Information about GWBAA's past annual safety standdowns:


Many thanks to all who attended our tenth annual safety standdown, which was held at the NTSB Training Center in Ashburn, Virginia on May 5, 2016.  GWBAA also thanks our keynote speaker, Robert Agostino; our other speakers; and our sponsors, listed below.

Additionally, many of our speakers kindly have made available copies of their presentations:

Robert Agostino, Bias in Decision Making

Mark Larsen, NBAA,  Safety Update

Jason Karadimas, Bombardier, Building a Safety Culture

Brandon Miller and Jesse Moyer, Potomac TRACON

Honeywell, ATC/Equipment Current Topics


The Ninth Annual GWBAA Safety Standdown held at the NTSB Training Center in Virginia on April 30th and was a great success.  The well-attended event was bolstered by impressive, dynamic and knowledgeable guest speakers

In addition to the keynote speaker - NTSB Chair, Chris Hart - GWBAA members received a comprehensive industry update from NBAA’s Doug Carr.  A thought provoking presentation about Unmanned Aerial Systems was made by Brian Wynne and the SMS Panel hosted by Bob Blouin wascomprised of Patrick Moylan, Todd Hattaway and Derek Carpenter, and provided a unique perspective focuses on ensuring the quality standard with service providers.  The day was closed out with a very thorough airspace presentation and discussion with Brandon Miller from Potomac TRACON.

GWBAA would like to thank our presenters as well as our generous sponsors for this important event.  Their support is appreciated greatly.


Breakfast Sponsor

Energy Break Sponsor

Lunch Sponsor

NTSB Facility Sponsor

USB Drive Sponsor

Safety Sponsor

Safety Sponsor

Safety Sponsor


Safety Sponsor

Safety Sponsor

Safety Sponsor


The eighth annual GWBAA safety standdown was held on Thursday, May 1 at the NTSB Training Center in Ashburn, Virginia.  The keynote speaker was Greg Feith, a former member of the NTSB and an aviation safety and security expert.  With over 80 attendees GWBAA’s May 1st Safety Standdown was, by all measures, a big success.

The event started the night before with over half of the attendees enjoying a networking reception at the Lansdowne Resort. Excellent food and drink facilitated a collegial atmosphere and ability to get to know and be reacquainted with business aviation professionals from the area.

The next morning started with registration and breakfast sponsored by Gulfstream. Following opening remarks by GWBAA President Paige Kroner and Steve Brown of NBAA, Kyle Herbig took over the duties as MC and did an excellent job of keeping us on schedule. Dr. Paulo Alves of Medaire had two presentations, one focused on Hangar Safety and the other on Sleep Apnea and Fatigue. The main “take-away” from the Hangar Safety presentation is to have maintenance and hangar safety full integrated in your flight department’s Safety Management System (SMS). The principal take-away from the Sleep Apnea/Fatigue presentation is to include your individual Body Mass Index (BMI) as one additional factor in your personal safety checklist.

A mid-morning energy break was sponsored by ICG and was followed by Jim Cannon, representing the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), presenting an outline of the International Standards for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO). Over 700 operators have been evaluated through the IS-BAO program and registered with IBAC. Whilst there are many ways to incorporate an SMS into your operation, IS-BAO is the only way recognized by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal. Operators have used there IS-BAO registration to demonstrate SMS compliance when ramp-checked on international flights.

Following Jim’s excellent presentation, a full hot lunch sponsored by Bombardier was provided, followed by Greg Feith’s keynote address. Greg focused on what can be learned from analyzing the numerous accidents he has examined while a lead NTSB investigator. In addition to the many “lessons learned” Greg emphasized how important senior company leadership “buy in” is to safety. Without President/CEO support for the flight department safety program, you may be attempting to manage an unacceptable level of risk. Greg described it as a “major weak link in the start of an accident chain”.

Following the distribution of door prizes, 30 attendees remained to take part in the TWA 800 safety briefing, provided by NTSB.

If you have any ideas for topics or speakers for next year’s Standdown please contact Bob Blouin at


Thanks again to this year's sponsors:



Many thanks to all who attended and supported the standdown - copies of the presentations made at the event are available below.

GWBAA's 7th annual safety standdown was held on Thursday, May 16, 2013 at the NTSB Training Center in Ashburn, VA The keynote speaker was Robert Sumwalt, a Member and former Vice Chair of the NTSB. He previously managed Scania Corporation’s Part 91 flight department and was a pilot for Piedmont and US Airways.  For a copy of his presentation, click here.


The standdown also featured panels and speakers on:

  • What Every Operator Needs to Know When Considering Supplemental/Charter Lift [presentation 1] [presentation 2]
  • Is It time to Tune Up Your Emergency Response Plan? [presentation]
  • Top 5 GA Security Issues Facing Operators Today
  • Equip For The Future: What Flight Department Managers Need to Know
  • Breakout sessions, including CPR and AED certification (courtesy of Medaire), and a viewing of the TWA 800 reconstruction

GWBAA thanks its sponsors, including:


The sixth annual GWBAA safety standdown was held on May 16, 2012 at the NTSB Training Center in Ashburn, VA.  The keynote speaker was author and former astronaut Mike Mullane, who flew on three space shuttle missions and emphasized the importance of “guarding against a normalization of deviance” based on his experiences in the shuttle program and in the U.S. Air Force. 

Other speakers included Andreas Bentz of Chantilly Air on OSHA issues; Jim Garland of Sharp Details on “Flight Plan for Excellence”; Shannon Forrest of FlightSafety International on crew resource management; and Cynthia Keegan of the NTSB on TWA 800.   Additionally, at the end of the forum, Harry Houckes awarded the NBAA’s Silk Scarf Award to GWBAA President Paige Kroner, for her contributions to the business aviation community.

GWBAA thanks its sponsors, including:





The Greater Washington Business Aviation Association hosted its 5th annual Safety Standdown at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Training Center in Ashburn, Virginia on June 23, 2011. The Standdown provided multiple speakers to help educate and promote a safety culture in our industry.

This year’s speakers provided insight into real world events and planning. Steven Brown, Senior Vice President, Operations & Administration for the National Business Aviation Association gave the opening remarks and was followed by Jeff Hare, of J. Hare Safety & Survival Systems. Mr. Hare’s focus was on Fire Safety and provided an incredible amount of information about the risks of cabin fires from electronic devices. It certainly made a lot of attendees rethink keeping their laptops plugged in while not in use.

The next speakers comprised a Safety Management Systems panel, specifically Lucille Fisher of Quality Resources, Norman Schweizer of the General Services Administration, and Rick Krens of the FAA. They gave us insight into SMS processes. Additionally, Shannon Forrest from FlightSafety International gave us a very charismatic presentation on Crew Resource Management (CRM) and the dangers of overreliance on automation.

The highlight of this year’s event was our keynote speaker, Jeff Skiles. Mr. Skiles’ recollections of the events on the infamous “Miracle on the Hudson” river landing kept our audience on the edge of their seats. As this incident shows, training and preparation can significantly impact how the outcome of an incident or accident. He attributed a lot of his preparedness to CRM and as he put it: “I just did my job.”

“This year’s safety standdown was the best ever,” said Paige Kroner, GWBAA President. “Attendees had a day of incredible insight from industry professionals and government entities. Not to mention access to an incredible day of learning and networking. I am delighted that this event grows and gains momentum each year. I extend my thanks to all of our sponsors, speakers, and volunteers who contributed to our success.”

This year’s sponsors included: Gulfstream (registration and breakfast); Satcom Direct (energy break); Bombardier (lunch); TISMA (NTSB facility); Dassault Falcon (printed materials); ARINC Direct, Chantilly Air, FlightSafety International, Hawker Beechcraft, Landmark Aviation, NBAA, Rockwell Collins, Signature Flight Support, and WorldFuel Services and affiliated companies (safety). GWBAA also thanks its hotel, DoubleTree by Hilton Sterling – Dulles, and French Connections Catering.


GWBAA held its fourth annual Safety Standdown at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Training Center in Ashburn, Virginia on May 20, 2010. Speakers addressed the attendees on a variety of key safety topics for aviation professionals.

AOPA Air Safety Foundation President Bruce Landsberg talked about the growing number and complexity of the FARs in the Aeronautical Information Manual and the need to avoid distractions when flying, citing the recent Colgan Air accident.

Bruce Landsberg and Rick Rowe

Rick Rowe, chief pilot for the Bombardier Aerospace flight demo team, noted in his presentation on “Challenging the Status Quo” that in the last 10 years “80 percent of all accidents have been caused by human error.”  Although CFIT (Controlled Flight Into Terrain) used to be the primary cause of accidents, it is now Loss of Control in Flight (LCIF), said Rowe. “Basic flying skills continue to erode."  Rowe also made reference to the Colgan Air accident, in which fatigue and lack of pilot training have been cited as contributing factors to the crash. 

Dr. Paulo Alves, a cardiologist and vice president of aviation and maritime health with MedAire, spoke about travel health and fatigue management.  “Violence is the number one cause of death abroad and cardiac-related emergencies are the number two cause,” said Alves. Risk mitigation-researching your destination country for possible infectious disease is key to a safe trip, said Alves.

Veteran aviation humorist, pilot and psychologist Rod Machado entertained attendees with anecdotes and lessons about the various kinds of errors pilots can make and how to avoid them.

The NTSB’s Dr. Paul Schuda briefed the safety standdown attendees on the TWA Flight 800 accident, the Boeing 747 that exploded shortly after takeoff from JFK Airport on July 17, 1996.  Schuda then led a tour of the reconstructed portion of the fuselage of TWA Flight 800 at the Training Center, the only accident aircraft that the NTSB has ever reconstructed.

“We are grateful to the attendees, speakers and sponsors of this year’s standdown,” said GWBAA President Paige Kroner.  “This was another successful event with a lot of great safety tips from our speakers.”

Sponsors of this year’s standdown included Bombardier, Dassault Falcon Jet, FlightSafety International, Gulfstream, Landmark Aviation, Lansdowne Resort, MedAire, NBAA, Rudy’s Inflight Catering, Sharp Details, Signature Flight Support, TISMA, Welsch Aviation, Air Routing International and US Sedan.

If you haven’t already, please give us your feedback (a survey was emailed to attendees after the event), and we look forward to seeing you next year.


GWBAA held its Third Annual Safety Standdown on Thursday, May 7, 2009 at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Training Center in Ashburn, VA.  Captain Alfred C. Haynes (of United Airlines flight 232) was the keynote speaker.  It was twenty years ago that year that Captain Haynes and his crew, against all odds, crash landed a United DC-10 into Sioux City, Iowa with no hydraulics and 184 survivors.

Other speakers and topics included:
  • Jim Burin, Flight Safety Foundation - “Aviation Safety Challenges”
  • Bob Hobbi, ServiceElements - “Customer Service Tools for Surviving the Current Environment”
  • John Rahilly, Former VP at Dassault Falcon Jet - “Aviation Maintenance - Obtaining the Best Pricing and Highest Quality”
  • Dr. Paul Schuda, NTSB - “TWA Flight 800 Briefing”

The standdown also included an opportunity to see the reconstructed portion of the fuselage of TWA flight 800.

Bob Agostino, “father” of the national safety standdown, makes one of many good points during his p
 Bob Agostino, “father” of the national safety
standdown,  makes one of many good points during
his presentation to the GWBAAattendees

From the start of NBAA’s President Ed Bolen’s opening remarks to the final wrap-up, all attendees’ feedback was very positive for GWBAA’s 2nd Annual Safety Standdown on April 8, 2008 at the NTSB Training Center in Ashburn, Virginia.  A full 99% of those present rated all the presenters as “excellent.”

Our thanks go out to all the volunteers and presenters who made it happen.

Our sponsors – Bombardier, Bristol Associates, Chantilly Air, Dassault, Gulfstream, Landmark Aviation, Sharp Details, Signature Flight Support, Sky Group Associates, and Welsch Aviation – also played a very large role in the success of the event and we thank them also.

Jim Lumley (GWBAA’s Operations, Safety, and
Security Chair), center, with Greg Feith, left, and
Bob Agostino, right, during the 2nd Annual GWBAA
Safety Standdown



The March 8, 2007 Safety and Security Standdown was a resounding success by all measures. Eighty-five were in attendance and the feedback was very positive – primarily due to the wonderful presenters and sponsors, and Jim Lumley’s organizational skills. In this month’s Aviation International News, Matt Thurber has done a great job of capturing the highlights of the event.
Many thanks to the following companies for their support:

  • Bristol Associates, for lunch;
  • Bombardier, for sponsoring Bob Agostino as a speaker and contributing two tickets to the IRL (Inday car class) race in Richmond and an aircraft model as door prizes;
  • Gulfstream, for the morning break and an aircraft model as a door prize;
  • Dassault Falcon, for the afternoon break and an aircraft model as a door prize;
  • ARINC, for printing;
  • Sky Group Associates and NBAA, as event supporters;
  • Signature Flight Support, for facility sponsorship; and
  • Flight Safety International, for event bags and and an aicraft model for a door prize.

The following presentations from the standdown are available in PDF format:

Bob Agostino, Bombardier's director, flight operations, provided a thought-provoking and stimulating opening presentation for those in attendance at March’s safety and security standdown.

GWBAA President Bob Blouin presents Susan Sheets,
Vice President of the Aero Club of Washington, with
a donation to the Aero Club Of Washington Foundation
during March’s safety and security standdown.

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