Bruce Landsberg has been a general aviation safety advocate for decades by his own admission. “My interest in safety actually began when I was a young CFI,” he told Flying yesterday. Landsberg was recently named as a White House nominee to the National Transportation Safety Board, an organization Landsberg calls the “preeminent accident investigation body in the world.”
Landsberg thinks his lifelong experience in GA safety will offer a real benefit to the Board should he be confirmed. “I’ve also spent most of my life working on that delicate balance between government and industry relations, as well as in research, scientific and advocacy roles, much like the NTSB’s.”
Landsberg retired in 2014 after a four-year stint as president of the AOPA’s Air Safety Foundation. He spent 18 years before that as executive director of the AOPA’s Air Safety Institute. A spokesman for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association said, “Bruce’s service as the President of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Foundation and Air Safety Institute raised the bar for pilot safety.” Landsberg also served many years as chairman of the FAA’s General Aviation Joint Steering Committee.
A graduate of the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in industrial technology, Landsberg grew up in Maryland, but now resides in South Carolina. He uses the Beechcraft A36 Bonanza he bought after retiring from AOPA to handle those trips to and from the Beltway.
He credits his dad’s decision to give him a copy of Robert Buck’s famous book, Weather Flying, with the nudge he needed to learn to fly. Landsberg eventually earned an airline transport pilot certificate and remains a current flight instructor having logged more than 6,000 flight hours.
Earlier positions included time with Cessna Aircraft Company, FlightSafety International, NATCA and even a year with Flying magazine. Landsberg said his most notorious job to date, however, was as a missile launch officer with the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
No date has yet been announced for Landsberg’s confirmation hearing before the Senate, but if he is confirmed he’ll serve a five-year term and a possible two-year role as the Board’s vice-chairman.