Hon. Robert L. Sumwalt, III

  • Wall of Honor Location:

    Foil: 64 Panel: 3 Column: 2 Line: 104

  • Wall of Honor Level:

    Air and Space Friend

  • Honored by:

    William Weeks

Robert L. Sumwalt was appointed as the 37th Member of the National Transportation Safety Board in August 2006, whereupon President George W. Bush designated him as Vice Chairman of the Board for a two-year term. In November 2011, President Barack Obama reappointed Member Sumwalt to an additional five year term as Board Member.

Since joining the Board, Member Sumwalt has been a fierce advocate for improving safety in all modes of transportation, including teen driver safety, impaired driving, distractions in transportation, and several rail safety initiatives.

Before joining the NTSB, Member Sumwalt was a pilot for 32 years, including 24 years with Piedmont Airlines and US Airways. He accumulated over 14,000 flight hours. During his tenure at US Airways, he worked on special assignment to the flight safety department and also served on the airline’s Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA) monitoring team.

Following his airline career, Member Sumwalt managed the corporate aviation department for a Fortune 500 energy company.

In other notable accomplishments, he chaired the Air Line Pilots Association’s Human Factors and Training Group and co-founded the association’s critical incident response program. He also spent eight years as a consultant to NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) and has written extensively on aviation safety matters.

Member Sumwalt earned an undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina and a Master of Aeronautical Science (with Distinction) from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, with concentrations is aviation/aerospace safety systems and human factors aviation systems.


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