Air Safety Investigator and Accident Prevention and Preparedness Specialist
He is a specialist in international aviation accident/incident investigation management, accident prevention, and major accident preparedness. He has over 40 years experience in aviation safety. He has taught aircraft accident/incident investigation, investigation management, and international investigation procedures and has prepared investigation policy and procedures manuals. In addition, he has conducted audits of organizations’ abilities to meet existing international standards and best practices for government agencies around the world, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), aviation industry organizations, and law firms. He has also donated time teaching accident investigation and prevention on behalf of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI).
He managed the aviation accident/incident investigation program for Canada as part of a US-Canada government exchange program. He has presented numerous technical papers at international seminars on the subjects of human factors in transportation accidents and major aviation accident investigation management and taught aviation accident investigation and prevention management, policies, and procedures in the U.S. and overseas, including for the NTSB school from 1982 to 1998.
Academic Background and Aeronautical Ratings
• Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences, Akron University, 1965
• U.S. Air Force Under Graduate Pilot Training, 1967
• Commercial Airplane, with Multiple-Engine and Instrument Ratings (not current)
• Air Safety Investigator and Accident Prevention and Preparedness Specialist, RTI Group, LLC, 2006 – Present
• Air Safety Consultant, Safety Services International (SSI), Sammamish, WA, 2000 - 2010
• Transportation Safety Board of Canada,
Director of Investigations - Air, managed the aviation accident/incident investigation program for Canada as part of a US-Canada government exchange program, 1999-2000
• National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), retired 2000
Deputy Director, Office of Aviation Safety, 1995-1999. Assisted Director with the management of the Office of Aviation Safety regional and major accident/incident investigation programs, including oversight of all accident/incident investigations under NTSB responsibility in the U.S. and overseas. Represented the NTSB for international aviation safety affairs, including working with ICAO.
Chief, Major Aviation Accident Division, 1985-1995. Managed the Investigators-in-Charge of all major aviation accidents in the U.S., and the U.S. Accredited Representatives sent to manage the U.S. teams for major accidents overseas involving U.S. airlines and U.S. manufactured aircraft. Was directly involved as an investigator or manager for virtually all major airline accidents involving U.S. interests worldwide, during this 10-year period. Was also responsible for managing NTSB aviation Public Hearings and major aviation accident report and safety recommendation preparation. Represented the NTSB for international aviation safety affairs.
Deputy Director, Bureau of Accident Investigation, 1985. Assisted the Director with managing the staff of the Marine, Rail, Pipeline/Hazardous Materials, Highway, and Aviation Divisions responsible for major investigations, public hearings, and safety recommendation and report writing preparation.
Chief, Human Performance Division – Intermodal, 1983-1985. Managed the newly-formed Human Performance Division and took it from a “concept to a reality” at the NTSB. The Division developed a protocol for human factors investigations for all modes of transportation, and institutionalized the protocol for the NTSB and industry.
Major Aviation Go-Team Investigator-in-Charge, 1979-1983. Investigator-in-Charge of major domestic airline accidents and U.S. Accredited Representative for major overseas accidents involving U.S. airlines and U.S. manufactured aircraft. Was responsible for managing the investigation go-team, organization of, and participation in, public hearings, and safety recommendation and final report preparation.
Investigator at NTSB Denver Field Office, Colorado, 1976-1979. Investigator-in-Charge of general aviation, air taxi, and air carrier accidents and incidents. Responsible for managing the investigations and safety recommendation and final report preparation.
Human Factors Investigator, Washington, DC, 1972-1976. NTSB Human Factors Group Chairman (covered post-crash survival factors and human performance issues) on major go-team domestic accidents and specialist on overseas accidents involving U.S. airlines and U.S. manufactured aircraft.
• United States Air Force, F100 fighter pilot in North Africa, T-37 and T-38 maintenance test pilot, and accident investigator, 1965-1971. Investigated two fatal accidents, as well as many non-fatal accidents and incidents as both pilot and maintenance member of the investigation teams.
Other Professional Experience
• Managed NTSB International Aviation Affairs for 15 years – primary liaison with ICAO
• Led “ice-breaking” delegations to China and Soviet Union in late 1980s on behalf of the US NTSB and the US government
• Led the U.S. side of the joint Soviet Union/U.S. Working Group on Aircraft Accident Investigation and Prevention from 1989 to 2000
• Contract Instructor and member of Advisory Board – Southern California Safety institute, 2000-2007
• Contract Instructor for the Cranfield University, UK, aircraft accident investigation course, 2006-2007
• International Aviation advisor, Flightscape Inc., Ottawa, Canada, 2002-2007
• Represented NTSB as an observer at European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) annual meetings of the Group of Experts (Chief Inspectors of Accidents) representing most European countries from 1990 to 1999
• Led U.S. Delegations to ICAO AIG Divisional Meetings in 1992 and 1999, at which Annex 13 to the Chicago Convention and other related topics were discussed and amended
• Member of the multi-national team charged with reviewing and amending ICAO Accident/Incident Investigation Manual, 1992-1999
• Led the U.S. team supporting the 1993 ICAO re-investigation of the Korean Air Boeing 747 shoot-down by the Soviet Union in 1983
• Led the U.S. team supporting the 1996 ICAO investigation of the shoot-down of U.S. aircraft by Cuban fighters
• Led the U.S. team for 10 years that developed the memorandum of understanding on Aircraft Accident Investigation and Prevention between Russia and the U.S., signed in 1998 by the U.S. Secretary of State and the Russian Prime Minister
• Represented the NTSB, as part of the U.S. delegation to the 34th Conference of Directors-General of Civil Aviation, Asia Pacific Region, November 1998, at Kathmandu, Nepal
• Taught aviation accident investigation and prevention management, policies, and procedures in the U.S. and overseas, including for the NTSB school from 1982 to 1998
• Have presented numerous technical papers at international seminars on the subjects of human factors in transportation accidents and major aviation accident investigation management
Professional Associations and Activities
• International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI), Vice President, elected October 2002
• ISASI Mid-Atlantic Regional Chapter, President 2002
• Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) and FSF International Advisory Committee, Member
• Southern California Safety Institute, Contract Instructor and Member of Advisory Board, 2000 to present
• Safety Services International, LLC, Associate Member
• Jerome F. Lederer Award for outstanding lifetime contributions in the field of airplane accident investigation and prevention