Air Force Chief of Staff General Ronald R. Fogleman has convened a four-
"Blue Ribbon Panel" to review the organization, staffing and investigative
procedures for the Air Force's Aircraft Mishap Prevention Program.
"Because we've had 18 class A mishaps since January 1, and 10 in the last two
months, and in light of recent published allegations concerning the quality and
objectivity of the Air Force safety program, I believe it's time to conduct a
major, independent review," General Fogleman said.
Class A mishaps are those which result in fatalities, destroy an aircraft or
cost $1 million or more to repair.
The group can examine any safety-
area which, in its judgment, may yield recommendations that will improve the
Air Force's ability to prevent mishaps, and investigate and follow-
on mishaps in ways that will prevent them from happening, General Fogleman
The panel will be headed by retired Navy Vice Adm. Donald D. Engen, a one-
member of the National Transportation Safety Board and former administrator of
the Federal Aviation Administration.
Other members are:
Former Air Force Secretary Hans Mark, who is currently a professor in the
department of aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics at the University
of Texas in Austin.
Retired Air Force Gen. Robert C. Oaks, who is currently vice president of
safety and regulatory compliance for USAir.
Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Joel T. Hall, former Air Force director of
The panel has "unrestricted access" to all safety investigation reports,
safety archives and data automation systems that track the progress of actions
aimed at correcting conditions identified through investigations, General
The group will have access to classified and other sensitive documents;
however, such information will be redacted in its finalized report, which will
be provided to Congress and other agencies as necessary.
Admiral Engen said the panel is expected to begin its work before the end of
June and intends to produce a report within 60 days of its initial meeting.