NTSB’s Sumwalt Receives Bombardier Safety Standdown Award

Sumwalt, a 14,000-hour pilot, has twice been appointed to the Safety Board.

NTSB Sumwalt
NTSB member Robert L. Sumwalt III was given this year's Safety Standdown award.NTSB

Bombardier presented this year’s annual Safety Standdown award to the Honorable Robert L. Sumwalt III, Member of the National Transportation Safety Board, for his “outstanding commitment to aviation safety and his continuous efforts to develop more robust safety programs within the aviation industry.”

Sumwalt has been a fierce advocate for improving safety in a variety of transportation modes in addition to aviation, including teen driver safety, impaired driving, distractions in transportation and rail safety. The award was presented before 475 aviation professionals at the September 28 dinner banquet of Bombardier’s 20th Safety Standdown in Wichita, Kansas.

A former US Airways and business aviation pilot and flight department manager, Sumwalt was appointed to the NTSB by President George W. Bush in August 2006 and reappointed to a second five-year term in November 2011 by President Barack Obama.

Sumwalt has been a regular speaker at national and international aviation events on a variety of safety topics, including many that helped articulate the NTSB’s mission. He’s also written extensively on aviation safety. As an airline pilot, Sumwalt chaired the Air Line Pilots Association’s Human Factors and Training Group and co-founded the association’s critical incident response program. He spent eight years as a consultant to NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS).

Sumwalt earned his undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina and a Master of Aeronautical Science degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, with concentrations in aviation/aerospace safety systems and human factors aviation systems.