our
evaluation of the economy, we chose the Principle Economic Indicators tracked by
the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau under the Economics
and Statistics Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. There are
thirteen Principle Economic Indicators, and they fall into five major
categories: National Output and Income; Orders, Sectoral Production, and
Inventories; Consumer Spending; Housing and Construction; and Foreign Trade.
National Output and Income The first of the five major categories directly
relates to measuring the growth of the U.S. economy. National Output and Income
consists of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Personal Income, and Corporate
Profits measurements. GDP is the primary measurement of growth and measures the
total amount of goods and services produced by governments, businesses, people,
and property located within the United States. Both real (adjusted for
inflation) and nominal (current value in dollars) data is collected for
computing the GDP. The base year for the real data is 1997. The GDP is normally
reported as an annualized quarter-to-quarter change. The reason this measurement
is vital to tracking the growth of the U.S. economy is self-explanatory. When
the economy is growing, both total income and total output are increasing.
Furthermore, a steady increase in the GDP is healthy for the economy. According
to the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. economic output has grown at an annual
rate of 2.5 to 3.5 percent since 1890. The preliminary estimate of GDP in the
fourth quarter of 1999 rose at a 6.9 percent annual rate, which is the strongest
gain since a similar increase in mid-1996. This is an increase from the initial
estimate of 5.8 percent and is consistent with the expectations of analysts. It
is also a reflection of the widespread upward increases among the major spending
components, including consumer spending, goods exported, and state and local
government spending. In the third quarter of 1999, GDP rose 5.7% as a result of
increases in Personal Consumption Expenditures, nonresidential fixed investment,
and exports. Personal Income is a measurement of total pretax income earned by
individuals, non-profit organizations, and private trust funds. It is expressed
at an annual rate also. The more Personal Income increases the greater the
potential for the American people to spend and save money, which directly
influences the growth of the U.S. economy. Personal Income rose .7 percent in
January, following an increase of .3 percent in December. The average monthly
increases in 1999 were .5 percent. Some extenuating factors affected income in
recent months, including cost of living increases in federal transfer payments,
a federal pay raise, and agricultural subsidy payments in January. Real
disposable income, income after taxes and adjusted for price changes, increased
by .7 percent. There was no change in December. The individual personal saving
rate rose from 1 percent in December, which was its low, to 1.4 percent in
January. Savings rates generally go down in the months October through May due
to Holiday spending (includes "paying off" credit cards). There are
two methods in which Corporate Profits are reported by the government.
"Tax-based" profits are derived from corporate tax returns, and
"adjusted" profits reflect earnings from current production. Just as
increases in Personal Income are vital to the growth of the U.S economy,
increases in Corporate Profits are just as important on an even larger scale.
The greater the profits, the more potential for growth. This in turn has a
direct effect on employment rates, spending, etc. Profits reported from current
production increased $3.7 billion in the third quarter of 1999. This is a
dramatic improvement from a decrease of $6.5 billion in the second quarter.
Profits would have been about $10 billion more than they were in the ... more

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