Hurst Conference Center, Hurst, Texas – October 25 – 27, 2016
We want to thank all those who attended the 2016 FAA International Rotorcraft Safety Conference. The free, three-day conference featured about 25 presentations Oct. 25 through Oct. 27 at the Hurst Conference Center, outside Fort Worth. Topics ranged from surviving engine failure to fatigue and unmanned aerial systems. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta gave the keynote address. We consider attendance at this conference to be a safety investment. To further promote safety, we are posting presentations and organizing them based on which day they were presented. Some presentations were proprietary, so they will not appear on this website.
Dr. Katrina Avers is a human factors research scientist at the FAA’s Civil Aerospace Medical Institute, Human Factors Research Division. She is responsible for conceiving, planning, directing, evaluating and reporting on high-priority human factors research programs. These programs include training and education, risk assessment systems and risk management programs for flight crew, cabin crew and maintenance technicians. Dr. Avers has an extensive writing record, including the publication of more than 30 scientific articles and book chapters. More than 175,000 mechanics have received her materials internationally. Dr. Avers also has led Congressionally mandated research projects, chaired industry working groups and has spoken at many industry conferences.
Jorge Castillo is currently the manager of the Rotorcraft Directorate’s Regulations & Policy Group. His office is responsible for all airworthiness standards and policy pertaining to Part 27 and Part 29 normal and transport category rotorcraft. Mr. Castillo joined the FAA in 1995 as a systems and software engineer after working for the Department of Defense on various military weapon systems. He worked in the FAA Rotorcraft Certification Office before becoming manager of the directorate’s Safety Management Group.
Dudley Crosson is the founder and principal of Delta P, an aeromedical safety company in Port St Lucie, Florida. Since 9/11, Dr. Crosson has been an aeromedical safety officer for public safety, emergency medical services and non-Department of Defense aviation units. From 1988 to 2002, Dr. Crosson was a consultant in aerospace physiology for NASA flight operations. Before 1988, he worked as an associate professor at the Florida Institute of Technology, and from 2011 until recently he was an affiliate professor in aerospace physiology and human factors at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. He earned his doctorate degree in 1986 while at the Florida Institute of Technology. He currently serves as a member of the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems Aviation Advisory Committee, and the US Helicopter Safety Team Human Factors Working Group. He also co-chairs the Aerospace Medical Association’s Aviation Safety Committee, and serves as the aeromedical liaison to the medical community for the Airborne Law Enforcement Association.
Michael Devenney serves the South Texas, New Mexico and Arizona area as a Bell Helicopter customer field service engineer. He has more than 23 years of aviation industry experience, with 20 of those years at Bell. Mr. Devenney previously worked as a senior flight mechanic on civil and military helicopters, He has also worked as a V-22Osprey technical writer and commercial spares/engineering manager. He holds both Airframe and Powerplant and Inspection Authorization certificates.
Lance T. Gant serves as the FAA Rotorcraft Directorate manager. He joined the directorate in 1990 as a rotorcraft flight test engineer after working in private industry. He is responsible for all matters involving rotorcraft regulations, policies and continued operational safety. His office directs the certification functions/standardization for all U.S. manufactured rotorcraft and for validation functions for all foreign manufactured rotorcraft. His office also administers type and production certification activities for the five-state Southwest region.
Mike Hemann is a safety specialist and accident investigator for the FAA Rotorcraft Directorate. He is a licensed pilot and has earned his Airframe and Powerplant certificate. Before he joined the FAA nearly 13 years ago, Mr. Hemann worked in product safety and human factors with a helicopter manufacturer and was a helicopter technician in the U.S. Army National Guard. His total helicopter experience spans about 30 years.
Michael P. Huerta is the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. He was sworn in to office on January 7, 2013, for a five-year term and is responsible for the safety and efficiency of the largest aerospace system in the world. He oversees a $16.3 billion dollar budget and more than 47,000 employees.
During his tenure, Huerta has worked to redefine the FAA’s regulatory relationship with the aviation industry to achieve greater levels of safety through increased collaboration and widespread sharing of data. He also has led the agency’s efforts to modernize the nation’s air traffic control system through the NextGen program while preparing the way for the safe integration of commercial space operations and small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
Since the beginning of Huerta’s term, the FAA has completed key building blocks of NextGen, including the installation of modern information systems to serve as the backbone for future technological improvements. The FAA also completed the installation of a comprehensive network of ground-based radio stations that enable the use of Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) instead of radar to better manage air traffic. In addition, the agency has made significant progress in harnessing GPS technology to modernize thousands of air traffic routes in congested airspace. The FAA expects NextGen to deliver an estimated $134 billion in direct airline, industry and passenger benefits by 2030. NextGen is already reducing the environmental footprint of aviation through significant reductions in fuel consumption as aircraft use these more efficient routes.
Under Huerta’s leadership, the FAA eliminated a decades-old ban on the use of Personal Electronic Devices aboard airplanes, making it possible for passengers to use many devices from gate to gate.
Most recently, Huerta led the agency’s efforts to integrate small UAS into the busiest and most complex airspace in the world. In late 2015, the FAA developed and put into a place a registration system that enables the agency to keep track of this growing segment of aviation while ensuring that new operators are provided with important safety information. The agency collaborated with a growing number of commercial operators and hobbyists to develop and issue a set of sensible regulations that will ensure safety and create an environment that fosters innovation, exhibited most recently in the rule for small unmanned aircraft.
Under Huerta’s leadership, the FAA continues to build on the unparalleled safety record of the U.S. aviation industry by harnessing the power of safety data gathered with each commercial flight. In 2015, the FAA built upon its already successful collaboration with the airline industry to adopt a new Compliance Philosophy that relies on risk-based decision making to identify and correct problems in the National Airspace System before they result in an accident or incident. This system relies on an open and transparent exchange of information between the FAA and the industry that is seen as the next evolution in improving safety.
Huerta is an experienced transportation official who held a number of key positions before coming to the FAA. He was a Managing Director of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games focusing on the planning and construction of a variety of Olympic transportation facilities, as well as the development of a highly successful travel demand management system that ensured the transportation system operated safely and efficiently.
Before joining the FAA as Deputy Administrator in June 2010, Huerta held senior positions at Affiliated Computer Services from 2002 to 2009, rising to the position of President of the Transportation Solutions Group; ACS is now a Xerox company specializing in business processes and information technology.
Huerta was commissioner of New York City’s Department of Ports, International Trade and Commerce from 1986 to 1989. He then served as the Executive Director of the Port of San Francisco from 1989 to 1993. From 1993 to 1998, he held senior positions in the U.S. Transportation Department in Washington, D.C., serving under Secretary Federico Pena and Secretary Rodney E. Slater.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California-Riverside and a master’s in public affairs, with a concentration in international relations, from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.
Dr. Gordon Jiroux is president, CEO and chief flight instructor for Universal Helicopters Inc. based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Universal Helicopters also has campuses in Prescott, Arizona; Dodge City, Kansas; Salina Kansas; Provo, Utah; Camarillo, California; and Waco Texas. Dr. Jiroux began his career as a certified flight instructor after he completed his Certified Flight Instructor ratings in 1981 at the Long Beach, California, airport. He purchased an R22 helicopter, serial number No. 4, shortly thereafter and opened a flight school in Scottsdale, Arizona. By 1983, at the age of 25, the FAA designated Dr. Jiroux a pilot examiner (DPE) for the Robinson R22. Dr. Jiroux has more than 30 years of experience flying Robinson helicopters, and conducts an annual Standardization and Safety Seminar and Flight Instructor Refresher Course for all our instructors at the Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Prescott, Arizona, campus. In 2012 Universal Helicopters received the Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Presidents’ Award for Safety. In May 2013, Dr. Jiroux received an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Aviation Science from Dodge City Community College. In 2014, Helicopter Association International (HAI) recognized him as Flight Instructor of the Year.
Larry Kelly joined the FAA Rotorcraft Standards Staff in 1982 after working in private industry. He served as manager of the Rotorcraft Certification Office from 1987 until 1994, and returned to the Rotorcraft Standards Staff as manager of the Regulations & Policy Group. In that position, Mr. Kelly worked with the Canadian and European airworthiness authorities, and the helicopter industry to establish and maintain fully harmonized rotorcraft airworthiness standards and guidance material. Since 2010 he has managed the Rotorcraft Standards Staff, the FAA office responsible for developing rotorcraft airworthiness standards and associated guidance, standard application of those regulations, validation of imported rotorcraft, and providing continuous support for helicopter safety.
Keith Lardie works as an aviation safety engineer with the FAA’s Design, Manufacturing and Airworthiness Division. His responsibilities include regulatory and policy standardization for continued operational safety procedures. He joined the FAA’s Engine Certification Office in 2002 as a project engineer after working in private industry for several years. Since moving to Oklahoma City in 2010, he has worked to improve how continued operational safety information is shared within the FAA and in the aviation community.
Dennis Pierce founded Colorado Heli-Ops in 2009 to provide helicopter flight training in the Denver area. He brought in experienced industry consultants, adopted modern flight training methodologies, implemented a Safety Management System and joined the FAASTeam. He became active with the U.S. Helicopter Safety Team/Joint Helicopter Safety Implementation Team training work group and the Helicopter Association International training committee. His company has been active in helicopter utility work since 2010. For the past five years, he has organized regular local safety meetings with up to 130 pilots in attendance. Mr. Pierce frequently speaks at safety summits and consults for manufacturers. He also regularly posts articles about helicopters and his deepening industry involvement on the on-line helicopter forum “Vertical Reference.”
Randy Rowles has been an FAA pilot examiner for 20 years for all helicopter certificates and ratings and has more than 13,500 flight hours of helicopter experience. He received the 2013 Helicopter Association International Certified Flight Instructor of the Year award. He holds an FAA Gold Seal Flight Instructor Certificate and a Master Flight Instructor Designation. Mr. Rowles owns Helicopter Institute Inc. with locations in Ft. Worth, Texas and Palm Beach, Florida, providing contract services to include pilot training, training program audits, and aviation management services for both Part 135 and 141 entities. In addition, Mr. Rowles is a regular instructor for the Airborne Law Enforcement Association (ALEA), Helicopter Association International (HAI) Flight Instructor Refresher Course (FIRC), and a monthly columnist for Rotorcraft Professional magazine with a column titled Rotorcraft Checkride.
Wes Ryan manages the Technology Programs & Procedures Branch in the Small Airplane Directorate in Kansas City. He leads emerging technology initiatives for avionics, light sport, electric propulsion, and unmanned aircraft. His work has been instrumental in helping to bring glass displays, GPS moving maps, and envelope protection autopilot technology into light general aviation aircraft. He is currently the policy lead for the certification of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) design requirements and the type design approval process. His goal is to see the safe integration of UAS into the National Airspace System and to leverage UAS technology to improve the safety of the manned general aviation fleet through flight path control and “refuse-to-crash” logic during the next 5 to 10 years. He also serves as technical lead on several FAA power-lift, vertical-take-off-and-landing aircraft projects to support future transportation concepts. He has been with the FAA for 14 years.
Andy Shaw joined the FAA in 2006 to work in the Special Certification Office. He subsequently transferred to the Rotorcraft Certification Office and later was promoted to an electrical systems position in the Rotorcraft Standards Office. Before joining the FAA, Mr. Shaw worked for Raytheon Aircraft Services as a senior avionics electrical systems engineer. He has served as an electrical systems and equipment designated engineering representative (DER) and has worked on numerous avionics installation certification projects.
Sandra Shelley rejoined the FAA in 2014 as a safety program manager for the FAA Rotorcraft Standards Staff. She has more than 26 years of structures and certification experience. In addition to the FAA, Ms. Shelley has worked for several aircraft and rotorcraft companies.
Bryan Smith is the Airborne Law Enforcement Association’s safety program manager. He also works as a pilot for the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office in Florida and serves as a FAASTeam representative. He has been a member of the International Helicopter Safety Team’s Safety Management System Committee since 2012. His professional ratings include: Commercial/Instrument Airplane and Rotorcraft Pilot, Certified Flight Instructor, Instrument Instructor and Night Vision Goggle Instructor. Mr. Smith regularly gives presentations for the Airborne Law Enforcement Association (ALEA), the Helicopter Association International and the Police Aviation Conference in Europe. In addition to writing safety articles for ALEA’s Air Beat magazine and a monthly newsletter, Mr. Smith writes safety management system articles for HAI’s Rotor magazine on behalf of the International Helicopter Safety Team.
Steve Sparks is an aviation safety inspector with the FAA General Aviation and Commercial Division, specializing in human factors, helicopter operations and educational outreach initiatives. Dr. Sparks helps revise and develop new policy and guidance influencing helicopter operations. He also serves as a consultant for FAA helicopter human factors research, involving such areas as flight simulation for enhancing pilot certification/proficiency standards, crew research management and aeronautical decision making. In addition, he serves as the US Helicopter Safety Team (USHST) coordinator and chairs the USHST-Human Factors Working Group, which uses helicopter accident data to develop methods to prevent future accidents. His experience includes flight training education, corporate aviation marketing and professional pilot development. And he has served as the safety officer at the FAA FSDO level with responsibility for conducting quarterly educational sessions for maintaining local FAA inspector qualifications. He earned an M.B.A. in corporate finance and a doctorate degree in applied aviation & space education
Tim Tucker is the chief instructor for the Robinson Helicopter Company’s pilot safety course. He received the 2000 Helicopter Association International Certified Flight Instructor of the Year Award. Mr. Tucker has been an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner for 33 years, and conducted more than 8,000 FAA practical tests in 27 different helicopters. Mr. Tucker also has spent 27 years as an instructor pilot for the U.S. Army and has more than 21,000 flight hours.
Scott Tyrrell is a continued operational safety (COS) specialist and accident investigator in the FAA Rotorcraft Standards Staff. Mr. Tyrrell joined the FAA in 2007 after serving in the Air Force and Air National Guard for more than 28 years. His helicopter accident investigation experience includes 17-plus NTSB accidents to include 2 Go-Team accidents and 1 international investigation. Mr. Tyrrell also serves as the government co-chair of the Joint Helicopter Implementation Measurement Data Analysis Team on the US Helicopter Safety Team. His military experience includes more than 20 years in aircraft maintenance working on C-130, A-7, T-43 and F-16 aircraft. His command assignments included Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Logistics Readiness Squadron and his final assignment, prior to retirement, was the commander of the 136th Mission Support Group, Texas Air National Guard.
Jim Viola serves as manager of the FAA’s General Aviation Division. He rose through the ranks after joining the FAA as an operations aviation safety inspector for airplanes and helicopters. His previous aviation experience includes 27 years of military service with his last military job being the chief of current operations for Army Aviation at the Pentagon. He is a Master Army Aviator and a Master Jumpmaster/Parachutist. He holds airline transport and flight instructor certificates for helicopters and airplanes. Mr. Viola also serves as a member of the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee and is the government co-chair for the US Helicopter Safety Team.
Bruce Webb is chief pilot for Airbus Helicopters, which has its U.S. base headquartered in Grand Prairie, Texas. He has been an FAA certificated and qualified rotorcraft pilot for more than 30 years. His Airbus Helicopters flying experience includes experimental test flights, post assembly test flights, maintenance test flights and training flights. He previously worked as an emergency medical helicopter base manager and pilot and co-owned and operated a Chicago area helicopter company. He holds Airline Transport Pilot Rotorcraft Helicopter, Instrument Helicopter and Certified Flight Instructor Rotorcraft Helicopter/Instrument certificates.
Kurt Williams is president of the National EMS Pilots Association (NEMSPA) and has served on the NEMSPA board of directors for more than two years. He joined PHI Air Medical after spending 22 years on active duty with the Missouri National Guard, and served in various command and staff positions. He finished his military career as a company commander of an aviation maintenance company that employed 390 soldiers located over five states. He has a total of about 30 years of aviation experience.
9:00 - 9:15
Rotorcraft Directorate Manager
9:15AM - 9:30AM
General Aviation and Commercial Manager
9:30AM - 10:15AM
Michael P. Huerta
Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration
10:15AM - 10:30AM
10:30AM - 11:30AM
Helicopter Institute Inc.
11:30AM - 1:00PM
1:00PM - 1:15PM
Sandy Shelley, Andy Shaw
1:15PM - 1:50PM
1:50PM - 2:15PM
2:15PM - 3:00PM
Colorado Heli-Ops Flight School
3:00PM - 3:15PM
3:15PM - 4:15PM
4:15PM - 4:45PM
8:00AM - 9:00AM
9:00AM - 9:45AM
9:45AM - 10:00AM
10:00AM - 10:30AM
10:30AM - 11:30AM
11:30AM - 12:00PM
12:00PM - 1:30PM
1:30PM - 3:15PM
3:15PM - 3:30PM
3:30PM - 4:00PM
4:00PM - 4:30PM
4:30PM - 5:00PM
8:00AM - 9:30AM
9:30AM - 10:30AM
10:30AM - 10:45AM
10:45AM - 11:45AM
11:45AM - 12:30PM
12:30PM - 2:00PM
2:00PM - 3:00PM
3:00PM - 3:15PM
3:15PM - 4:15PM
Scott Tyrrell, Mike Hemann
4:15PM - 4:45PM
4:45PM - 5:00PM
The FAA has made arrangements for discounted rates with the three hotels within walking distance of the Hurst Conference Center. To get these rates, let the reservation or sales desk know that you are planning to attend the 2016 FAA International Rotorcraft Safety Conference.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Dallas Fort Worth West-Hurst, 820 Thousand Oaks Drive, Hurst. Nightly Rates: $109 for 1 king- or 2 queen-size beds. Amenities include a free hot breakfast, a heated, indoor pool, a fitness center, complimentary WiFi, and a free shuttle to and from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. 817-427-1818.
Hampton Inn & Suites Dallas-Dallas Fort Worth Airport West State Highway 183 Hurst, 1600 Hurst Town Center Drive, Hurst. Nightly Rates: $109 for 1 king- or 2 queen-size beds. Amenities include a free hot breakfast, an indoor pool, complimentary WiFi access, a fitness center, and a free shuttle to and from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. 817-503-7777.
Hyatt Place Fort Worth/Hurst, 1601 Hurst Town Center Drive, Hurst. Nightly Rates: $109 for a room with a king-size bed, $117 for double beds. Amenities include free hot breakfast, complimentary WiFi access, an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and a free shuttle to and from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. 817-577-3003.