Past Recipients


I. Irving Pinkel-NACA Dugald O. Black-NACA G. Merrit Preston-NACA Gerald R. Pesman-NACA
I. Irving Pinkel
Dugald O. Black
G. Merrit Preston
Gerald R. Pesman
For a study of the propagation of fires following air crashes which resulted in the development of a crash fire suppression system.


Harry F. Guggenhiem Harry F. Guggenhiem
Beginning in the 1920's and 1930's, initiation and promotion of aviation safety through competition, development of instrument flying, weather reporting and safety centers at Cornell and Harvard.


James Martin-OBE-UK James Martin
Design and development of low altitude ejection seats of exceptional performance.


Allen F. Morse-FAA Allen F. Morse
For project leadership with the then CAA, including flashing navigation lights, bird proof windshields, crash resistant fuel tanks and improved cockpit vision.


Melvin N. Gough-Nasa Melvin N. Gough
NASA Langley Research Center
Early formulation of philosophy and techniques for safe advanced flight research experiments as a chief test pilot at NACA and later at NASA and CAB.


E.S. Calvert-RAE J.W. Sparke-RAE
E.S. Calvert
J.W. Sparke
Joint development of the Line-and-Bar Approach Lighting System and the Visual Glide Path Indicator.


Otto E. Kirchner, Sr.-Boeing Otto E. Kirchner, Sr.
The Boeing Company
Responsible for the development of high intensity navigation lights, passenger evacuation slides and accident report analysis.


David D. Thomas-FAA David D. Thomas
For his depth of understanding of air traffic coupled with his inspirational leadership of air traffic controllers.


Philip Donely-NASA Philip Donely
NASA Langley Research Center
For astute analysis, leadership and initiative particularly in areas of aircraft loads, operating problems and airworthiness requirements.
Jerome Lederer-FSf Jerome Lederer
FSF, Honorary Recipient
For prolific efforts applied with sedulity, indefatigability, and nicety of wit in the cause of air safety worldwide


Auther E. Jenks-FAA Auther E. Jenks
Techniques to monitor operation and accuracy of air navigational systems and improvements in terminal landing aids.
Gloria W. Heath-FSF Gloria W. Heath
FSF, Honorary Recipient
For manifold contributions to aviation safety involving liaison to further international cooperation in air safety, leadership in focusing attention in special problem areas, notably distress alerting and location.


Francis McCourt-U.S. Army Aviation Francis McCourt
U.S. Army Aviation Materiel Laboratories
Comprehensive program of full-scale dynamic crash and fire prevention experiments with rotary wing aircraft and leadership in establishment of the U.S. Army's crash survival investigator's school.


W. M. Kauffman-NCAA William F. Milliken, Jr W.O. Breuhaus-Cornell
W. M. Kauffman
Ames Research Center
William F. Milliken, Jr. W.O. Breuhaus
Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory, Inc.
For early concepts of the variable stability airplane and the application of those concepts to inflight simulation.


“Walter Walter Tye
Development and application of national and international airworthiness standards; new technical approaches including work on Concorde requirements, safety provisions for automatic landings, standards for hovercraft and research needs.


Theodore G. Linnert-ALPA Theodore G. Linnert
For efforts insuring adequate runway lengths and a secondary landing gear warning system and for the championing of fire prevention and collision avoidance systems.


Joseph J. O'Connell, Jr.-BAS-NTSB Joseph J. O'Connell, Jr. and Staff
Bureau of Aviation Safety, NTSB
Respected and emulated internationally expert and independent accident investigation and accident prevention.


Kuhring Malcomn Kuhring
National Research Council, Canada
Leadership, enthusiasm and drive, leading to reduction in aircraft accidents due to bird strikes.


Dr. John A. Swearingen-FAA Dr. John A. Swearingen
FAA Civil Aeronautical Research Institute
Original research in human tolerance to vertical acceleration at great personal physical sacrifice; research on traumatic effects of explosive decompression, air blast forces, webbing restraints and human-based tolerance to crash impact.


Capt. Homer Mouden-Braniff Captain Homer Mouden
Braniff and ALPA
For unstinting dedication to air safety. Areas of particular focus include pilot's new plane safety evaluation, coordination of efforts concerning use of flight recorders, improved service testing and increasing of wet runway landing distance.


Dr. Ross McFarland-HUGC Dr. Ross McFarland
Harvard University Guggenheim Center
For over forty-five years of leadership dedicated to the identification and solution of important aerospace problems involving human factors while educating and inspiring over two hundred leaders in this field from many nations.


Fred Earnest-Piper Fred Earnest Weick, ret.
Piper Aircraft Corp.
For improvement to propellers, foils and flaps, development of tricycle landing gear and low drag cowls, design of non-spinning airplanes, low wing agricultural airplanes and the Piper Cherokee series.


George Wansbeek-KLM George Wansbeek
Extension of air safety information exchange and improvement of emergency training programs for flight deck and cabin crews.


James E. Dougherty-FAA James E. Dougherty
As a leader in the development and administration of U.S. safety standards for materials, structures and detail design of civil aircraft and for leadership in related areas of maintenance, structural fatigue and composite materials.


Capt. B. Victor Hewes-ALPA Capt. B. Victor Hewes
For contributions in originating international standards for effective aircraft fire fighting procedures, equipment and rescue and efforts to increase safety in the design and operation of transport aircraft.


Capt. Paul A. Soderlind-NA Capt. Paul A. Soderlind
Northwest Airlines
For many contributions to aviation safety through equipment design technology, flight techniques and training procedures over thirty-seven years of a multifaceted career.


Delfina R. Mott-AFA Delfina R. Mott
Association of Flight Attendants
For advancing cabin safety measures, for emphasizing human factors following accidents and for her articulate advocacy of flight safety.


Charles E. Billings-NASA Charles E. Billings
NASA Ames research Center
For conceptual applications of the epidemiological approach to the study of human error, preliminary research to demonstrate techniques for identifying factors contributing to human error and for implementation of the aviation safety reporting system.


John T. Richards-ASB John T. Richards
Aviation Safety Bureau, Transport Canada
His creativity in both film and print and his pioneering in aviation safety promotion has helped to reduce Canada's aircraft accident rate.


Brians Hamilton Heeps-Repco Brians Hamilton Heeps
Repco Corporation, Australia
For his initiative and perseverance in the conception and development of an electronic probe which detects water suspended as fine droplets in aviation fuel.


Walter B. Horne-NASA Walter B. Horne, ret.
NASA Langley Research Center
For over thirty-five years of dedication to runway, airport and tire research and for the development of the concept of runway grooving and persevering in the promotion of grooving to reduce hydroplaning on both runways and highways.


Gary S. Livack-GAMA Gary S. Livack
General Aviation Manufacturers Association
For his work in developing innovative, entertaining safety education prgrams for use by Federal Aviation Administration in its Accident Prevention Program. Cited in particular is the program On Weather.


Warren A. Stauffer-Lockheed Warren A. Stauffer, ret.
Lockheed Corporation
For his extensive work, personal dedication and industry leadership in the fields of aircraft structural design and materials technology development that has resulted in improvements in the safety of both civil and military air transportation.


Hortencio G. Morsch-Varig Hortencio G. Morsch
Varig Airlines
For his prominent leadership and extensive personal commitment to improvements in the safety of both civil and military aviation in Brazil and civil aviation in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia.


Capt. J.L. DeCelles-TWA Captain J. L. DeCelles, ret.
Trans World Airlines
For his untiring efforts to improve the safety of airplanes in the approach and landing phases of flight. As an inventor, author and advocate, he has relentlessly pursued more precise flight path guidance, simple, easy to interpret instrumentation, improved use of visual cues for low visibility landings and the use of head-up display.


Capt Heino Caesar, Luft Captain Heino Caesar
For his significant contributions to the advancement of international airline safety and the world-wide operation safety of civil aviation through innovative, persistent and objective analyses of aircraft accidents and their causes derived from his database of the substantial damages and total hull losses that have occurred since 1953 in Western built jetpowered aircraft above 20,000 kg in weight.


Capt. John X Stefanki, UA Capt. John X Stefanki, ret.
United Airlines
For developing and implementing the concept of airport emergency planning which has led directly to the prevention of many fatalities associated with incidents and accidents which have occurred on airports over the past twenty years.


Doll Robert E. Doll
United Airlines
His guiding inspiration for the formation and activities of the Airworthiness Assurance Task Force and his outstanding leadership as the first chairman of the AATF have had a profound positive effect on the airline industry, including major structural modification on most older types of aircraft in airline service and new approaches concerning structural fatigue and corrosion for those aircrafts.


William D. Reynard, NASA William D. Reynard
NASA Ames Research Center
Under his dedicated leadership, NASA's Aviation Safety Reporting Systems (ASRS) team has created the world's largest database of operationally relevant human factors data. ASRS's safety publications reach an audience of 65,000 in over 80 nations.


Hideoaro Nagano, JA Hideoaro Nagano
Japan Airlines
For fifty-five years of dedicated service to and promotion of civil aviation in Japan and throughout the world as a distinguished aviator, manager, teacher, mentor and ambassador for flight safety and his tireless promotion of human factors research.


Capt. H. Ray Lahr, UA Capt. H. Ray Lahr, ret.
Untied Airlines
For dedicated efforts to improve flight safety as an inventor, investigator and researcher which led to a collaborative effort resulting in a pocket-size navigation computer and particularly for his in-flight passenger injury research issuing in a regulatory requirement in 1981 for a "fasten seat belt while seated" sign to be affixed to each passenger seat back.
John H. Enders, FSF John H. Enders
FSF, Honorary Recipient
Through a forty year career as an engineer, test pilot, research manager and aviation safety advocate, Jack Enders is known the world around for his copious contributions to the cause of flight safety.


C.O. Miller, NTSB C.O. Miller, ret.
As an innovator, advocate and author, he has relentlessly pursued the application of a systems safety approach to accident and incident prevention which has received worldwide recognition.


Capt. Robert G. Buley, NA Captain Robert G. Buley
Northwest Airlines
For leadership in an effort mandated by Congress to develop the design and operational standards for airborne collision avoidance systems and for leadership in helping to develop the FAA National Plan for Aviation Human Factors.


William G. Laynor, NTSB William G. Laynor, ret.
His work helped identify the hazard of wind shear which led to collaborative efforts to develop more sophisticated wind shear detection and warning systems. Further, he successfully advocated ground based and airborne early warnings of collision threats.


VA Brent M. Bennitt, USN Vice Admiral Brent M. Bennitt
United States Navy
For his contribution to air safety through vigorous support of a program of risk identification, analysis and countermeasures and for initiating a comprehensive review which resulted in a revised policy to upgrade naval aircraft with advanced safety equipment leading to a significant reduction in accidents and fatalities.


Merritt M. Birky, Ph.D Merritt M. Birky, Ph.D
National Transportation Safety Board
For advancement of the science of fire, explosions and the toxic effects of fire in aviation accidents and aerospace accidents; the development of related safety recommendations; and the training of accident investigators.


Capt. Richard T. Slatter, ICAO Captain Richard T. Slatter
C Eng, FRAeS Consultant, International Civil Aviation Organization
For outstanding contributions to the identification of factors involved in controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) and approach-and-landing accidents (ALAs) and to the development and implementation of methods to prevent CFIT and ALAs.


Joseph Andrew Wright, ARFF Joseph Andrew Wright
ARFF Technical Services
For leadership in developing and testing methods of suppressing aircraft cabin fires and improving airport emergency response capabilities.


Capt. Edmond L. Soliday, UA Capt. Edmond L. Soliday, ret.
United Airlines
For successful efforts encouraging the development of Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) and other safety sharing programs which have helped lessen hazards in the airspace system.


Capt. Robert L. Sumwalt US Airways Captain Robert L. Sumwalt
Air Line Pilots Association, International US Airways
For his voluntary contributions through research papers, airline safety programs, accident investigations and the promotion of company/union collaborations to positively influence safety.


Kay Yong, Ph. D., ASC Kay Yong, Ph. D.
Chairman Aviation Safety Council, Taiwan, China
For his key role in establishing the Aviation Safety Council (ASC) as a fully independent accident and indict investigation organization that is widely acknowledged as a model of its kind.


Capt. Ralph S. Johnson, SA Capt. Ralph S. Johnson, ret.
Flight Test Research, United Airlines
For his development of equipment and procedures, including such key concepts as the stabilized approach and crew resource management that approach and crew resource management that have brought lasting improvements in aviation safety.


Honeywell Don Bateman
For his many key contributions to aviation safety during his forty-eight years in the industry and, in particular, for his leadership in developing ground proximity warning system (GPWS) equipment and enhanced GPWS (also called terrain awareness and warning system, or (TAWS). GPWS and TAWS have been instrumental in reducing controlled flight into terrain (CFIT).


Ackland John R. Ackland
Boeing Commercial Airplanes
For his contributions to advanced technology for all weather operations, including required navigation performance and performance-based navigation, and to realistic airplane system safety assessments.


Courville Captain Bertrand de Courville
Air France
For his distinguished management of safety programs at Air France and extensive activities in support of aviation safety internationally, his work on behalf of proactive safety awareness and analytical methods to increase the visibility of accident precursors, enables defenses in depth against human error.


Sabatini Nicholas A. Sabatini, ret.
U.S. Federal Aviation Administration
For his strategic vision, leadership and advocacy of sharing aviation safety data and resources. Nicholas A. Sabatini propelled both the FAA and the aviation industry to build strong safety cultures, quality management systems and safety management systems. He emphatically promoted risk management and prioritizing safety interventions.


Demuren Dr. Harold O. Demuren
Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority
For outstanding leadership as Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and his commitment to raising aviation safety standards in Africa.


Cox Captain John M. Cox, ret.
President, Safety Operating Systems
For extensive contributions to line operations safety, with particular emphasis on recovery from Loss of Control (LOC) and mitigation of the dangers of smoke, fire and fumes.


Sheffield Robert "Bob" Sheffield
International Helicopter Safety Team
For outstanding leadership as a Founder and Executive Committee member of the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST), and for years of committed aviation safety leadership globally across the oil and gas industry, particularly helicopter safety, and for inspiring operators and regulators to work together to achieve an 80% reduction in helicopter accident rates by 2016.


Dismukes Key Dismukes
Chief Scientist in the Human Systems Integration Division of NASA’s Ames Research Center
For his leadership and vision spanning more than three decades of research dedicated to understanding and addressing human error in aviation, resulting in an overhaul of normal procedures in airline operations and substantial improvements in aviation safety.


Chiles Bill Chiles
For extraordinary, inspirational leadership, personal commitment and vision in creating Bristow’s highly successful TARGET ZERO culture of safety, and for sharing his best practices with the entire offshore helicopter industry, resulting in substantial and permanent improvements in aviation safety.


Graham Nancy Graham
For passionate leadership of ICAO's Air Navigation Bureau. For spearheading GASP, GANP and ASBU's developments. And for her unwavering commitment to unite industry and international organizations to enhance air safety through the fully transparent sharing of information.


Smart Ken Smart
For his distinguished and tangible contributions to aviation safety at the United Kingdom Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) and British Airways, along with numerous contributions to professional bodies, charities and other organizations.


Smart Peggy Gilligan
In recognition of her lasting contribution as a founder and leader of CAST and ASIAS and in recognition of her selfless commitment to public service and aviation safety during her distinguished 36-year career with the Federal Aviation Administration.


Smart Tay Tiang Guan
For distinguished and significant contributions in his role as Deputy Director-General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), and for persistently and successully spearheading data sharing efforts to enhance air safety across all of aviation.
E.S. Calvert-RAE J.W. Sparke-RAE
Paul Russell Jay Pardee
For lifelong dedication and groundbreaking work through the U.S. Commercial Aviation Safety Team and the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing Program and for leading us into the safest period in aviation history.


Smart Cameron Ross
For his foresight and leadership in spearheading the establishment of FSF’s Basic Aviation Risk Standard (BARS) program; for his ongoing stewardship of the program; and for his contributions to aviation safety in humanitarian relief and offshore helicopter operations.


Smart The Honorable John J. Goglia
For his strong and consistent voice and life-long passionate advocacy for safety in aviation and for unparalleled devotion to mentoring professional excellence of aircraft maintenance technicians.


Smart Henry Gourdji
For significant contributions in improving aviation safety globally as a Senior Director at the International Civil Aviation Organization and for his extraordinary vision and leadership resulting in far fewer accidents and countless lives saved worldwide.


Smart General Richard A. “Dick” Cody, US Army, Retired
For his strong and determined leadership of the National Commission on Military Aviation Safety which produced actionable recommendations including permanent organizational changes to improve aviation safety across the Department of Defense.

Honorary Recipient

Smart Pilar Vera Palmés
For her extraordinary international humanitarian efforts in support of the victims of aviation accidents and their families over the last decade.