Greater Washington Business 
Aviation Association
Information about GWBAA's annual safety standdown: 



The eighth annual GWBAA safety standdown will be held on Thursday, May 1 at the NTSB Training Center in Ashburn, Virginia.  The keynote speaker will be Greg Feith, a former member of the NTSB and an aviation safety and security expert.

During his tenure with the NTSB, Mr. Feith served in a variety of positions, including Air Safety Investigator (Field) Unit Supervisor, Regional Director, and Senior Air Safety Investigator.  He has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and holds an Airline Transport Certificate with over 3000 hours of flight time.  Feith served as the Investigator-In-Charge or U.S. Accredited Representative for the following notable accident investigations:


  • Valujet Douglas DC-9, May 1996, Everglades, Florida; In-flight cargo fire;
  • American Eagle Avions de Transport Regional (ATR) 72, October 1994, Roselawn, IN.;
  • USAir Douglas DC-9, July 1994, Charlotte, NC;
  • American International Airways Douglas DC-8, August 1993, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba;
  • Emery Worldwide Airlines Douglas DC-8-71, February 2000, Sacramento, California;
  • American Airlines McDonnell Douglas MD-83, June 1999, Little Rock, Arkansas;
  • Korean Air Boeing 747-300, August 1997, Agana, Guam;
  • Silkair Airlines Boeing 737-300, December 1997, Palembang, Sumatra; and
  • Swissair McDonnell Douglas MD-11, September 1998, Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scoti

Other planned topics include the ISBAO program, hangar safety systems, and sleep apnea/fatigue.  Our sponsors include Bombardier, FlightSafety, and Gulfstream, and additional sponsorships are available.  Additionally, CAM credit will be available.

A pre-event reception also will be held the evening of April 30 at the Lansdowne Resort (for a special $79 room rate at Lansdowne, visit  To register for the standdown and for more information about the agenda, please visit; advance registration is $50 and registration at the door is $75.

GWBAA thanks its 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 RoweRick 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.

Copyright 2005 - 2014 Greater Washington Business Aviation Association, Inc.