450 persons from at least 10 countries attended Flight Safety Foundation’s 52nd annual Corporate Aviation Safety Seminar in Tucson, Ariz. May 9 and 10. FSF President and CEO William R. Voss said discussions covered included corporate safety management systems, new maintenance issues, medical topics and data mining and monitoring. Richard Santulli CEO and founder of NetJets received a Business Aviation Meritorious Service Award for innovating and implementing the concept of fractional ownership. The foundation also issued five Presidential Citations and two Professionalism Awards.
Marty Grier, maintenance manager for Home Depot, Bill Grimes, director of safety and security for TAG Aviation, Brad Johnson, safety and loss control consultant for AIG and Bill McBride, senior director of operations for Home Depot received Presidential Citations for their involvement in FSF’s ground accident prevention program. Jeff Sands, director of flight operations for Altria Corporate Services also received a Presidential Citation for his pioneering work on a Corporate Flight Operations Quality Assurance (C-FOQA) demonstration program.
FSF Professionalism Awards went to Capt. Annette Saunders and FO Mitchell Merchant of NetJets for their "outstanding" response and safe landing after collision with a glider at 16,000 feet. The glider’s wing spar sliced across their aircraft’s nose, opening the cockpit to the outside environment and demolishing the left instrument panel and numerous systems controls as well as damaging the hydraulic system. Saunders received facial cuts from flying debris, but she and Merchant located the nearest suitable airport and finally coped with a gear collapse during rollout. The crew secured the aircraft and their passengers exited uninjured.