Senior Member Guide




             The release of the report signals the end of formal Board activity, but there is business to clear up before all leave the room and turn out the lights.

             In the course of a thorough investigation, a Board will discover hazards which, although valid and deserving attention, did not precipitate damage or injury in the mishap at hand. Deliberation will have eliminated these as causes and consequently there will be no corrective action stated in the SIR. There remains a duty to report them. Prepare a hazard report for each in message format. Describe such a hazard without allusion to the mishap and recommend a remedy. Leave draft hazard reports with the safety member for consideration by the reporting custodian and his release.

             The Board might not hear or read that its report is acceptable. In keeping with the tradition silence means consent, the Board may adjourn if it has not been directed to reconvene for inadequacy or deficiency in the report within several days after release. It is expedient ask the appointing authority or controlling custodian whether the report is adequate.

Wreckage Release

             When you finish handling the wreckage, put pieces into boxes, marked and simply organized (e.g., engine, flight controls, cockpit...) in the event an endorser requests reexamination or further detail. Make it occupy minimum space and leave it securely stored until later released for disposal. Flight equipment worn by a deceased airman is not to be stored with wreckage or released as personal effects, but should be shipped to the cognizant field activity (NAWCAD Patuxent River) for examination and disposal; no EI report will follow, unless the AMB asks for one.

             If an investigator from Naval Safety Center attended, COMNAVSAFECEN will release by message its claim on the wreckage and real evidence to the AMB Senior Member.

            With agreement from the heads of concurrent investigations that none have further need for the aircraft and real evidence, the Senior Member should release them to the reporting custodian (squadron CO). This puts the aircraft and its records under OPNAVINST 4790.2_ jurisdiction, where maintenance administration can initiate steps to strike the bureau number, dispose of wreckage and retire records, as appropriate.

            Ensure your release informs any agency (NADEP, laboratory) holding exhibits of the change in custody. Because all will want to divest of items you sent for examination, this provides notice of changed custody and provides your relief an address list to inform all when disposal authorization is later obtained.


            Guidance for disposition of accumulated records and documents is provided in OPNAVINST 3750.6_. At the point the Board yields custody of the wreckage and real evidence, official records in Board hands return to their routine administrative venue. Documents the Board created or acquired during proceedings are retained locally until the closeout endorsement or for a specified time.

            The report (message, enclosures) and subsequent endorsements must be retained for two years from the mishap date and then destroyed. 

            Interim work product. Documents acquired or created by the Board but not used as enclosures should be retained until the final endorsement is issued. This applies to notes, statements, photos diagrams, tapes and the like. If the final endorsement does not direct action requiring the above documents, they should be destroyed. Drafts of the report are obsolescent and should be destroyed.

            Aircraft logs and records should be passed with custody of the wreckage to the reporting custodian.

            Service, health and training records, and flight logs for missing or deceased personnel should be returned to Administrative or Medical departments for handling in accordance under NAVMILPERS Manual (Navy) or IRAM (USMC).

Contact Info: 757-444-3520 Ext: 7813 | POC:
Last Reviewed February 26, 2013