Aviation Safety Consultant / Cabin Safety Specialist
Our expert's distinguished 45-year career in aircraft cabin safety has included precedent-setting work with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the position of Air Carrier Cabin Safety Specialist, working to develop the safety role of the flight attendant in the areas of crashworthiness and survivability - and establishing cabin safety inspection as a standard in the field. Such efforts have directly contributed to the advancement of aviation safety for crewmembers and passengers alike.
She has represented flight attendants throughout her career, with four air carriers (through mergers), in the areas of: aircraft cabin safety, aviation security, crew training and emergency response, incident/accident investigation and regulatory reform. She was a major contributor to the establishment of a joint Critical Incident Stress Management program at Northwest Airlines and continues to advocate for survivor support services. In the wake of 9-11, she championed flight attendant concerns surrounding security and personal protection issues and was instrumental in bringing cabin defense training to over 10,000 cabin crewmembers.
Our expert was also instrumental in bringing voluntary safety reporting by means of the FAA's Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) to the 20,000 flight attendants of Delta Air Lines, allowing for a non-punitive process to report safety concerns and needed improvements. She has worked with both industry and governmental agencies in developing improved cabin interiors, operational and design standards - and the promulgation of regulatory changes directly impacting flight attendants in their primary safety role.
She recently received the "Safety Activist Achievement Award" presented by the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), honoring her significant contributions to the field of aviation safety and advancing safety for flight attendants specifically and the traveling public in general. This is the third time in her career that she has been recognized by AFA, having previously been the recipient of the prestigious "Annual Air Safety Award".
Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 1965-1968, Business Administration major.
Air Carrier Aviation Safety Inspector, Federal Aviation Administration, Oklahoma City, OK.
Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, Washington, DC.
Survival Factors in Aviation Accidents, National Transportation Safety Board, NTSB Academy, Ashburn, VA.
Accident Investigation and Human Factors, Southern California Safety Institute, Torrance, CA.
Aviation Safety Management Systems (ASMS), University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA.
Aircraft Accident Investigation, Air Safety, Health & Security Department, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, Washington, DC.
Bloodborne Pathogens in Aircraft Accident Investigation, Air Safety, Health & Security Department, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, Washington, DC.
Certificate of Proficiency, Cabin Crewmember, Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, Washington, DC.
RTI Group, LLC, Annapolis, MD, Aircraft Cabin Safety Consultant, 2017 to present.
International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI), Officer - Pacific Northwest Regional Chapter, 2017 to present.
Contributing Editor, Flight Safety Information (FSI) Newsletter, 2016 to present.
Delta Air Lines (2009-2015):
• In addition to flying international routes as a Purser, served as: Committee Lead - Employee Involvement Group (EIG) Health, Safety & Security Standing Committee (2012-2014), advocating for flight attendants and partnering with leadership to identify solutions and preventive measures to reduce on-the-job injuries and risks.
• Instrumental in bringing voluntary safety reporting by means of the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) promoted by the FAA to Delta's flight attendants, allowing for a non-punitive process to report safety concerns and needed improvements. Active participant in the FAA's "Aviation Safety InfoShare" conferences held bi-annually, exchanging with U.S. air carriers on the ASAP experience.
• Represented the EIG on IFS (In-Flight Services) Safety Management System (SMS) quarterly Safety Roundtable, focusing on the documentation of safety concerns and suggestions via the Safety Reporting System (SRS) in efforts to drive quality assurance and continuous improvement in operational safety.
• Team Lead - Health, Safety & Security Transition Team (2010-2011), elevating specific safety-related initiatives and establishing a meaningful foundation for the new EIG's focus in the safety and health arena via the Health, Safety & Security Standing Committee.
• Crew Organization Transition Team (2010-2012), working to integrate (Northwest/Delta) onboard position procedures and duties, building consensus in achieving end-state processes and communicating such changes to Delta flight attendants systemwide.
Northwest Airlines (1986-2009):
• In addition to flying international routes as a Purser, represented the carrier's flight attendants via: Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) as Master Executive Council (MEC) Chair - Air Safety, Health & Security (2006-2010), representing all Northwest flight attendants and working with Officers and base leadership in support of an established safety agenda. Effectively collaborated with Northwest and Delta management relative to 'integration' efforts, including a comprehensive 'gap analysis' process addressing all policies, procedures and regulatory compliance matters.
• Directly involved in incident/accident investigations and crew debriefs in coordination with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Member of Northwest's accident investigation team and dispatched as part of the 'Go Team', as required.
• Instrumental in developing an Emergency Response Plan / Call Down Protocols for AFA at Northwest. Championed the development of an online reporting vehicle - the Inflight Incident Report - and then taking that knowledge forward in the development of a Safety Reporting System (SRS), providing a distinct means of reporting all safety-related incidents/events.
• Active member of Northwest's Corporate Safety Team and Executive Safety Roundtable; directly involved in the Safety Management System (SMS) certification process at Northwest. Participated in special projects, including: secondary barriers, turbulence mitigation, design/certification of A330 lower deck crew rest module, advanced planning with Boeing on B787 cabin interiors and the Critical Design Review (CDR) of crew rest provisions.
• Post September 11, 2001, participated with industry/government Rapid Response Teams, advancing security initiatives in support of the U.S. aviation industry, frontline employees and the traveling public.
• Professional Flight Attendants Association (PFAA) National Coordinator - Security & Regulatory/Legislative Affairs (2003-2006), representing Northwest flight attendants, advocating for safety and security interests, along with lobbying efforts in support of FA initiatives, workplace improvements and major industry issues.
• Teamsters Local 2000 Director - Regulatory & Legislative Affairs (1991-2003), representing Northwest flight attendants, advocating for legislative initiatives in the safety/security arena. Worked directly with IBT Airline Division in promoting safety interests on a broader scale by membership on various industry organizations and FAA Aviation Regulatory Advisory Committees (ARAC), in addition to collective efforts with the Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions and the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF). Directly involved in proving runs and certification of the A330-300, with input to the training program to qualify all FAs on the aircraft prior to being placed into service.
• In the wake of 9/11, instrumental in the design and development of a 'Cabin Response Plan' Training Program, working directly with a prestigious Israeli security firm, Transportation Security Administration and Inflight Service management in bringing cabin defense training to all Northwest flight attendants.
• Instrumental in the establishment of a Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) program, providing peer support and advancing survival support services as part of a comprehensive 'Emergency Response & Accident Investigation' plan.
Republic Airlines / Hughes Airwest (1968-1986):
• In addition to flying as cabin crew both domestically and internationally, involved in key aspects of flight attendant representation and special projects, focusing on workplace improvements through galley design, serving cart design/service delivery, emergency equipment standardization, new aircraft interiors and certification. Held position as Supervisor - Flight Attendant Training / Customer Service, Hughes Airwest (1977-1980), responsible for new hire training and customer service standards.
U.S. Federal Aviation Administration - Flight Standards Service: Air Carrier Cabin Safety
• Specialist / Inspector (1975-1977) - leave of absence from airline. Precedent-setting work with the FAA in developing the safety role of the flight attendant in the areas of crashworthiness and survivability, including the establishment of cabin safety inspection standards in the field. This was the first FA position of its kind within the FAA and its Air Carrier Division. During this tenure, existing Federal Aviation Regulations were reviewed and evaluated, along with proposed rulemaking related to aircraft cabin safety and occupant survivability.
Selected Publications and Presentations
• Federal Aviation Administration (FAA): "Aviation Safety Journal". Subjects addressed included (for example): cabin safety inspection and surveillance, flight attendant role in the regulatory process, crew training and safety practices of U.S. airlines, FAA's role in aircraft accident investigation and regulatory compliance issues.
Represented the FAA (Air Carrier Division) before various U.S. Congressional Hearings on: passenger and crewmember safety/survivability (1975-1977) in capacity as FAA Air Carrier Cabin Safety Specialist, Flight Standards Service, Washington, DC.
Participated with regulatory teams that formed the basis of and/or influenced the promulgation of Federal Aviation Regulations (Parts 25 and 121) directly impacting the flight attendant, cabin safety and occupant survival. Was directly responsible for field inspection and investigation to support a FAA Airworthiness Directive issued to all U.S. air carriers on the subject of the removal of all side-facing flight attendant seats, thereby increasing crew safety and survivability.
Member of Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committees (ARAC) to assist the FAA in rule harmonization and reform (1992-present); subjects addressed have included passenger seats, cabin safety and occupant survivability (involving Parts 25 and 121 of the Federal Aviation Regulations).
• Society of Automotive Engineers International (SAE) - Aircraft Division: Principal author of industry technical standards (Aerospace Recommended Practices) specifically on the subjects of: Flight Attendant Stations, Emergency Equipment Standardization, Galley Installations, Food & Beverage Service Carts, Cabin Fire Extinguishers and Safety Considerations of Carry-on Baggage During Emergency Evacuations.
Also, published in SAE's "Aerospace Review" on the subject of Cabin Design and presented before SAE's Advances in Aviation Safety Conference (April 1998).
• International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI): "ISASI Forum". Subjects addressed have included: Effective Crew Resource Management and the Flight Attendant's Role in Aircraft Accident Investigation.
• Southern California Safety Institute (SCSI): International Aircraft Cabin Safety Symposium "Proceedings". Numerous presentations before this annual, prestigious event attended by the worldwide aviation safety community, including subjects of aviation security and countermeasures, security training requirements and effective crew resource management (1983-2009).
• Flight Safety Foundation, Inc. (FSF): "Cabin Crew Safety Bulletin". Subjects addressed have included (for example): occupational health and safe work habits, cabin safety and survivability, human factors, passengers with disabilities, regulatory compliance issues, emergency evacuation and preparedness, training requirements, inflight medical emergencies, disruptive passengers, crew resource management and incident/accident investigation.
• Halldale Group: "The Journal for Civil Aviation Training". Subjects addressed have included those pertinent to aircraft cabin safety and cabin crew training and proficiency. Authored presentations made before WATS (World Aviation Training Conference & Tradeshow), Orlando, FL.
• Delta Air Lines: In-Flight Services Employee Involvement Group, "Airmail". Produced quarterly articles on health, safety and security, in addition to operational issues. Safety Reporting System (SRS): designed and developed a 'User Guide' for cabin crew. Aviation Safety Action Program for In-Flight Service (IFS ASAP): designed and developed a comprehensive 'Information Handbook' for 22,000 cabin crewmembers.
• Flight Safety Information (FSI): Curt Lewis & Associates 'online newsletter'. Articles addressing occupant protection and injury mitigation, with a focus on inflight turbulence.
• Association of Flight Attendants (AFA): "Flightlog". Subjects addressed have included (for example): cabin design, crashworthiness and survivability and regulatory standards/reforms.
• International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) - Airline Division: "2000 Times", "Common Ground" and "Passport". Broad range of subjects addressed involving the professional flight attendant, the work environment and the onboard safety role/responsibilities.
• Professional Flight Attendants Association (PFAA): "PFAA Newsletter". Various subjects addressed specifically related to safety/security, regulatory compliance, legislative affairs and aircraft certification.