Biographies - Panelists
DENNIS B. BERINGER, PH.D.
Dr. Dennis B. Beringer is the Senior Scientist for Flight-crew Performance Research, Aerospace Human Factors Research Laboratory, FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute. He received advanced degrees in Engineering Psychology and Experimental Psychology from the Univeristy of Illinois and has conducted research in Aviation Psychology / Human Factors for over 35 years. His research has involved flight-deck displays, controls, pilot training, flight-deck procedures, and static/ dynamic anthropometry. He has served in industry and academics, is a Fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (Aerospace Systems Technical Group and others), and is a certified pilot in both fixed-wing rotary-wing aircraft. Dr. Beringer is presently the Editor of the International Journal of Aviation Psychology and is also President of the Association for Aviation Psychology, and he has authored over 100 publications.
FREDERIC DEHAIS, PH.D.
Dr. Frederic Dehais is a Full Professor at ISAE and holder of the AXA Chair, Neuroergonomics for Aviation Safety, a rare credit attributed to less than thirty researchers in the world. He is the leader of a team composed of multidisciplinary experts in the fields of Cognitive Neuroscience, Human Factors, Signal Processing and Computer Science. The objective of his research departement is to uncover the underlying neural mechanisms of human error, and to propose real time solutions to mitigate its effects. His research team implements a methodology from basic protocols to real flight experiements and combines cutting edge brain imaging, psycho-physiological, eye tracking techniques. His department currently receives funding from the National Institution, European and Canadian Institutes, and from the aviation industry (Airbus, Air France, DGAC, BEA) for basic and applied research projects (~500K$ per year). He has authored more than eighty publications and his innovative work also led to 4 international patents for industry that are currently tested in modern transportation aircraft.
Sean Elliott has been the Experimental Aircraft Association Vice President of Advocacy and Safety since December 2010. With this responsibility, he manages EAA's government affairs offices at both EAA headquarters and in Washington, D.C. He is responsible for reviewing and analyzing government policy on the federal, state, and local levels that affect recreational aviation, as well as advocacy for EAA members and private individuals who build and fly aircraft for recreation.
Sean is a pilot, instructor and proficiency examiner in most of EAA's vintage and experimental fleet. His credentials include an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate, FAA Pilot Proficiency Examiner, over 8,200 hours of Pilot in Command time, and over 5,500 hours of dual instruction given. He holds CFI, CFII, CFMEI, Gold Seal, AGI, and IGI certifications.
Wendell "Griff" Griffin was named Director of the FAA's Office of Accident Investigation and Prevention (AVP) in August 2014. This office was established to better position the FAA to meet its safety management responsibilities and to focus on improving aviation safety through the use of predictive and prognostic approaches to preventing accidents and incidents before they occur. Before assuming his Director duties, Griff served as the AVP Deputy Director for four years.
Prior to joining the FAA's Office of Aviation Safety (AVS) in October 2009, Griff had a distinguished 32-year military career as an officer in the United States Air Force. He is a pilot with over 30 years of successful, senior-level, hands-on operations, policy, planning, acquisition and safety experience leading large, diverse organizations. His final assignment was Air Force Chief of Safety and Commander of the Air Force Safety Center.
Professor Jim Higgins is an Associate Professor of Aviation at the John D. Odegard School for Aerospace Sciences at the University of North Dakota. Professor Higgins has led and participated in several federal and industry research initiatives. In 2010, he was the Principal Investigator on the FAA-funded National General Aviation Flight Information Database (NGAFID) project. This project led to the creation of a nationwide database that stores and analyzes data from general aviation flights. Professor Higgins has also participated in other FAA-sponsored research projects including GA Safety Management Systems, Weather Technology in the Cockpit (WTIC), and traffic awareness through ADS-B equipment. Professor Higgins currently sits on the joint FAA-industry Safety Analysis Team (SAT) which advises the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) on safety mitigations and methodology. Professor Higgins has also been a past member of two industry working groups known as Loss of Control Working Groups (LOC WGs) 1 and 2. These WGs were charged with characterizing, examining and ultimately recommending safety enhancements and mitigations for the aviation community. Professor Higgins has three patent-pendings, with two pertaining to predictive flight. He also currently is a sitting council member of the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA). Prior to joining the faculty at UND, Professor Higgins was an airline pilot. He became a line captain and checkairman tasked with conducting line checkrides and supervising other pilots.
As Sr Vice President of Product Management, Steve Jacobson leads Avidyne's team responsible for current and future product lines. He joined the company in 2000 and worked his way up engineering serving as VP of Engineering until moving over to his product management/development role. Before joining Avidyne, Steve spent five years as an engineering manager and systems engineer for the avionics group at C.S. Draper Labs in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A graduate from the US Air Force Academy with a degree in Astronautical Engineering (BS), he spent 15 years as a fighter pilot and test pilot for the US Air Force before joining the civilian industry. He also holds a masters degree in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University and has over 4,000 hours as pilot-in-command.
Earl Lawrence is currently the Director of the Office of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration. The UAS Integration office is responsible for the facilitation of all regulations, policies, and procedures required to support FAA's UAS integration efforts. The Office serves as a central point of contact for the international aviation community on UAS issues. Mr. Lawrence also represents the FAA on the Senior Steering Group of the UAS Executive Committee (ExCom) focusing on coordination and alignment of efforts among key federal government agencies. Mr. Lawrence previously served as the Manager of the FAA's Small Airplane Directorate in Kansas City, Missouri, where he managed airworthiness standards, continued operational safety, policy, and guidance for small aircraft, gliders, light sport aircraft, airships, and balloons. The Directorate also manages the administrative activities involving all aeronautical products within the geographical boundaries encompassing 21 states and international general aviation aircraft projects. In addition, Lawrence was the designated executive focal for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) within the Aircraft Certification Service.
Prior to joining the FAA in 2010, Lawrence was the vice president of industry and regulatory affairs for the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. In that position, he managed EAA's government affairs offices in Oshkosh and Washington, D.C., as well as EAA aircraft maintenance and flight operations. Prior to joining the EAA staff in March 1994, Lawrence worked for Rockwell Rocketdyne division in Canoga Park, California, first as a rocket engine mechanic and then as a manufacturing engineer on the International Space Station. Lawrence is a graduate of Northrop University in Los Angeles. He has served as a board member of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association and on the ASTM International Board of Directors, and was the founding chairman of the ASTM International Committee F37 on Light Sport Aircraft. In recognition of his standards work for Light Sport Aircraft, Lawrence received the 2003 Robert J. Painter Memorial Award from the Standards Engineering Society. A pilot since 1987, Lawrence holds a commercial multi-engine pilot certificate as well as an airframe and powerplant mechanic certificate with an Inspection Authorization. He currently owns and flies a Piper Twin Comanche.
David Oord is the Vice-President of Regulatory Affairs for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the world's largest aviation membership association. Mr. Oord oversees regulations and policies affecting airman certification, aircraft certification, aeromedical certification, and environmental issues. An active pilot, he holds a commercial pilot certificate - single and multi-engine airplane land and instrument ratings. Mr. Oord obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration in Aviation Management from the University of North Dakota and a Master of Business Administration from Boise State University. Prior to his work for AOPA, he worked in airport management, operations, security and firefighting at Westchester County airport (HPN) and government affairs for the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA).
Mr. Oord currently chairs the FAA Aviation Rulemaking Committee's (ARAC) Airman Certification Systems working group (ACS WG), chairs ASTM F37 Terminology subcommittee, is the membership secretary of ASTM F44 General Aviation Aircraft committee, co-chaired the ARAC Airman Testing Standards and Training working group, co-chaired the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) loss-of-control working groups, and co-chaired the GAJSC Light-Sport Joint Safety Committee (LS-JSC).
George Perry joined AOPA's Air Safety Institute team in September 2014. He comes to AOPA with a diverse background both in general aviation and military aviation. In addition to being an active GA pilot since the age of 16 and aircraft owner, he recently completed a 20-year career in the U.S. Navy as an F-18E Super Hornet squadron commanding officer based in Atsugi Japan. After transitioning from the military, George accepted a position with Cirrus Aircraft as the Director of fleet, government and special mission sales. In addition to being an F-18 and F-14 pilot instructor and check pilot, George has over 850 carrier-arrested landings, has flown over 150 combat missions, holds ATP, CFII, and MEI certificates, a 525S type rating, has logged over 5000 hours, and currently owns a Mooney M20S. George's educational background includes a bachelor's degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, an MBA from the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, California, and is also a graduate of the U.S. Navy's Aviation Safety School.
Jeff Pierson credits the designers of safety planes, rather than his own cleverness and muscle memory, for wide margins to operate safely as a VFR Private Pilot. Professionally, he has been involved as a certification specialist of the Cirrus piston aircraft, the diesel Robin DR400 (EASA), and the cancelled Piperjet, and is now a consultant and safety advocate. He has participated in industry committees including ASTM F44, F37, and FAA and EAA workshops on small aircraft certification for thirty years. He currently is a core participant in the F44 Flight Working Group, and organized the Loss of Control workshop in Tampa in January 2015.
Stasi Poulos founded the multimedia firm Mindstar Productions in 1995, and subsequently split the company into two parts, one of which was to become Mindstar Aviation in 2005. Since then, Mindstar Aviation has operated as a software developer of simulations for aircraft systems and avionics used in professional flight simulators and certain home-use aviation training products. Additionally, Mindstar Aviation spun off a separate company called RealNav Data which sells real-world navigation data for use in simulated aircraft GPS units, including those made by Mindstar. In addition to flight simulators for civil aviation, Mindstar has initiated aviation-related projects in the military and intelligence communities.
Prior to forming Mindstar , Mr. Poulos held several positions at Mobil Oil Corporation over the course of a 15 year career, including working as a software deployment manager for Mobil Oil Corporation's US Marketing & Refining organization headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia. Prior to his time in Virginia, he worked for 3 years in Mobil's Dallas Computer Applications and Systems division as a software designer and project manager. He holds a BBA in Business Administration/Business Computing Science from Texas A&M University. While still at Texas A&M in the early 1980s, he learned to fly in a Cessna 152, and since then he has continued to fly a variety of aircraft types out of the company's headquarters at the Leesburg Executive Airport in Northern Virginia, holding a number of ratings and certificates.
JONATHAN M. SACKIER, M.D.
Jonathan Sackier is a British trained surgeon who helped develop laparoscopic surgery and founded the Washington Institute of Surgical Endoscopy, a center for education, research & innovation. He is Visiting Professor of Surgery at Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, Oxford University and his activities in basic and clinical research have yielded 120 publications, 40 chapters and 7 books. He has served multiple journals in editorial or reviewer functions, been involved in medical societies at the highest level and been honored for his work in many countries.
Jonathan started flying as a teenager, is a passionate aviator, writes the Fly Well column for AOPA Pilot magazine, e-newsletters and runs regular webinars on health and aviation. He has collaborated in bringing a number of new technologies into healthcare including surgical robotics, exoskeletons for paraplegics, neuromodulation to address traumatic brain injury and several other disruptive innovations. He has been a frequent commentator in the media and is not shy of making his opinions known! When not working or flying Jonathan enjoys pretending to be a fly-fisherman and being challenged by the electrical systems in old British cars. His mantra is: "Enjoy all that life has to offer, for you spend a long time dead!"
AOPA Fly Well Videos
Ray Stanton is the Risk Control Manager for Old Republic Aerospace. He is an experienced International Standards for Business Aviation Organizations (IS-BAO) auditor and mentor, having assisted corporate, airport and commercial flight operations attain IS-BAO registration as Safety Management System compliant operators. Ray has over 20 years of experience with occupational and safety management systems, including as vice president for Safety and Loss Control Services for AIG Aerospace. He received his Professional Aeronautics Bachelor's Degree and MBA from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and holds a Commercial Pilot's Certificate in both single and multi-engine airplanes and helicopters. He has 30 years and 3,000 hours as a flight instructor in airplanes and helicopters, and served as a designated pilot examiner for private and commercial pilot certificates, and for flight instructor's renewal, reissue, and requalification in helicopters. Ray also completed a distinguished 20-year career with the U.S. Army, and has flown over 7,000 hours of accident and incident free flight time.
Corey Stephens is an Operations Research Analyst with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s Office of Accident Investigation and Prevention (AVP). Prior to joining the FAA, Corey was a senior staff engineer with the Accident Investigation Section of the Air Line Pilots Association’s (ALPA) Engineering and Air Safety Department. During his 11 years with ALPA, he participated in several air carrier accident investigations and has assisted the International Federation of Air Line Pilots Associations (IFALPA) with technical expertise on international accidents. He also served as an FAA and industry representative to the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST) – Joint Implementation Monitoring Data Analysis Team (JIMDAT). Corey also works with the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing programs (ASIAS), serves as government co-chair on the GA Joint Steering Committee (GA JSC) Safety Analysis Team (SAT), government tri-chair to the GA Issues Analysis Team (GA IAT) and is the CAST international representative to Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
Corey has taught in ALPA’s Basic Accident and Advance Accident investigation courses and has been involved in ISASI for several years. He also served several years as the co-chair for the CAST/ICAO Common Taxonomy Team, was co-chair for the CAST Wrong Runway Departure Working Group and served on many CAST analysis and implementation teams in addition to the GA JSC Loss of Control working groups.
Corey earned his B.S. in Aviation and M.S. in Aviation Safety from the University of Central Missouri and an M.S. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota. He is also a private pilot and volunteers with the Civil Air Patrol. Corey and his wife Stacy live in Martinsburg, WV, near KMRB.
Rich Stowell took his first flying lesson in 1982 and began his career as a full-time instructor specializing in spin, emergency maneuver, and aerobatic training in 1987. He authored the textbooks Emergency Maneuver Training and The Light Airplane Pilot's Guide to Stall/Spin Awareness, and has had more than 75 articles appear in various aviation publications.
Stowell is a recognized subject matter expert in loss of control in light airplanes. He is the 2014 National FAA Safety Team Rep of the Year and the 2006 National Flight Instructor of the Year, and has conducted more than 330 safety seminars. In 2000, the International Aerobatic Club named him one of a small handful of Official Spin Doctors, and he was designated the country's first Master CFI-Aerobatics a year later.
Stowell currently serves on the Master Instructors, LLC Board of Review and has been a judge for the General Aviation Awards National CFI of the Year Program. He is a Charter Member of SAFE and a 31-year member of AOPA, EAA, and IAC. Stowell has logged 9,800 hours of flight time, 8,800 hours of flight instruction given, and 33,600 spins in more than 215 spins-approved general aviation airplanes.
Website and Social Media:
Thomas P. Turner is Executive Director of the American Bonanza Society Air Safety Foundation, a not-for-profit aviation safety corporation that provides pilot, flight instructor and aviation mechanic training and support to over 9000 owners and operators of Beechcraft Bonanza and Baron-type airplanes. Holder of a Master's Degree in Aviation Safety and an Airline Transport Pilot certificate with instructor, CFII and MEI ratings, he is a 2015 Inductee to the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame. Also the 2010 National FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year and 2008 FAA Central Region CFI of the Year, three-time Master CFI Thomas P. Turner has been Lead Instructor for Bonanza pilot training program at the Beechcraft factory; production test pilot for engine modifications; aviation insurance underwriter; corporate pilot and safety expert; Captain in the United States Air Force; and contract course developer for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He has published three books on flying safety, edited two more, and authored hundreds of aviation safety articles in the U.S., Australia and Europe. Tom's Mastery Flight Training, Inc. publishes the free FLYING LESSONS Weekly, which uses recent aircraft mishap reports to derive positive lessons to help pilots make better decisions. With over 4200 hours logged as a pilot, including more than 2500 as an instructor, Tom writes, lectures and instructs extensively from his home at THE AIR CAPITAL--Wichita, Kansas.
American Bonanza Society
Mastery Flight Training
CHRISTOPHER WICKENS, PH.D.
Christopher Wickens is currently a Professor of psychology at Colorado State University, and a Senior Scientist at AlionScience in Boulder Colorado. From 1974-2005 he was a Professor of Psychology at University of Illinois. From 1984-2005 he was also Head of the Aviation Research Laboratory at the Illinois Institute of Aviation. From 1994-2005 he was also Associate Director of the Institute. In 1983, 1992 and 1999 he was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Behavioral Science and Leadership at the US Air Force Academy. From 2000-2010 he served on the FAA Human Factors Research Engineering Development Advisory Committee, which he also chaired for 2 years. From 1994-1998 he served as co-chair of the National Research Council Panel on Human Factors of Air Traffic Control Automation, which generated two books on ATC human factors. Since 1990 he has been Associate Editor of the International Journal of Aviation Psychology.
He has received awards for his work in aviation human factors including the Henry L. Taylor Founder's Award, Aviation, Space, & Environmental Medicine Human Factors Association, 2000; the Federal Aviation Administration 'Excellence in Aviation' Award, 2001; the Flight Safety Foundation Airbus Human Factors Award, 2005; University Aviation Association President's Award, 2005; Arnold Small President's Award. Human Factors & Ergonomics Society. 2009, and the Aviation Psychology Hall of Fame (2013). His primary research interests are in applications of attention theory to pilot and controller performance, and the design of displays to support that performance. He has published over 240 articles in refereed academic journals, and 8 books, including textbooks in Human Factors, Engineering Psychology and Applied Attention Theory. He is an avid mountain climber.