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AIR FORCE ANNOUNCES SAFEST YEAR EVER

                AIR FORCE ANNOUNCES SAFEST YEAR EVER
    WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Air Force announced


today that fiscal year 1991 was the safest in its 44-year history.
    Brig. Gen. James L. Cole Jr., Air Force chief of safety, said: "The fact that this was accomplished while the Air Force participated in the largest deployment of U.S. forces in more than two decades is astounding.  The bottom line is we have a team of intelligent, motivated and skilled professionals who are dedicated to getting the job done in a safe and efficient manner."
    In fiscal year 1991, the Air Force flew more than 3,687,335 hours, which does not include 65,000 combat sorties from Desert Storm.
    According to Cole, the Air Force maintains flight records dating back to 1921 and fiscal year 1991 set records in every major safety category.
    -- Flight safety statistics show the lowest number ever for serious mishaps per 100,000 flying hours with a 1.11 rate, compared to 10-year average of 1.64.  The previous lowest rate was 1.49 in fiscal year 1990.
    -- Fatalities due to flight mishaps dropped to 18 in 1991, below the 10-year average of 64.  The previous low was 43 in fiscal 1990.
    -- The total number of destroyed aircraft was 38, compared to a previous low of 48 in fiscal 1988.  The 10-year average was 54.
    -- Losses due to combat are not included in peacetime flying safety records, but -- if they were -- the 14 war time aircraft losses would give the Air Force a total of 52 aircraft lost -- still below the 10-year peacetime average of 54.  Additionally, if the 20 additional war-time casualties were added to the number of crew members lost in flying accidents, that total number of 38 would also be below the previous low of 43 fatalities in fiscal year 1990.
    -- Fiscal 1991 also saw the lowest number of non-flying fatalities ever, 109, compared to a 10-year average of about 185 per year.  The previous low for a one-year period was 118 in fiscal 1989.
    Cole had high praise for the Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard crews who had to fly more than 200,000 hours beyond their programmed hours to support Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
    "There is great potential for mishaps in that kind of deployment," he said, "because it's high speed, high pressure and very intense."  Accomplishing that massive task while keeping the mishap rate down was a "tribute to our people and clearly demonstrated their unyielding commitment to safety and recognition of its integral role in the Air Force mission."
    Although fiscal 1991 was the best safety year in Air Force history, there were still a total of 127 deaths, "and that is 127 too many," he said.
    "We simply cannot accept death, injuries and lost and damaged equipment as the cost of doing business.  Our people are too precious and we have entered a challenging and difficult period where resources are scarcer and more expensive.
    "As we face the final decade of the 20th century and its challenges of budget, people and equipment shortages for our armed forces, it is imperative we elevate safety to the same level of significance as proficiency, professionalism and pride.  There is no alternative.
    "With our commanders in the lead, safety must be studied, emphasized and practiced throughout the Air Force.  The consequences of anything less are unacceptable," Cole said.
    -0-                         11/19/91
    /CONTACT:  Capt. Bryan Holt of the Air Force Office of Public Affairs, 703-695-9664/ CO:  U.S. Air Force ST:  District of Columbia IN:  ARO SU: TW-MH -- DC013 -- 4980 11/19/91 13:22 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 19, 1991
Words:609
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