The Commendation Medal is a mid-level United States military decoration, presented for sustained acts of heroism or meritorious service. For valorous actions in direct contact with an enemy, but of a lesser degree than required for the award of the Bronze Star Medal, a Commendation Medal with "V" Device or Combat "V" is awarded. On January 7 2016, The "C" Device or Combat "C” was created and may be authorized for wear on the service and suspension ribbon of the Commendation Medal to distinguish an award for meritorious service or achievement under the most arduous combat conditions. A Commendation Medal with Combat Device is unofficially named the “Combat Commendation” and is considered to be a higher level form of the Commendation Medal, regardless of the Awarding Branch. Retroactive award of the “C” device is not approved for medals awarded before 7 January 2016; each branch of the United States Armed Forces issues its own version of the Commendation Medal, with a fifth version existing for acts of joint military service performed under the Department of Defense.
The Commendation Medal was only a service ribbon and was first awarded by the U. S. Navy and U. S. Coast Guard in 1943. An Army Commendation Ribbon followed in 1945, in 1949, the Navy, Coast Guard, Army Commendation ribbons were renamed the "Commendation Ribbon with Metal Pendant". By 1960, the Commendation Ribbons had been authorized as full medals and were subsequently referred to as Commendation Medals. Additional awards of the Army and Air Force Commendation Medals are denoted by bronze and silver oak leaf clusters; the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and Coast Guard Commendation Medal are authorized gold and silver 5/16 inch stars to denote additional awards. The Operational Distinguishing Device is authorized for wear on the Coast Guard Commendation Medal upon approval of the awarding authority. Order of Precedence is following the Air Medal but before the Prisoner of War Medal and all campaign medals; each of the military services awards separate Achievement Medals which are below the Commendation Medals in precedence.
The Joint Service Commendation Medal was authorized on 25 June 1963 and is awarded in the name of the Secretary of Defense to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who, after 1 January 1963, distinguished themselves by meritorious achievement or service in a joint duty capacity. This award is intended for senior service on a joint military staff and is senior in precedence to service-specific Commendation Medals; as such, it is worn above the service Commendation Medals on a military uniform. DevicesOak leaf cluster "V" Device The Army Commendation Medal is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States other than General Officers who, while serving in any capacity with the U. S. Army after December 6, 1941, distinguished themselves by heroism, meritorious achievement or meritorious service; the medal may be awarded to a member of another branch of the U. S. Armed Forces or of a friendly foreign nation who, after June 1, 1962, distinguishes themselves by an act of heroism, extraordinary achievement, or significant meritorious service, of mutual benefit to the friendly nation and the United States.
Criteria and appearanceThe Army Commendation Medal is awarded to American and foreign military personnel in the grade of O-6 and below who have performed noteworthy service in any capacity with the United States Army. Qualifying service for the award of the medal can be for distinctive meritorious achievement and service, acts of courage involving no voluntary risk of life, or sustained meritorious performance of duty. Approval of the award must be made by an officer in the grade of higher; the medallion of the Army Commendation Medal is a bronze hexagon, 13⁄8 inches wide. On the medallion is an American bald eagle with wings spread horizontally, grasping in its talons three crossed arrows. On its breast is a shield paly of thirteen pieces and a chief; the reverse bears a panel for naming between the words FOR MILITARY above and MERIT below, all placed above a laurel sprig. The ribbon is 13⁄8 inches wide of myrtle green, it is edged in white and in the center are five thin white stripes spaced apart.
DevicesOak leaf cluster "V" Device "C" Device "R" Device The U. S. Air Force began issuing its own Air Force Commendation Medal in 1958 with additional awards denoted by oak leaf clusters. Prior to this time, USAF recipients received the Army Commendation Medal, it was not until 1996. On January 7, 2016, the "C" device and "R" device was authorized on the Air Force Commendation Medal as well. For USAF enlisted personnel, the Air Force Commendation Medal is worth three points under the Air Force enlisted promotion system. Criteria and appearanceThe Air Force Commendation Medal is awarded to both American and foreign military personnel of any service branch in the U. S. military grade of O-6 and below
Good Conduct Medal (United States)
The Good Conduct Medal is one of the oldest military awards of the United States Armed Forces. The U. S. Navy's variant of the Good Conduct Medal was established in 1869, the Marine Corps version in 1896, the Coast Guard version in 1923, the Army version in 1941, the Air Force version in 1963; the criteria for a Good Conduct Medal are defined by Executive Orders 8809, 9323, 10444. The Good Conduct Medal, each one specific to one of the five branches of the U. S. Armed Forces, is awarded to any active duty enlisted member of the United States military who completes three consecutive years of "honorable and faithful service"; such service implies that a standard enlistment was completed without any non-judicial punishment, disciplinary infractions, or court martial offenses. If a service member commits an offense, the three-year mark "resets" and a service member must perform an additional three years of service without having to be disciplined, before the Good Conduct may be authorized. During times of war, the Good Conduct Medal may be awarded for one year of faithful service.
The Good Conduct Medal may be awarded posthumously, to any service member killed in the line of duty. Service for the Good Conduct Medal must be performed on active duty; this restriction does not apply to full-time active duty enlisted members in the Reserve Component, such as Army and Air Force personnel in an Active Guard and Reserve status, Navy personnel in a Full Time Support known as Training & Administration of the Reserve, Marine Corps Active Reserve programs. On 1 January 2014, the Navy discontinued the Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal, a de facto Good Conduct Medal for Navy Reserve enlisted personnel. Since that date, all Navy enlisted personnel have received the Navy Good Conduct Medal, whether in a full-time active duty or a part-time drilling reserve status; the various services have established separate Reserve Good Conduct Medals, albeit under various names, as a comparable award available to enlisted Reserve and National Guard members who satisfactorily perform annual training, drill duty and any additional active duty of less than 3 consecutive years duration.
The exception, as stated, is the United States Navy, which discontinued that service's separate award for Reserve Component enlisted personnel as of 1 January 2014. Enlisted Navy Reservists now earn time towards the Navy Good Conduct Medal, the same as the Active Component and any time earned towards an unawarded Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal is automatically carried over to the Navy Good Conduct Medal; the Navy Good Conduct Medal is the oldest Good Conduct Medal, dating back to 26 April 1869. There have been a total of four versions of the Navy Good Conduct Medal, the first version of, issued from 1870 to 1884; the original Navy Good Conduct Medal was not worn on a uniform, but issued with discharge papers as a badge to present during reenlistment. A sailor in the Navy received a new Good Conduct Medal for each honorable enlistment completed; the second version of the Navy Good Conduct Medal was issued between 1880 and 1884. The medal was considered a "transitional decoration" and was the first of the Good Conduct Medals to be worn on a uniform.
The medal was phased out by 1885 and a new medal issued between 1885 and 1961. The new medal was a Good Conduct medallion suspended from an all red ribbon. Enlistment bars, denoting each honorable enlistment completed, were pinned on the ribbon as attachments. There was slight oddity during the Spanish–American War when the Navy created the Specially Meritorious Service Medal which had an all red suspension and service ribbon. There were recorded cases of Navy enlisted personnel who were awarded both the Good Conduct Medal and the Specially Meritorious Service Medal who wore two red service ribbons on their Navy service uniforms; this is one of the rare times in the history of U. S. military awards that two awards had identical ribbons. In the 1950s bronze and silver 3/16 inch stars, with one silver star worn in lieu of five bronze stars, replaced the enlistment bars. Although the medal itself had not changed since 1884, in 1961 a ring suspension for the ribbon and medal combination was adopted, differentiating the suspension from its Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal counterpart and standardizing it with the majority of other service medals.
It is this 1961 version of the Navy Good Conduct Medal, still in use today. The current Navy Good Conduct Medal is issued to every active duty enlisted sailor who completes three years of honorable and faithful service since 1 January 1996. For prior awards to personnel between 1 November 1963 and 1 January 1996, four years of service were required; the four year requirement applies for award of the Navy Good Conduct Medal from its original establishment until 1 November 1963. Additional awards of the Navy Good Conduct Medal are denoted by bronze and silver 3/16 inch stars; the reverse side of the medal has three words, "FIDELITY ZEAL OBEDIENCE" superimposed in a semicircle. Upon 12 years of honorable and faithful service, sailors are allowed to w
The Achievement Medal is a military decoration of the United States Armed Forces. The Achievement Medal was first proposed as a means to recognize the contributions of junior officers and enlisted personnel who were not eligible to receive the higher Commendation Medal or the Meritorious Service Medal; each military service issues its own version of the Achievement Medal, with a fifth version authorized by the U. S. Department of Defense for joint military activity; the Achievement Medal is awarded for outstanding achievement or meritorious service not of a nature that would otherwise warrant awarding the Commendation Medal. Award authority rests with local commanders, granting a broad discretion of when and for what action the Achievement Medal may be awarded; the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, is the United States Navy and U. S. Marine Corps' version of the Achievement Medal; the U. S. Navy was the first branch of the U. S. Armed Forces to award such a medal, doing so in 1961, when it was dubbed the “Secretary of the Navy Commendation for Achievement Medal”.
This title was shortened in 1967 to the "Navy Achievement Medal". On 19 August 1994, to recognize those of the United States Marine Corps who had received the Navy Achievement Medal, the name of the decoration was changed to the "Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal"; the award is referred to in shorthand speech as a "NAM". From its inception in the early 1960s to 2002, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal could not be approved by the commanding officers of ships, aviation squadron, or shore activities who held the rank of Commander. Awards for crewmembers had to be submitted to the Commodore or Air Wing Commander or the first appropriate O-6 in the chain of command for approval, who signed the award and returned it; this led to a lower awarding rate when compared to similar size units in the Army or Air Force awarding their own achievement medals considering that those services did not establish their respective achievement medals until the 1980s. Since 2002 the commanding officers of aviation squadrons and ships have had the authority to award NAMs without submission to higher authority.
For the Army, battalion commanders (or the first O-5 in a soldier's chain of command for the Army Achievement Medal. The United States Coast Guard created its own Achievement Medal in 1967. S. Army and U. S. Air Force issued their own versions of the award with the Army Achievement Medal in 1981 and Air Force Achievement Medal in 1980. Effective 11 September 2001, the Army Achievement Medal may be awarded in a combat area. Since this change over sixty thousand Army Achievement Medals have been awarded in theaters of operations such as Iraq and Afghanistan; the Joint Service Achievement Medal was created in 1983. This award was considered a Department of Defense decoration senior to the service department Achievement Medals; the following devices may be authorized to be worn on the following achievement medals suspension ribbon and service ribbon: All Achievement Medals, "C" device, which signifies meritorious performance "under combat conditions", after January 2016 Army Achievement Medal, for additional awards - oak leaf clusters Air Force Achievement Medal, for additional awards - oak leaf clusters Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, for additional awards - 5/16 inch stars Coast Guard Achievement Medal, for additional awards - 5/16 inch stars Joint Service Achievement Medal, for additional awards - oak leaf clusters Coast Guard Achievement Medal - Operational Distinguishing Device Coast Guard Achievement Medal - Combat Distinguishing Device The following ribbon devices were authorized in the past but have now been discontinued: Air Force Achievement Medal - "V" Device, until December 2016 Army Achievement Medal - "V" Device, until December 2016 Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal - Combat Distinguishing Device, until December 2016 Awards and decorations of the United States government Awards and decorations of the United States military Awards and decorations of the United States Coast Guard Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal Citation Examples HRC Joint Awards FAQ
Reserve Good Conduct Medal
A Reserve Good Conduct Medal refers to any one of the five military conduct awards, four of which are issued and one of, issued, by the United States Armed Forces to enlisted members of the Reserve and National Guard. The primary difference between the regular Good Conduct Medal and the Reserve Good Conduct Medal is that the regular Good Conduct Medal is only issued for active duty service while the reserve equivalent is bestowed for reserve duties such as drills, annual training, additional active duty for either training or operational support to the active duty force or, in the case of the Army National Guard and Air National Guard, in support of Title 32 U. S. C. state active duty such as disaster relief. To receive a Reserve Good Conduct Medal, a service member, must be an active member of the Reserve or National Guard and must have performed three to four years of satisfactory duty with such service being free of disciplinary action. Periods of active duty in the Active Component prior to joining the Reserve Component, full time active duty in an Active Guard and Reserve and Administration of the Reserve, Full Time Support, or active duty recall or mobilization in excess of three years are not creditable towards a Reserve Good Conduct Medal, although such periods are creditable for the active duty equivalent Good Conduct Medal.
Each service has specific varying requirements. The last of the Reserve Good Conduct Medals to be authorized, the U. S. Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, was established by the Secretary of the Army on 3 March 1971 and amended by DA General Orders 4, in 1974; the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal is awarded for exemplary behavior and fidelity while serving as a member of an Army National Guard or Army Reserve Troop Program Unit for each three-year period since 3 March 1972. Effective 28 March 1995, the period of qualifying service for the award was reduced from four years to three years. Service must have been consecutive and service performed in the Reserve Component of the U. S. Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard may not be credited for award of this medal; the member must have exhibited honest and faithful service in accordance with the standards of conduct and duty required by law and customs of the service of a member of the same grade as the individual to whom the standard is being applied.
A member must be recommended for the award by his or her unit commander whose recommendation is based on personal knowledge of the individual and the individual’s official records of periods of service under prior commanders during the period for which the award is made. Furthermore, a Commander may not extend the qualifying period for misconduct. A determination that service is not honorable as prescribed negates the entire period of the award. Soldiers who are ordered to active duty in the AGR program will be awarded the ARCAM if they have completed 2 of the 3 years required. Soldiers with less than 2 years will not receive an award. Service lost may be recovered if the Soldier is separated honorably from the AGR program and reverts to troop program unit service, for example, a Soldier serves 1 year and 6 months of qualifying service and is ordered to an AGR tour; this service is not sufficient for award of the ARCAM. When the Soldier leaves the AGR program that 1 year and 6 months is granted towards the next award of the ARCAM.
Only the State Adjutant General may determine that the AGR service was not sufficiently honorable enough to revoke the earned time, regardless of the type of separation given. The ARCAM is awarded to both officer and enlisted members of the Army Reserve and has the same criteria as the other Reserve Services for award of a Reserve Good Conduct Medal; the Armed Forces Reserve Medal is a similar award, given for ten years of honorable reserve service and is presented to both officers and enlisted personnel. First created in 1962 with retroactive presentation to 1958, it remained an active decoration in the U. S. Navy until its discontinuation in 2014; the Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal was considered the enlisted successor award to the previous Naval Reserve Medal. From 1958 until 1996, the medal was awarded for four years of satisfactory enlisted reserve service as a drilling reservist in the Selected Reserve or Individual Ready Reserve, to include Volunteer Training Units. Full-time active duty enlisted personnel in the Naval Reserve's Training and Administration of the Reserve Program, while eligible for the Naval Reserve Medal, were not eligible for the Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal and were awarded the Navy Good Conduct Medal on par with active duty Regular Navy enlisted personnel.
The years of service requirement for the Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal dropped from four years of service to three years of service from 1997 until its discontinuation, synchronizing it with the reduction in the required service for the active duty Navy Good Conduct Medal, which replaced it pursuant to a SECNAV directive in 2014. As a result of this SECNAV directive, all enlisted sailors in both the Active Component and the Reserve Component now receive the same good conduct medal for the same period of service. Additional awards of the Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal are denoted by service stars; this was strictly
A gold frame is an attachment to a military decoration, issued by the militaries of some countries. The gold frame is designed to enclose an award ribbon and is a means of distinguishing the ribbon's special quality or denoting some additional achievement to the award's basic criteria; the gold frame is an automatic attachment to a ribbon decoration. In certain cases, awards may be issued both with and without the gold frame depending upon the level of achievement; such is the case in the United States Air Force which denotes the gold frame as a "gold border". The Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon may be presented with a gold border when the decoration is presented for service in a designated combat zone; the gold frame and gold border is a device for ribbon awards only, there are no provisions for issuing the attachment for medals. Awards and decorations of the United States military Awards and decorations of the National Guard Authorized foreign decorations of the United States military
Multinational Force and Observers
The Multinational Force and Observers is an international peacekeeping force overseeing the terms of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. The MFO operates in and around the Sinai peninsula. On September 17, 1978, the Camp David Accords were signed by Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat under the sponsorship of United States President Jimmy Carter; the accords provided for a full Israeli withdrawal from Sinai. Following the signing of the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty on March 26, 1979, the United Nations was asked to provide the peacekeeping forces for the Sinai Peninsula mandated in the treaty; the terms of the treaty required the presence of international peacekeepers to ensure that both Israel and Egypt kept to the provisions regarding military build-up along the border. The peacekeeping force was provided by the U. S. Sinai Field Mission, while efforts were made to create a UN force. On May 18, 1981, the President of the UN Security Council indicated that the UN would be unable to provide the force, due to the threat of a veto of the motion by the USSR at the request of Syria.
As a result of the UN Security Council impasse, Egypt and the United States opened negotiations to set up a peacekeeping organization outside the framework of the UN. On August 3, 1981, the Protocol to the Treaty of Peace was signed, establishing the Multinational Force and Observers. From 2012 to 2016, the MFO's North Camp was under threat from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Sinai Province attacks and "experienced periods of water and fuel shortages, a near-total cut-off of internet access and mobile and landline phones during persistent Egyptian military operations." By September 2016, the MFO's northern camp was reorganized, with duties not related to observer responsibilities allocated to the south. 75 American soldiers were deployed with new communications equipment to bolster the MFO's manpower. The camps are reinforced with more surveillance cameras and optics; the mission of the MFO is: "... to supervise the implementation of the security provisions of the Egyptian–Israeli Treaty of Peace and employ best efforts to prevent any violation of its terms."
This is accomplished by carrying out four tasks: Operating checkpoints, observation posts and conducting reconnaissance patrols on the international border as well as within Zone C, Verification of the terms of the peace treaty not less than twice a month, Verification of the terms of the peace treaty within 48 hours, upon the request of either party, Ensuring freedom of international marine navigation in the Strait of Tiran and access to the Gulf of AqabaOver the three decades that the MFO has carried out its mission, it has proven a successful force. The desire for peace on the part of both Egypt and Israel, combined with the effectiveness of the MFO, has resulted in a durable and lasting state of peace between these two nations; the MFO has its main headquarters in Rome. It has two regional offices, in Tel Aviv and Cairo, while the Force itself is based in Zone C on the Sinai Peninsula, under the command of the Force Commander; the Force Commander is responsible for the military elements of the MFO, which comprise: Headquarters Three infantry battalions 1st US Support Battalion Coastal Patrol Unit Rotary Wing Aviation Unit Fixed Wing Aviation Unit Transport and Engineering Unit Military Police Unit Flight Following UnitThe Observer contingent of the MFO is made up of US civilians.
The observers are either seconded from retired US military personnel. The personnel for these come from twelve states: Australia – From 1982 until 1985 the majority of the Australian contingent was made up of 100 personnel from the RAAF to support 8 RAAF Iroquois helicopters. 25 Australian Army personnel based at Force HQ. An Australian Army Officer, Major General David B. Ferguson, AM commanded the Force from 21 April 94 to 10 April 97; the current Force commander is Major General Simon Stuart. Canada – 70 personnel within the Force and Contingent HQs in addition to the Operations, Liaison, V. I. P. Visit Office, Air Traffic Control, Transport and Personnel Branches and effective 23 March 2015, the Force Military Police Unit. Colombia – Infantry battalion – 358 personnel Czech Republic – CZECHCON – 3 personnel based at Force HQ, 18 personnel with CASA C-295M transport aircraft Fiji – Infantry battalion – 329 personnel France – 2 personnel based at Liaison unit. Hungary – Military Police Unit – 41 personnel Italy – Coastal Patrol Unit with 75 personnel and 4 ships: P-405 Esploratore, P-406 Sentinella, P-407 Vedetta and P-408 Staffetta New Zealand – Norway – 6 personnel based at the Force HQ United States – The United States contributes three units collectively known as Task Force Sinai:Force HQ – 40 personnel Infantry Battalion – 440 personnel Support Battalion – 235 personnel including the following components: Headquarters Medical Company consisting of Dental, Physical Therapy, Medical Logistics, Preventive Medicine.
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Detachment Aviation Company Uruguay – 87 personnel with Transport and Engineering Unit United Kingdom - 1 Major & 1 SNCO. Military personnel serving with the MFO wear national military dress appropriate to the climatic conditions of the Sinai (except
Arrow Air Flight 1285
Arrow Air Flight 1285 was a McDonnell Douglas DC-8 jetliner that operated as an international charter flight carrying U. S. troops from Cairo, Egypt, to their home base in Fort Campbell, via Cologne, West Germany, Gander, Canada. On the morning of Thursday, 12 December 1985, shortly after takeoff from Gander en route to Fort Campbell, the aircraft stalled and burned about half a mile from the runway, killing all 248 passengers and 8 crew members on board; as of 2018, it is the deadliest aviation accident to occur on Canadian soil and the second-deadliest of any accident involving a DC-8, behind the crash of Nigeria Airways Flight 2120 six years later. The accident was investigated by the Canadian Aviation Safety Board, which determined the probable cause of the crash was the aircraft's unexpectedly high drag and reduced lift condition, most due to ice contamination on the wings' leading edges and upper surfaces, as well as underestimated onboard weight. A minority report stated that the accident could have been caused by an onboard explosion of unknown origin prior to impact, with one of these dissenting investigators telling a United States congressional committee that it was impossible for a thin layer of ice to bring down the aircraft.
The dissenting report led to delays in changes to de-icing procedures, with a thin layer of ice causing the deadly crash of Air Ontario Flight 1363 in Canada in 1989. In response to lack of confidence in accident investigations by the CASB, the Government of Canada shut down that board in 1990, replacing it with an independent, multi-modal investigative agency – the Transportation Safety Board of Canada; the aircraft, a McDonnell Douglas DC-8-63CF, was chartered to carry U. S. Army personnel, all members of the 101st Airborne Division, back to their base in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, they had completed a six-month deployment in the Sinai, in the Multinational Force and Observers peacekeeping mission. The DC-8 involved in the accident had been constructed in 1969, had been leased to Arrow Air by its owner/parent company, International Air Leases; the flight was made up with refueling stops in Cologne and Gander. The aircraft departed Cairo at 20:35 UTC on Wednesday 11 December 1985, arrived at Cologne on Thursday 12 December 1985, at 01:21 UTC.
A new flight crew, consisting of Captain John Griffin and First Officer John Connelly, Flight Engineer Michael Fowler, boarded the aircraft before it departed for Gander at 02:50 UTC. The aircraft arrived at Gander International Airport at 09:04, where passengers departed the aircraft while the aircraft was refueled. Witnesses reported the flight engineer conducted an external inspection of the aircraft, after which the passengers re-boarded the aircraft; the DC-8 began its take-off roll on runway 22 from the intersection of runway 13 at 10:15 UTC. It rotated near taxiway A, 51 seconds after brake release, at an airspeed of about 167 KIAS. Witnesses reported. Airborne, the airspeed began to decrease again, causing the DC-8 to descend. After crossing the Trans-Canada Highway, located about 900 feet from the departure end of runway 22, at a low altitude, the aircraft's pitch increased and it continued to descend. Witnesses driving on the highway stated that they saw a bright glow emanating from the aircraft before it struck terrain just short of Gander Lake and crashed 3,500 feet beyond the departure end of the runway.
Flight 1285 struck an unoccupied building and exploded. All 248 passengers and eight crew aboard the aircraft perished; the Canadian Aviation Safety Board investigated the crash, under the signature of five of nine board members, found that during its approach toward Gander, precipitation conditions were favorable for the formation of ice on the aircraft's wings. After landing, it continued to be exposed to "freezing and frozen precipitation capable of producing roughening on the wing upper surface" in addition to the freezing temperature, they found that prior to takeoff the aircraft had not been de-iced. The Board issued the following Probable Cause statement in its final report: The Canadian Aviation Safety Board was unable to determine the exact sequence of events which led to this accident; the Board believes, that the weight of evidence supports the conclusion that, shortly after lift-off, the aircraft experienced an increase in drag and reduction in lift which resulted in a stall at low altitude from which recovery was not possible.
The most probable cause of the stall was determined to be ice contamination on the leading edge and upper surface of the wing. Other possible factors such as a loss of thrust from the number four engine and inappropriate take-off reference speeds may have compounded the effects of the contamination. Four members of the CASB dissented, issuing a minority opinion asserting that there was no evidence presented proving that ice had been present on leading edges such as the wings, the minority report speculated that "An in-flight fire that may have resulted from detonations of undetermined origin brought about catastrophic system failures."The report noted the inadequacy of the data from the antiquated foil-tape Flight Data Recorder, which recorded only airspeed, altitude and vertical acceleration forces. The plane took off with a non-functioning cockpit area microphone. There were no steps on any of the standard checklists to test the functionality of the microphone, despite the existence of a button in the cockpit for that sole purpose.