Robert L. Sumwalt

Robert L. Sumwalt is Executive Director of the Boeing Center for Aviation and Aerospace Safety at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where he also serves as Distinguished Fellow in Aviation Safety. In that role, he oversees research and development of the Center, and sets the overall strategy.

He also serves as aviation safety analyst for CBS News.

Previously, Sumwalt served as Chairman, Vice Chairman, and Member of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), where he served from August 2006 to June 2021.

Sumwalt was a pilot for 32 years, including 24 years with a major US-based international airline. He has logged over 14,000 flight hours and holds an FAA Airline Transport Pilot certificate with type ratings in five turbine-powered, multi-engine aircraft, including the Boeing 737 and Airbus A-320 series of aircraft. 

Mr. Sumwalt has applied his broad aviation academic, operations, and safety background to analysis of incident and accident causation.

He has coauthored books on aircraft accidents and safety management systems (SMS) and he has published over 100 articles on accident investigation, SMS, and human factors.

Sumwalt received a Master of Aeronautical Science Degree (with distinction) from Embry-Riddle, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of South Carolina. He has been awarded honorary doctorate degrees from each of his alma maters. In recognition of his contributions to the aviation industry, in September 2021, Sumwalt was awarded the Flight Safety Foundation - Boeing Aviation Safety Lifetime Achievement Award. He is an inductee into the South Carolina Aviation Hall of Fame.




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