98-08-14

August 14, 1998

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AIB PRESIDENT ARRIVES, EXPLAINS INVESTIGATION PROCESS

Accident Investigation Board Public Affairs, Cape Canaveral AFS, Fl.

 Patrick AFB, Fl. -- Maj Gen Robert C. Hinson, Air Force Space Command’s director of operations, is in place and ready to lead the Accident Investigation Board’s (AIB) inquiry into the Titan IVA mishap. The AIB will collect and preserve evidence and produce a report on the mishap and its cause, if determined, through the use of the U.S. Air Force’s Space Launch Mishap Investigation process approved earlier this year.

The AIB is composed of experts in space operations, range operations, maintenance and legal matters. A separate Safety Investigation Board is led by Col Alexander Carlisle, chief of safety for the 30th Space Wing, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

The Mishap Investigation procedures allows for a team of contractors and Air Force experts to perform an engineering analysis. They will evaluate the entire launch process from an engineering standpoint. The AIB will integrate the data it collects into its report, which is releasable to the public. Also, we will have incremental release of factual information at appropriate points during the investigation.

"We will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the cause of this accident and at the same time get releasable information out to the public and to industry as quickly as possible," Hinson said. "Our Mishap Investigation procedures will enable us to do that."

Hinson and the Board members are not tied to specific timelines. "Our priority is to gather the facts about this incident to prevent it from happening again," Hinson said.