Deborah Hersman was sworn in as the 12th chairman of the NTSB at the end of July, taking over from acting chairman Mark Rosenker, who held the position of chairman or acting chairman since 2005. Hersman was nominated for the two-year term as chairman by President Obama on June 18 and confirmed by the Senate on July 24. She was also nominated and confirmed for a second five-year term as Board member, which runs through the end of 2013.
National Transportation Safety Board
The NTSB has removed the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) as a party in the investigation of the August 8 fatal midair between a Piper Lance and a tour helicopter over New York's Hudson River.
Deborah Hersman, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board since June 2004, was nominated by President Obama last month to become the 12th chairman of the board. If confirmed, she will take over the position from vice chair Mark Rosenker, who has been serving as acting chairman since last August, when his two-year term as chairman expired.
The White House announced on Tuesday President Obama’s nomination of Deborah Hersman to chair the National Transportation Safety Board. On the Board since June 2004, Hersman has been the member on scene at 15 major transportation accidents, seven involving aircraft.
Two Bell 407s, Flagstaff, Ariz., June 29, 2008–The NTSB determined the probable cause of the accident was the failure of both pilots to see and avoid the other on approach to the helipad at Flagstaff Medical Center (FMC). The daylight
VMC midair involved helicopters operated by Classic Helicopters and Air Methods.
The NTSB yesterday began to release all accident investigation public dockets to its public Web site in accordance with the NTSB Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Improvement plan. According to the Safety Board, this effort further brings the agency into compliance with legislative and executive mandates aimed at improving the U.S. government’s use of electronic media to foster a more open and transparent government.
Although the U.S. remains the gold standard in aviation safety, a sharp rise in fatalities among on-demand air charter operations last year has raised a flag with the NTSB.
The FAA relented and on April 24 made its entire birdstrike database available to the public.
The National Air Disaster Alliance/Foundation (NADA/F) has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to compel Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to order the FAA to implement safety recommendations from the NTSB concerning runway safety and flight-in-icing conditions.
Steven Chealander, the public face of the NTSB during press conferences following the February 12 crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407 on approach to Buffalo Niagara International Airport, has left the safety agency and joined Airbus Americas.