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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 22-021 - PMV-4 Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, PMV-4
A Corporal assigned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina died in a PMV-4 mishap 29 January 2022 in Sanford, North Carolina, at 0843 local. Initial reports indicate the Solder lost control of the vehicle due to black ice, left the road and struck a tree. A civilian discovered the vehicle and called the Sanford Police Department. Emergency medical services transported the Soldier to the local hospital where he was pronounced dead upon arrival by the attending physician. Once he was identified as an Army Soldier, the local authorities contacted the Fort Bragg provost marshal office. Preliminary reports indicate the Soldier was wearing his seat belt, and alcohol or drugs were not involved. Speed as a contributing factor is unknown at this time. The safety/unit points of contact are waiting for local law enforcement to release their final report.
Since 2017, the Army has lost an average of 36 Soldiers a year to PMV-4 mishaps. This mishap was the seventh PMV-4 fatality of FY22 and below the number of fatalities for the same time period last year.


Black Ice

Understanding Black Ice Those who haven’t heard of black ice might think it’s, well, black, but that isn’t the case. Its ice that forms on the road, but it contains fewer air bubbles than other ice. This makes black ice especially hard to detect when driving. Sometimes it might simply look like a spot of water on the road. However, while it might look innocent, it is anything but. Black ice is one of the most dangerous things you can run into while driving your car, truck or SUV.

You’ll typically see black ice forming when the ground temperature hits freezing but sleet or rain is falling. In many cases, it forms in the night since sunlight can melt both ice and snow. When it cools down again, the water can freeze into ice. The worst places for black ice are near the bottom of inclines and around curves, as well as areas that collect water normally. In most cases, you aren’t going to notice black ice until you are already on top of it.

Spotting Black Ice Early
It’s difficult to notice black ice since it appears to be nothing more than water. However, being aware of the weather conditions is a big part of it. If you know that it may go below freezing, or it already has, it’s best to assume that any water you see on the road could be ice. While this won’t be accurate, it will keep you safe in the event that it is. When you treat every situation as if the worst possible result will happen, you might have to be more cautious and aware, but you will also be less likely to end up in an accident.

Ways to Avoid Black Ice
If it’s chilly outside, you may find yourself on black ice at any moment. It’s important to be vigilant and aware of what is going on around you. If you see a spot of water and think it might be black ice, drive around it if that’s something you can safely do. Being aware of the areas in town where black ice is common is also helpful because you can choose alternate routes when it’s below freezing. You should also watch for stranded drivers or skid marks, since that can be the sign of ice nearby.


Safety Tips for Driving on Black Ice
Since it’s impossible to avoid black ice in areas that get cold, the best thing you can do is be prepared. The black ice safety tips below will help you keep safe even if you happen onto a patch of invisible ice.

1 – Drive Steadily and Slowly
Those who are familiar with driving on snow know that it’s best to drive slowly, but at a steady pace. That is the best option when there may be black ice, as well. The difference is that snow can provide you with traction while black ice is smooth and is not going to help your tires stick. What that means is that if you are going too quickly, you might find that you can’t stop once you hit a patch of the invisible ice. The moment you realize you are on black ice, remove your foot from the gas as quickly as possible.

Another part of this tip is that you should keep your wheel straight as much as possible, which can help you coast right over the ice without an accident. If you happen to turn your wheel on the ice, you will be much more likely to lose control of your car. If your car begins to skid, you want to turn into the skid, not against it. Doing otherwise can send you shooting across the road in the wrong direction.

2 – Don’t Use Your Brakes
One tip for driving on black ice is that you should lay off the brakes. With a lot of driving situations that escalate into emergencies, the brakes can help you out of a jam. That isn’t the case for this problem. As you approach an icy patch, let your foot leave the brakes as early as possible. If this can be done before reaching the ice, that’s the best scenario. If your car is going a little too fast, you can pump the brakes, rather than slamming onto them to avoid a skid. Slamming on your brakes on black ice is the worst thing you can do, and it can escalate the problem.

3 – Understand What to Do During a Skid
The worst thing you can do during a skid on black ice is over-correcting. What this often does is make the problem more severe and send you spinning around the opposite direction. Instead, you want to turn into the skid and start pumping your bakes. When the skid begins to end, you will want to bring the steering wheel back to the normal position. After you find traction again, you can begin to correct the direction of your car. Be one of the cars driving on black ice with a driver who knows the proper protocol to avoid more trouble.

4 – Be Aware of What Will Not Help
When it comes to snow, four-wheel drive, studded tires and snow chains can be a huge help. This is unfortunately not the case with black ice. Because there is no traction available on black ice, you can’t really do much to improve it. Many people think they are less likely to end up in trouble using these devices, but that’s not true. You still need to be careful and watch your surroundings as you drive in freezing weather. It’s an even better plan to have an emergency kit available so you can keep safe until help arrives if something goes wrong.

5 – Pay Attention to the Temperature
Almost every car that you can buy today has an external temperature readout. If you pay extra attention to the reading during the winter months, you’ll be better prepared to handle black ice when it happens. As soon as the reading drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, be more cautious. You may even want to do this if the temperature is a few degrees away since your readings may not be 100% accurate at all times.

If you follow these tips for driving on black ice, you’ll be much less likely to end up injured or in an accident. After you get used to the process, it will become second nature and you won’t even have to think much about it. Nobody wants to end up in an accident, especially when it’s freezing outside, so do whatever you can to avoid that situation for yourself.

 

PLR 22-020 - Industrial/Occupational Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, Other
A 20-year-old Specialist assigned to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, died in an industrial/occupational mishap 24 January 2022 on the installation, at 1430 local. While lowering a Containerized Kitchen (CK) during a tire change, the Soldier was removing one of the jack stands when the CK tipped over approximately 90-degrees, landing on top of the Soldier. Due to reduced traction from an icy surface, the Soldier was unable to get clear of the equipment and was killed instantly. Department of Emergency Services pronounced the Soldier dead at the scene. The U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center is leading a safety investigation into the mishap.

Since FY17, the Army has lost an average of one Soldier a year to industrial/occupational mishaps. This tragedy was the first fatal industrial/occupational mishap of FY22.


Safety Tips:

- Ensure all maintenance is conducted in accordance with the proper TM and work package.
- When performing wheel and tire replacement procedures, ensure suitable lifting device is placed under the axle.
- Do not use alternate means of lifting the axle.

 

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.

 

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