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Jumpmaster Accident Investigation Board results released

  • Published
  • Air Force Special Operations Command Public Affairs
Air Force Special Operations Command officials released the results of their investigation into the Feb. 21, 2014 military free-fall training mishap in Eloy, Ariz., that killed Master Sgt. Josh Gavulic, a 17th Special Tactics Squadron tactical air control party member.

Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel, who was the AFSOC commander at the time and has since retired, convened a Safety Investigation Board immediately after the mishap in order to quickly determine the cause of the mishap and to recommend measures necessary to prevent a recurrence. SIBs do not produce a publicly releasable report; they determine safety of flight issues for Air Force internal use.

Under the authority delegated to him by the AFSOC commander, Maj. Gen. Norman Brozenick, AFSOC vice commander at the time, convened an Accident Investigation Board to investigate the matter and designated Maj. Gen. Mark Hicks, AFSOC director of operations, as the board president.

The board president determined the mishap was caused by Gavulic inadvertently pulling his reserve parachute ripcord while donning his rucksack in close proximity to an open ventilation door, which was of sufficient size for a parachute to pass through, but not large enough for the safe passage of a person.

The primary purpose of the Accident Investigation Board was to provide a publicly releasable report of the facts and circumstances surrounding the mishap. The report summary may be requested through the AFSOC Public Affairs at (850) 884-5515. To view the report in its entirety, submit a FOIA request to or call the AFSOC FOIA office at (850) 884-2290.

For more information, contact AFSOC Public Affairs at (850) 884-5515.