The Naval Flight Surgeon's
Reference to Aircraft Mishap Investigation
Fourth Edition 1995
Aircraft Mishap Board
The Society of United States Naval Flight Surgeons
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed
Each naval FM, FRM, and AGM shall be investigated and reported in accordance
with OPNAVINST 3750.6 by an aircraft mishap board (AMB).
Precedence: Mishap investigation and reporting responsibilities of AMB
members shall take precedence over all other duties.
Membership: Minimum of 4 of the following:
- Flight surgeon
- Aviation safety officer (safety officer course graduate, if available)
- Officer well-qualified in aircraft maintenance
- Officer well-qualified in aircraft operations.
- Personnel who were directly involved in a mishap shall not serve on an
AMB conducting an investigation of that mishap.
- For mishaps involving aircraft manned by an aircrew, at least one member
of the AMB shall be a pilot NATOPS-qualified in the model aircraft involved
in the mishap under investigation.
- A member who has a personal interest in a mishap which might conflict
with the objective and impartial performance of AMB duties shall not serve
on an AMB conducting an investigation of that mishap.
- Under no circumstances may an expected endorser of an MIR serve as a
member of the AMB investigating the mishap which will be the subject of that
- AMB members shall not be assigned as members to any other investigation
(e.g., JAG) of the same mishap.
- Officers on exchange duty from other services (USA or foreign) are
authorized to serve on AMBs but may not be the senior member.
- Replacements and additions to the board may be made by the appointing
authority at the recommendation of the senior member.
- Individual board members who feel their expertise is not needed for a
given mishap investigation may be excused from active participation (but not
the AMB itself) at the prerogative of the senior member.
- He shall be a naval aviator or naval flight officer.
- He shall be senior to the pilot in command and mission commander involved
in the mishap being investigated.
- On all class A FM or FRM investigations, the senior member will be
appointed by the aircraft controlling custodian from sources external to any
reporting custodian involved in the mishap (if practical outside the endorsing
- On all class A FM or FRM investigations, the senior member will be grade
05 or higher and a graduate of the Aviation Safety Officer Course or Aviation
Command Course or have other suitable training or qualifications approved by
the aircraft controlling custodian.
- Each aircraft reporting custodian (squadron) maintains a standing AMB to
immediately assume the mishap investigation responsibilities of the AMB when a
- It may be replaced entirely, in part, or not at all.
- Members shall maintain a thorough knowledge of Naval Aviation Safety
Program (OPNAVINST 3750.6), the Guide to Mishap Investigation (NAVAIR
00-80T-116), the squadron’s safety program, and the squadron’s premishap plan.
Privilege: The privileged status of the information the AMB acquires
is one of its most important tools in obtaining complete cooperation from
witnesses and in determining the cause of the mishap. Each AMB member should
understand that the information derived from their work is of a privileged
nature and may be used only to improve flying safety within the Navy. (see
Consultants: A thorough and comprehensive investigation frequently
requires the services of other specialized personnel, such as aircraft company
technical representatives, as consultants to the AMB. Only information deemed
absolutely necessary will be provided to consultants; privileged information
should be limited to the AMB.
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