Chris Rink
757-864-6786, 757-344-7711
NASA Presents An Inside View of NTSB Accident Investigation
HAMPTON, Va. -- When a major aircraft accident occurs, officials from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are en-route to the scene.

On Tuesday, March 2, at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Robert Sumwalt, the 37th board member of the NTSB, will present "An Insider's View of NTSB Accident Investigation" at 2 p.m. in the Reid Conference Center. Sumwalt will discuss the NTSB's investigative process and techniques, and discuss the results of several aviation accident investigations.

Media who wish to interview Sumwalt at a news briefing at NASA Langley at 1:15 p.m., Tuesday should contact Chris Rink at 864-6786 or by e-mail at by noon on the day of the talk for credentials and entry to the center.

On Tuesday evening, Sumwalt will present a similar talk for the general public at 7:30 p.m. at the Virginia Air & Space Center in downtown Hampton. The evening presentation is free and no reservations are required.

On call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the NTSB is one of the world's premier transportation safety and accident investigation agencies. As an independent Federal agency, the NTSB is charged by Congress with investigating each civil and public-use aviation accident in the United States, and is often called upon to assist the international community when an aviation disaster occurs outside the U.S.

From 1991 to 1999, Sumwalt conducted aviation safety research as a consultant to NASA's Aviation Safety Reporting System, studying various issues including flight crew performance and air carrier de-icing and anti-icing problems.

Prior to his NTSB appointment, Sumwalt was a pilot for US Airways and Piedmont Airlines for 24 years, logging over 14,000 flight hours on five different types of aircraft before retiring in 2005. During this time, he served as a member of Air Line Pilots Association's (ALPA) Accident Investigation Board from 2002 to 2004, and chaired ALPA's Human Factors and Training Group. In 2003, Sumwalt joined the faculty of the University of Southern California's Aviation Safety and Security Program, where he was the primary human factors instructor.

President Bush appointed Sumwalt to a two-year term as vice chairman from 2006 to 2008.

Since joining the NTSB, Sumwalt served as Chairman of the Board of Inquiry for the June 2009 public hearing for the accident involving US Airways flight 1549 and for the NTSB's 2009 public hearing regarding emergency medical services (EMS) helicopters. Additionally, he has served as the Member on-scene for several transportation accidents.

For more information about NASA Langley's Colloquium and Sigma Series Lectures:

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