Analysis of Navy Hornet squadron mishap costs with regard to previously flown flight hours
Baumann, Jason R.
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Naval aviation is inherently dangerous. Recently, budgetary pressures have reduced flight hours across naval aviation. The author's experience as a naval aviator has allowed him to see that mishaps occur more frequently in a squadron when flight hours are reduced. This thesis correlates F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet squadron previously flown flight hours with mishap costs. It uses a macro level approach by evaluating how a squadron's previously flown flight hours affect mishap cost and the likelihood of a mishap. This thesis does not attempt to assign mishap causality; this thesis describes only the relationship between mishap cost and previously flown flight hours. Analyzing 15 years' worth of squadron monthly flight hours and mishaps shows that mishap cost is statistically correlated to the flight hours flown during the previous three and six months. A linear multivariate model was developed and used to analyze a dataset containing mishaps in the years 2001-2016. This analysis showed a reduction of ~$9,500 in mishap cost for every flight hour flown in the previous three months. Additionally, mishap rates were shown to increase during periods of low flight-hour operations. Cost per flight hour is approximately $10,000, making a mishap cost increase (when a mishap occurs) from a reduction in flight hours roughly equal to the cost per hour.
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