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Preliminary Loss Reports (PLRs)

About Preliminary Loss Reports (PLRs)

Preliminary Loss Reports provide leaders with awareness of Army loss and highlight potential trends that affect combat readiness. Within 72 hours of a loss, PLRs provide a synopsis of the incident: unit, date of loss, description of the activity at the time of the death. PLRs do not identify root causes of an accident, as the investigation is ongoing. Further details will be available later on RMIS (account required).

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PLR 22-019 - Off-Duty Sports, Recreation, and Physical Training Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, Sports & Recreation
A Sergeant assigned to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, died in an off-duty sports, recreation and physical training mishap 16 January 2022 in Lake Desoto, Hot Springs, Arkansas, at 1914 local. The Soldier and his fiancée fell into the river when their kayak capsized. A nearby boater heard screams for help and immediately responded. The boater rescued the fiancée but was unable to locate the Soldier. First responders from the Department of Natural Resources initiated search-and-rescue efforts with negative results. Those efforts transitioned to search and recovery due to the length of time the Soldier had been missing. His body was recovered two days later.

Since FY17, the Army has lost an average of 12 Soldiers a year to off-duty sports, recreation and physical training mishaps. This tragedy was the first fatal off-duty sports, recreation and physical training mishap of FY22.

Safety Tips:

• WEAR YOUR PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICE. Coast Guard regulations require that all kayaks have a lifejacket on board. Wearing your lifejacket will help keep your head above water and add insulation to your body, keeping you warmer in cold water. There are great PFDs designed specifically for paddlers. Buy one that fits well, and always wear it while you paddle.
• Be aware of weather conditions and water temperature. Prepare for changes in weather and the possibility of capsizing. If paddling in cold water, a wet suit or dry suit can keep you warm and comfortable. In warm weather, a long sleeve shirt can provide sun protection.
• Beware of off-shore winds that make it difficult to return to shore.
• Always follow the boating rules of the area you're kayaking.
• Never mix alcohol or drugs (prescription or non-prescription) with kayaking.
• Never exceed the weight capacity of your kayak and always check your equipment for wear and tear before you paddle.
• Seek qualified instruction to learn proper paddling techniques, water safety and basic first aid.
• Brush up on self-rescue first in calm, warm, shallow water, and again in more extreme conditions.
• Tell someone your paddle plan, which includes where you are going, what you will be doing, how long you expect to be gone and how many people are in your party. Then stick to your plan.
• Paddling in the surf zone or in rivers can be dangerous. Always wear a helmet.
• Stay hydrated. Always bring plenty of water and food.
• When paddling in a new area, check with the locals regarding currents, shoreline conditions and weather patterns. Plan an "escape" route — an alternative place to get off the water should environmental conditions dictate it.

For more info, visit https://www.oceankayak.com/blog/article/basic-safety-tips-kayaking.

 

PLR 22-018 - PMV-2 Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, PMV-2
A North Carolina National Guard Captain on active duty for operational support, died in a PMV-2 mishap 29 December 2021 in Durham, North Carolina, at 1650 local. The Soldier was approaching an intersection, when a civilian vehicle made a left turn and collided with the Soldier’s motorcycle. The Soldier was pronounced dead at the local hospital. Initial reports stated the Soldier did not complete the proper Military SportBike RiderCourse (MSRC). The mishap is still under investigation by the North Carolina Highway Patrol.

Since 2017, the Army has lost an average of 25 Soldiers a year to PMV-2 mishaps. This preventable mishap is the eighth off-duty PMV-2 fatality of FY22 and above the number of fatalities for the same time period last year.

At some point, many people flirt with the idea of riding a motorcycle. It's a great way to relax and have some fun, but it’s not without obstacles - and that's before traffic even comes into play. How can anyone learn to ride without a license - or even without a bike? What if the new bike shows up, along with a big box of expensive gear, and riding just isn't a good fit? And truthfully, the whole idea - being among cars without the same protection offered by a car - can really be scary.

For new riders, especially, a motorcycle safety course can provide a solution to most of these problems. Any search for motorcycle rider education or training will probably lead to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), which is a nonprofit organization supported by motorcycle manufacturers or one of the many state-approved or local training providers. The MSF offers the best recognized rider education program in the United States and the classes are held across the country. However there are numerous state-approved programs, and Harley Davidson provides new rider education at most of its dealerships.

Training providers say that riding requires both physical and mental fortitude, and the beginning rider courses are designed to develop and perfect skills in both areas.

10: Motorcycle Safety Foundation-based courses and state approved programs are reputable

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation's riding courses are the only such programs in the world, and the organization carefully maintains its reputation and high standards. The MSF certifies its own coaches and provides certification programs. Many independent and state-sponsored schools use the MSF curriculum and employ MSF-certified coaches. In addition, the army recognizes several state-approved programs.

Course availability varies by location, but generally, they're held throughout the riding season. Motorcycle experience isn't necessary for beginning courses, but some schools recommend that students be comfortable on a bicycle so the riding posture and balance aren't totally new sensations. Course tuition also varies depending on location. In some areas, costs are subsidized by corporations (like motorcycle manufacturers), government safety or training programs, or other nonprofits (like safety awareness organizations).

There are some guidelines to follow when selecting a course; any high-quality program should be happy to provide this information. Reputable schools use late-model motorcycles that are regularly inspected and certified according to local safety laws. At a good school, classes will be small so the instructors can pay attention to everyone. Schools' websites should provide the information necessary to prepare for class, such as what will happen during inclement weather, whether students need a motorcycle permit or if just a driver's license will suffice, any liability forms that need to be filled out, and whether the state licensing exam is available after completing the course.

9: Motorcycle safety courses improve the hobby's reputation

Scary fact: More than half of all motorcycle crashes involve riders with fewer than five months of experience. Motorcycling doesn't enjoy a flawless public perception, but the sport's advocates believe that if riders hold themselves to a higher standard, some of the negative misconceptions about motorcycles - namely, that most riders are reckless and disregard the safety of themselves and fellow motorists - might diminish over time. To that end, the MSF's mission statement is "to make motorcycling safer and more enjoyable by ensuring access to lifelong quality education and training for current and prospective riders, and by advocating a safer riding environment." In practical terms, if word gets out that many new motorcycle riders complete rigorous safety training before getting licensed and going on the road, maybe they will be seen with more respect.

Although training providers work hard to improve the perceptions of motorsports, most emphasize the point that, ultimately, motorcyclists can depend only on themselves, so it's essential to develop the proper skill sets. Even careful, responsible riders must face the realities of the sport's reputation. Getting injured is an ongoing concern for new and experienced riders alike. Although nothing can guarantee that a rider won't get hurt, motorcycle training curriculum is designed to prepare all riders to cope with a variety of situations and enjoy the road as safely as possible.

A rider who is serious about the hobby should be properly educated and trained and ride appropriately, to avoid undermining these efforts.

8: The most popular motorcycle safety courses are designed for novice riders

Basic courses are recommended as the first step for all new riders, and the cornerstone of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation curriculum and all state approved programs. This level provides expert instruction and observed practice in a safe and comfortable environment, so new riders will be less overwhelmed when they finally hit the road solo.

Basic courses generally consist of about five hours of classroom instruction and discussion, followed by about 10 to 15 hours of practical (on-bike) instruction on a closed course. Class instruction covers laws and rules of the road, best motorcycling practices, and basic bike operation. Students can expect to ride 10 to 15 miles (16.1 to 24.1 kilometers) during the bike instruction, during which the class will cover skills such as starting, accelerating, slowing, stopping, shifting and matching gears to speed, turning, and learning to anticipate and accommodate a variety of traffic situations.

The basic course also focuses on the skills needed to pass the state licensing exam (which, of course, varies by state). As we'll discuss later in the article, students in some areas may get a bonus when it's time to take the license exam, simply from completing a basic motorcycle safety course. If instruction at this level sounds, well, too basic, there are a lot of other options for more experienced riders.

7: Refresher courses help with forgotten or neglected skills

Perhaps it's been a while, due to an injury or illness, because the weather's been bad or because the bike had to be sold. Maybe life just got in the way and took the focus off riding. Better to seek help and regain the necessary confidence than to take a risk with stale skills.

In such cases, any basic-level instruction would be better than none. One such refresher option is a basic course for riders with an expired permit or license, to get them back in shape to retake the exam. Other courses focus on redeveloping or correcting those same skills, but without spending time on the exam-related portions. Whatever the reason, a motorcycle safety course can help whip a lapsed rider right back into shape.

6: Experienced rider? Try an intermediate course!

Eager to recapture the thrill of those early days on a motorcycle? In an intermediate class, designed for experienced riders, instructors will examine skills with a fresh eye, offer new techniques to enhance the riding experience and provide feedback to correct bad habits.

Specific course offerings vary by school and location, MSF and the state-approved courses mentioned have several options for experienced riders. There are a few different levels of basic skill enhancement, as well as courses designed specifically for street riding.

Many schools require intermediate students to bring their own motorcycles to the class - that way, instructors can focus on refining skills and students won't be distracted by operating an unfamiliar vehicle. Any of these courses (or similar courses offered by a local school) will improve the quality of life for a motorcycle enthusiast. There's always room for improvement, after all.

5: Some motorcycle safety courses offer specialized skill training

Thanks in part to high gas prices, scooters are rising in popularity. Scooters are different from motorcycles mainly because most of them feature automatic transmissions and they're designed to be easier to ride. According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and the insurance industry, though, a scooter may as well be a motorcycle. Some of them are even considerably more powerful than an average bike. Since scooters are especially popular in urban areas with heavy traffic, it's important to learn to ride properly. Some motorcycle schools will teach the basic course to students on scooters, if arrangements are made in advance. Other schools offer scooter-specific training courses.

Many schools offer advanced courses for general, yet in-depth, refinement of skill and technique. However, with a little research, interested riders may be able to find courses specifically for racing, dirt biking and stunt riding.

4: It's a smarter investment than blindly buying a bike

On a hot summer day, the sultry lean of a Triumph parked at a curb can be enough to get the gears turning, inspiring daydreams of open-air motoring. It's a lot of fun to browse eBay and Craigslist, so it's understandable that many new riders have selected a few potential bikes before, say, getting a grasp on the state's licensing requirements.

But hold on! Looks (and exhaust note) aren't everything. It's easy (and fun) to believe the best way to get experience is on a newly-purchased motorcycle, but in fact, the opposite is true. Most motorcycle safety courses provide helmets and motorcycles for the hands-on instruction segments of the entry-level class (but of course, check with the school first - students sometimes need to bring their own gloves and other protective equipment). For new riders, taking a course is an inexpensive way to try riding, without making the full investment in a bike and gear, not to mention maintenance and insurance.

After completing a motorcycle safety course, it's easier to make a more educated decision about buying. Riders will gain some insight about what kind of motorcycles they'd prefer to own, and the school's instructors might be willing to provide valuable advice. Some schools have a variety of bikes in the fleet, so students can switch it up and try different types, and the class instruction segment of the course sometimes covers the basics of choosing a motorcycle. It'll be easier to go shopping after completing the course, since motorcycle dealerships won't allow test rides to prospective buyers without motorcycle licenses. And an investment of several thousand dollars, or more, is not insignificant - there's little point in buying a motorcycle up front, only to find out that riding it isn't as appealing as you imagined.

3: Possible insurance discounts... and other benefits

Some insurance providers will give a discount on motorcycle insurance after completion of a certified motorcycle safety course. The discount usually ranges from five to 20 percent, depending on the particular insurance carrier. Motorcycle insurance isn't cheap, so these savings can be substantial. Sometimes, a rider will break even on taking the course. And the discount isn't only for new riders. A motorcycle rider who takes a course might still be eligible for this benefit - it's always worth asking the insurance agent.

Sometimes, there are other financial benefits to completing a motorcycle course. When shopping for a brand new motorcycle after completing a training course, ask the salesperson or check the manufacturer's website to see if any such bonuses are being offered.

Motorcycle insurance won't be very useful without a license, though, so keep reading.

2: It's a fast path to a motorcycle license

In some states, successful completion of an MSF or state approved course can allow a rider to bypass the written or riding portions of the motorcycle license exam, and in a few states, riders qualify for a motorcycle license immediately and automatically after passing the course.

1: Get confident... and in turn, make riding a motorcycle more fun

A motorcycle safety course might actually be fun - after all, riding is supposed to be fun - but that's not the program's primary goal. According to testimonials on many schools' websites, new riders often describe the course as intense and rigorous. But the results demonstrate that the intensity pays off. Generally, schools estimate that about 80 to 90 percent of students pass the beginner course on the first attempt.

Though a motorcycle safety course teaches skills in a highly-controlled environment, MSF says that the techniques are applicable to any situation. That confidence will pay dividends in the long run, because well-trained new riders will be less distracted and more able to concentrate on developing those skills and techniques.

So, which sounds more appealing for a first solo cruise? The thrill of flying blind brings with it unnecessary and extreme recklessness. But venturing out, with the assurance gained only from being taught and observed by qualified instructors, will allow a new rider to enjoy more pleasures of the experience of riding.

 

PLR 22-017 - Flight-Related Hoist Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, Other
A Private assigned to Fort Benning, Georgia, died in a flight-related hoist mishap 27 December 2021 near Marsing, Idaho, at approximately 0955 local. The Soldier was on leave when he was injured while hiking. He was located by a local mountain search and rescue team. The search and rescue team requested aviation support assistance from the Idaho Army National Guard (IDARNG) to hoist him to an air ambulance transfer point very close to the point of pick up. The IDARNG responded with a UH-60L Black Hawk. During the hoist operation, the Soldier fell from the sked as it was ascending to the aircraft. The Soldier was recovered and re-hoisted successfully onto the aircraft and transported a short distance where he was transferred to awaiting emergency services. The Soldier was pronounced dead by the local emergency services. The U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center is investigating the mishap.

The Army has lost one Soldier since 2017 to flight-related hoist mishaps. This mishap is the first flight-related hoist mishap fatality of FY22.

 

PLR 22-016 - PMV-2 Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, PMV-2
A Staff Sergeant assigned to Fort Carson, Colorado died in a PMV-2 mishap 19 December 2021 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at 1600 local. The Soldier was operating his motorcycle when a civilian vehicle ran a red light and struck him. The Soldier was ejected and suffered a broken pelvis, ribs, and collapsed lungs. He was transported to the local medical center and pronounced dead upon arrival by the attending physician. It is unknown who notified emergency medical services at this time. Initial reports indicate that the Soldier was wearing the required personal protective equipment, was properly licensed, and completed the mandatory Motorcycle Safety Foundation training. The specific circumstances of the mishap, including speed, and alcohol or drugs as contributing factors, are also unknown. The safety/unit points of contact are waiting for the local law enforcement to release their final report.

Since 2017, the Army has lost an average of 25 Soldiers a year to off-duty PMV-2 mishaps. This mishap was the sixth off-duty PMV-2 fatality of FY22.


Safety Tips for Intersections:

1. This is the cardinal rule: Always assume that every motorist on the road is going to do something wrong that will hurt or kill a motorcyclist.
This may sound like paranoia, and maybe it is, but it is good for you if you want to stay safe on your bike. Keep your eyes and senses peeled at all times when it comes to other motorists.

That guy driving toward the intersection? Assume he is going to turn left in front of the approaching motorcycle.

That woman sitting at the intersection? Assume she is going to pull out just as the motorcycle reaches the intersection.

What about that guy parked along the curb with his motor running? Assume he is going to pull out into traffic just as the motorcycle is reaching the parked car, and so on.

Other motorists may not have malicious intent towards bikers, and most people do not mean to hurt others, it just happens.

2. Slow down when approaching intersections, even if no other motorists are visible.

Roadways approaching intersections, especially in towns or cities, often cannot be properly viewed until you’re right on them. Assume there are vehicles approaching from both directions at intersections, and that they will blow through the traffic controls. By slowing down before the intersection, the motorcyclist is better prepared to deal with unexpected danger. You may have a green light, but people run red lights all the time. The few seconds you take to slow down could mean the difference between crashing and cruising on.

3. DO NOT rely on the other driver’s eyes.

It may look like that other driver is staring right at the motorcyclist. Many times, drivers are looking right “through” the motorcyclist, focusing on the larger vehicles in traffic. In this situation, the motorcycle becomes “invisible” to the motorist.

We have all had that experience where we get road hypnotized and when we arrive at our destination, we have no recollection of the trip or how we got there. It is as if we were on autopilot. Assume all other motorists are on autopilot.

4. DO rely on the other motorist’s wheels.

Instead of looking at the eyes of a motorist stopped at an intersection, look at the wheels of the car. The wheels do not lie. If the wheels start to move, the motorcyclist should brake as though the vehicle is going to pull out in front of the motorcycle, because there is a good chance it will.

At a four-way stop, it is also a good idea to beware of the classic "rolling stop". For those unfamiliar, this is where a motorist will slow at a stop sign but not come to a complete stop, instead opting to cruise on through.

5. Beware the "Lethal Left": When a motorcycle and car are approaching an intersection from opposite directions, always assume that the car is going to make a “lethal left” in front of the motorcycle.

The “lethal left” is the most common crash between auto and motorcycle. There are things bikers can do to minimize the chance of a “lethal left” happening to them. The most important preventive measure a biker can take involves attitude and vigilance. Assume that every motorist is going to do something dangerous that may cause injury or death. By adopting this attitude, a biker increases the chance of avoiding the “lethal left” and other motorist errors.

Do not assume the oncoming motorist is aware of the presence of a motorcycle in the intersection, even if it appears there is direct eye contact. Again, look at the wheels of the car for the most reliable indicator of what the motorist is going to do. Any time an oncoming auto has the opportunity to turn left, bikers must be on high alert.

In these situations always slow down, cover the brakes, and be prepared to take evasive action. The evasive action plan must take into consideration surrounding traffic conditions. Be aware of the position of other vehicles to be able to choose the safest escape route. Hard braking may not be a good choice if being tailgated at highway speed.

6. Whenever possible, a motorcyclist should go through intersections with a vehicle beside the motorcycle.

Most motorcycle-automobile crashes happen in intersections. In addition to the usual precautions, there is one thing bikers can do that will lessen the chance of being injured or killed in an intersection crash.

When approaching an intersection, try to have an automobile to the right side. Why? Because the vehicle to the right acts as a safety escort through the intersection. If an automobile runs a stoplight or a stop sign to the right, it will hit the car the biker is traveling beside instead of the biker. Better to have the safety escort to the right, as there is more time to react to a car running a stoplight from the left. The closer the biker is to the center of the road, the more buffer exists for traffic coming from both right and left.

When pulling away from a traffic light that has just turned green, pull away at the same speed as the car on the right does. To avoid getting t-boned in intersections, forget about accelerating hard from the stoplight. Let that car to the right be your safety escort through the intersection. That way, if somebody does run a red light or stop sign, the motorcycle is protected, at least from one direction.

7. Check tire pressure and tire condition before riding.

Improperly inflated tires can lead to tire failure. At high speeds, tire failure (or a full blowout) can be fatal.

While blowouts are rare, they do still happen. When tires fail, the most common cause is tire pressure that's too low. Checking tire conditions and pressure levels frequently will reduce the chance of a blowout. Know the tire manufacturer’s recommended pressure levels or, at the very least, where to find them on your tire. Know that if this is a new bike, the tire pressure recommended may not be the same as your old bike.

If a tire blows out or fails while riding, it’s crucial to react quickly and decisively to avoid a crash. The first sign of a tire blowout is that the motorcycle becomes harder to steer. The steering problem is caused by rapid air loss to a tire.

8. If a car is following a motorcycle too closely (closer than three seconds behind), wave the car back.

If the car will not move back to a proper following distance, do not let your temper get the better of you, pull over to the shoulder and let them by. If something happens that requires hard braking by a motorcycle with a car following too closely, chances are greatly increased that the car rear-ends the motorcycle. Remember, in a car vs. motorcycle crash, the car (almost) always wins.

9. Back Off! Follow the Three-Second Rule.

If a car passes and then pulls back in front of the motorcycle too closely, brake gently and back off to create the three-second safety buffer. Anything closer, and the motorcyclist doesn’t get enough time to react to things that “pop out” from under the car, like dead animals, chunks of tires from blowouts, etc. Following the three-second rule gives a rider the precious few moments needed to react exactly as they need to stay safe, anything fewer risks putting the rider in danger.
10. DO NOT follow vehicles too closely.

Keep that minimum three-second safety buffer between the motorcycle and the traffic in front. Any closer, and the risk skyrockets of rear-ending the vehicle if it slows down suddenly. Those folks in the vehicle ahead may be nice people, but the motorcyclist does not want to meet them by coming through the back window.

BONUS TIP: Beware of farm machinery.

In certain areas of the country, it is important to watch out for tractors, trailers, and combines, especially in the fall when Harvest Season is underway and more slow-moving equipment and machines are on the roads.

Keep in mind that it is illegal to pass within 100 feet of any intersection. With gravel roads roughly every mile, that greatly limits your legal passing opportunities.
While not illegal to pass slow-moving equipment near a farm drive or field entry, the safer call is to wait until you have gone by the drive or entry, then make the pass. Drivers of slow-moving machinery may have a more difficult time seeing motorcyclists than automobile drivers. This sometimes results in farm equipment turning in front of a motorcycle just as the bike starts to pass.

We may feel annoyed having to wait on slow-moving equipment, but a pass at the wrong moment can be fatal. Be on the lookout for places farm machinery might turn before making the move to pass. The best practice is to slow down to the speed of the farm equipment before considering a pass. The first benefit of slowing down is that it will allow an assessment of the potential danger. Secondly, if the tractor makes an unexpected movement, it will be much easier to avoid at low speed.

 

PLR 22-015 - GMV Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, Army Vehicle
A Specialist assigned to Fort Campbell, Kentucky died in a government motor vehicle (GMV) mishap 16 December 2021, at 0156 local. A field litter ambulance drove over two sleeping Soldiers in a non-designated and unmarked sleeping area, resulting in one Soldier fatality and another Soldier suffering non-fatal injuries.

Since 2017, the Army has experienced an average of 10 GMV fatalities per year. This was the second GMV fatality of FY22 and above the number of GMV fatalities during the same time period last year.


Tips:

- Ensure sleeping area perimeters are designated and marked as tactical situation permits (ChemLight, engineer tape).
- Select sleeping areas protected by natural obstacles when possible.
- Ensure Soldiers do not sleep outside of designated marked sleeping areas or in/under vehicles.
- Post a sleeping area guard to warn vehicle crews of troops on the ground.
- Establish dismount points beyond which vehicles may not move without ground guides.
- Ensure ground guides use flashlights to direct vehicles when visibility is reduced.
- Ensure vehicle commander walks completely around vehicle prior to movement to check for personnel clearance and other hazards in the vicinity.

 

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