[FPSPACE] Genesis Mishap Investigation

DwayneDay zirconic1 at earthlink.net
Sat Oct 16 19:59:28 EDT 2004

-----Original Message-----
From: Allen Thomson <thomsona at flash.net>

>>  [What criteria determines the use of the words "mishap investigation" 
>> instead of "accident investigation"? "Mishap" is a pretty wimpy word 
>> and yet NASA often uses it when the event costs tens of millions of

> It was used for Columbia also. It was called "Mishap Response Status"  but 
> I think it was changed to "Accident" after a while.

Remember "malfunction".  Also "anomaly."

>I think people, particularly speaking in a corporate context,  just have an 
aversion to calling bad things by accurate names.


The reason I ask is that there may actually be formal bureaucratic designations that get used depending upon the type of, er, "event."

I believe that the US Navy and USAF have different categories of aircraft accidents depending upon the amount of monetary damage to the aircraft and/or loss of life.  However, they too may also use the term "mishap."  It is something like this: a "Class-A Mishap" is one involving loss or life and/or greater than $1 million damage to aircraft.  A Class-B Mishap is something like $250K to $999K damage to aircraft and/or severe injury to one or more persons, etc.  And so on.  So suppose there is only a minor monetary damage to the aircraft, but it results in loss of life, then that is automatically a Class A Mishap.  Each type of category has different investigation requirements.  Naturally, if someone gets killed or there is a lot of monetary damage, they will convene a formal investigation that requires X number of officers of high rank.  However, I am not sure if they still use the same lame term, "mishap" to refer to what can be quite severe accidents.

I was just wondering if NASA had anything similar, like formal categories for different kinds of investigations.  My guess is that the answer is that they have guidelines, but not formal categories.


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