Advisory Council Members

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The Bombardier Safety Standdown Advisory Council provides expertise and recommendations to further Safety Standdown Programs mission of preventing human error in aviation through global educational resources. The Council serves in an advisory capacity and is accountable to keep Safety Standdown Programs on track with long-term goals and contributes towards the programs vitality.

Mission Statement
The mission of the Advisory Council is to provide advice, recommendations and suggestions for the content and direction of the Safety Standdown programs, by evaluating past activities, assisting in development of current projects, and creating and supporting the future goals of Safety Standdown.

Jim Blakey, President, Business Jet Consultants, Inc.
Advisory Council Chairman
Council Member – 2010

Jim Blakey has over 35 years’ experience in business aviation.  He started his flying career after completing service in the US Army.  He served on active duty for a total of six years, and attained the rank of Captain with tours of duty in Vietnam and Germany. Blakey has held positions of Chief Pilot, Aviation Department Manager and Director of Aviation for corporate aviation departments in Oklahoma, Michigan and Texas.  He has been involved in business aircraft consulting for 9 years.

He has an Airline Transport Pilot rating with type ratings for the Learjet series aircraft, Learjet 60, and is single pilot type-rated in the CitationJet C-525.  He has accumulated over 11,000 hours of accident- and incident-free flying.  He served on the National Business Aviation Association Learjet Technical Committee for eight years with terms of two years as Vice Chairman and four years as Chairman.  He currently serves on the Bombardier Safety Standdown Advisory Council.

The Advisory Council provides an opportunity to communicate with contacts developed throughout a long and rewarding career in aviation and encourage those individuals to share their expertise and ideas with the Safety Standdown team.  Jim’s participation on the council is a way to give something back to the program and to further encourage mentoring by experienced aviation professionals. Jim believes by constantly focusing on what is important and looking for the “next big thing” in aviation safety, we can all make a difference.

Present position as Director of the USC Aviation Safety and Security Program.
Instructor in Aviation Safety Management Systems, Aircraft Accident Investigations, SMS for Managers, and Aviation Security courses.

Chris Lutat, President, Government & Aerospace, Convergent Performance, LLC
Advisory Council Vice Chairman
Council Member – 2016

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Captain Lutat has been a leader in helping organizations world-wide adapt to the demands of highly automated aircraft, and originated the concept of “Automation Airmanship®” in 2004, and is co-author of “Automation Airmanship: 9 Principles of Glass Cockpit Airmanship” (McGraw-Hill, 2013). He has presented the concept at industry forums in North America, Europe and Australia.

Captain Lutat is a 1985 graduate of the U. S. Coast Guard Academy, and has served aboard cutters and air stations across the US during his 10 years of service. As a Coast Guard Search and Rescue pilot, instructor and check airman, he accumulated over 3,000 flight hours in the Dassault Falcon 20G. He was among the initial cadre of Coast Guard Aviators to bring Crew Resource Management to Coast Guard Aviation.

Captain Lutat has been a commercial pilot and Captain for a large global airline since 1995, where he serves as a Captain, instructor and check airman on the Boeing MD-11. He has experience operating the B-727 (First Officer) and DC-10 (Flight Engineer). He has designed safety courseware, advanced technology flight crew interfaces and procedures for civil and military customers since 1995. In 2003 he was among the original founding partners of Convergent Performance, LLC.

Captain Lutat is an avid health and fitness enthusiast, enjoys all outdoor sports, and resides in Memphis, Tennessee.

Thomas Anthony, Director of Aviation Safety & Security Program, USC
Council Member – 2016
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Participated in the Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) for the proposed FAA regulation on SMS for aircraft operators. Serves as the President of the Southern California Chapter of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI). Authored or co-authored four articles for AeroSafety World on Human Factors affecting aviation safety. Serves as a media representative for USC on the subject of aviation safety and security. Delivered papers on Threat and Error Management to international conferences hosted by: the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute (CASI), the Columbia Helicopter Corporation (CHC) and the NBAA/ Flight Safety Foundation at CASS.

Have established a new aircraft accident investigation facility for the USC program and have acquired new wreckages to serve as the basis for investigative analysis.

Served as mentor for an undergraduate computer engineering course project which won first place in a national competition for airport improvement projects. Sponsored last year’s ISASI scholarship co-winner for college undergraduates. Taught courses in Safety Management Systems in diverse international locations including South Africa and Korea.

Served as a consultant for the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Aviation Security. Conducted training in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Auckland, New Zealand for ICAO.

Directed emergency security response to the World Trade Center II attacks and provided investigative efforts of aviation activities of the hijackers. Served as the FAA point of contact and provided investigative assistance in the al Qaeda, Ahmed Ressam Borderbomb case. Directed investigative efforts at the Los Angeles point of departure for Egypt Air 990.

As FAA Division Manager for Civil Aviation Security, managed and directed assessments and inspections of U. S. registered aircraft operators, foreign registered aircraft operators, and international airports throughout the Pacific and Asia areas. I participated in the writing and review of international assessment reports for compliance with federal regulations and ICAO standards and recommended practices.

Served as the Assistant Regional Division Manager of the FAA Civil Aviation Security Division in the Western Pacific Region. Participated in the investigation and security response to the al Qaeda threat against U.S. air carriers throughout Asia known as The Bojinka Plot by Ramzi Yousef. Drafted and implemented emergency aviation security regulations to prevent the transportation of PCP by air (Security Directive 94-07). Implemented emergency regulations throughout the region in response to the Unibomber emergency.

Graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1970.

Matthew Barre, Captain & Safety Advisor, Aflac
Council Member – 2015
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Captain Barre is the Safety Advisor and line Captain for a Fortune 200 corporate flight department and current Chairman of the South East Aviation Safety Round Table.  Following graduation from the US Coast Guard Academy in 1984, he completed 22 years of active duty serving on Cutters and flying the HU-25, C-130 and Casa 212.  While instructing in the HU-25, he was also running the CG’s flight simulation facility at the Aviation Training Center in Mobile, AL.  After completing a final assignment as Executive Officer of the Coast Guard’s Air Station on Kodiak Island, he brought his family to his home state of Georgia where they currently reside in Columbus.

In addition to an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering, Matt completed a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of South Alabama, obtained a Safety and Security Certificate from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and has completed work at the Darden School of Business at UVA.

Matt is active with the Georgia Business Aircraft Association and was selected as the Eugene Cernan Safety Award winner in conjunction with the 2015 Bombardier Safety Standdown.

Ed Coleman, Pilot, Air Arctic
Council Member – 2015
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Mr. Ed Coleman has been involved with aviation and safety for nearly 30 years.  He started his career with the Air Force and has held safety positions at multiple levels.  Following his Air Force career Ed was a demonstration pilot for Cessna Aircraft Company showcasing many of the company’s newest jets worldwide.  As an Air Force civilian, Ed was responsible for teaching the accident investigation course to all Air Force Flight Safety Officers as well as International Flight Safety Officers at the USAF Safety Center.
His most recent position was as an Aviation Advisor at BP where he worked in the Safety & Operational Risk division.  He is a member of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators and has investigated over 100 accidents and incidents ranging from minor to hull loss.
Ed has a Master’s Degree in Aviation Safety from Embry-Riddle University and has been trained in human factors, risk management and Safety Management Systems development.
Ed was recently recognized by the Bombardier Safety Standdown advisor committee with the Eugene Cernan Safety Award for his commitment, professionalism, passion, leadership and dedication to aviation safety.  Ed is an ATP rated pilot with multiple type ratings, over 6500 hours and extensive international experience.

Al Gorthy, Capt. USN (ret)
Council Member – 2016
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Al has built a solid reputation of success in executive leadership positions in both the public and private sectors.  His military background included twenty-six years of active duty service in the US Navy where he flew as an operational pilot in numerous single seat attack and fighter aircraft, including the F/A-18 Hornet.  He made combat deployments during the Vietnam conflict and served on eight different aircraft carriers.

Al commanded several operational squadrons including a carrier based F/A-18 squadron, the Navy’s ‘Top Gun’ Adversary Squadron and the west coast F/A-18 Fleet Replacement Squadron.  He was Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations for Battle Force Seventh Fleet during the end of the First Gulf War.  Al retired from active duty as the Commanding Officer of Naval Air Station Lemoore, California.   His passion for command excellence earned him the prestigious and coveted VADM James B. Stockdale Award for Inspirational Leadership.

Prior to joining the Federal Aviation Administration, Al served for three years as Vice President of Maintenance for a small low-cost, low-fare airline based in Kansas City, Missouri.  The air carrier operated leased 737 aircraft.

For approximately twelve years, Al worked in the Office of Runway Safety for the FAA and is considered a subject matter expert on runway incursions and excursions.  He worked closely with Air Traffic Control, regional airports and Flight Standards Division on critical issues affecting surface safety.  Al retired from the Federal Aviation Administration in April of 2015.

Over the past several years Al has spoken to thousands of private, corporate and commercial pilots and aviation professionals on matters of human error in aviation.  He has been the keynote speaker at the 2014 Air Charter Safety Symposium as well as the 2015 Bombardier Safety Standdown.  Al has conducted numerous presentations and workshops for Cessna, Bombardier, Textron, Garmin, Honeywell, US Navy, Flight Safety International and numerous local NBAA chapters.  Al’s presentations and comments have been featured in several online business aviation publications and webcasts.

He holds a FAA Airline Transport Pilot certificate and  has accumulated over 5000 flight hours and 600 carrier landings.  Al earned a BS in Biology and a MS in Human Resources.

Al is currently President of the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) Foundation, serves as a  Board Member of the Heart of America Patriot Foundation and is past President of the Missouri/Kansas Association of Naval Aviation.

Chris Lacroix, Director of Maintenance, London Air Services Limited
Council Member – 2015

Chris Lacroix has over 32 years dedicated to aircraft maintenance. His experience ranges from Aircraft Technician to Director of Maintenance, working on multiple types of aircraft from single engine floatplanes to multi engine business jets and helicopters, located in major centers and in remote locations. His wide range of experience has helped him better understand the various challenges presented to him over the years.

Chris is an active member of the Learjet Tech Committee and has also participated in various past committees including the Maintenance Focus Group, the Advisory Steering Committee and Chairman of a Structural Working Group. He strongly believes the main ingredients to aviation safety include good communication between individuals from all departments, mutual respect and personal accountability.

Mark Larsen, Senior Manager, Safety & Flight Operations, NBAA
Council Member
 – 2015
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Mark Larsen is the senior manager of safety & flight operations at the National Business Aviation Association. In this position, he oversees NBAA safety and flight operations initiatives and rulemakings with the FAA, Department of Transportation, and National Transportation Safety Board and serves as the staff liaison to the NBAA Safety Committee.

Mark began his NBAA career in 2004 and over the years his responsibilities have included researching and answering incoming questions from NBAA Members on a wide range of tax, regulatory, and operational topics and conducting a number of analyses of business aviation operators and airports.

Most recently, Mark was the staff liaison to the NBAA Domestic Operations Committee where he was responsible for a range of issues related to operations of aircraft under Parts 91, 91(K), 125 and 135. Being actively involved as the NBAA representative to the FAA/Industry Operations Specifications Working Group, working with the Domestic Operations Committee to resolve challenges associated with Part 125 Operations and Part 135 Training with the FAA, developing the NBAA Operational Control Handbook, and actively participating in the FAA/Industry RVSM Process Enhancement Team to streamline the RVSM authorization process were hallmarks of Mark and the committee’s efforts during this time. Mark was also an active member of the web site team, where he was responsible for updating content on NBAA’s web sites, and developed web site applications for NBAA Member and committee use.

He is a graduate of the University of North Dakota, where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree majoring in aviation management. During his education at UND, Mark earned his commercial pilot certificate with airplane instrument, single-engine and multi-engine ratings and flight instructor certificate. In addition to working full time at NBAA, Mark was a flight instructor at Dulles Aviation in Manassas, Virginia from 2005-2009. He has served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Air Charter Safety Foundation since 2014.

Mark currently resides in Roseville, California with his wife Stacey and two children, Sebastian and McKenna.

Puja Mahajan, Chief Operating Officer, Elit’Avia
Council Member – 2015

Puja Mahajan is currently responsible for day-to-day operations and strategy at Europe-based Elit’Avia, where she oversees a staff of over 150 employees world-wide, administering AOC operations in both Slovenia and Malta.

Ms. Mahajan began her aerospace career at Pratt & Whitney Canada in 1996 as an aerodynamic engineer. She joined Bombardier Aerospace in 2001 as Product Planning Manager for the Learjet 40, Challenger 300 and Challenger 800 business jet aircraft. Ms Mahajan held various diverse positions with increasing seniority within Bombardier Aerospace, including Flight Operations Asset Manager, where she gained a strong knowledge of Part 91 and Part 135 type operations, and then as Director of Sales Business Management, supporting worldwide sales activity.

In 2008, she was promoted to Director of Flight Operations of Bombardier’s Learjet, Challenger and Global demonstrator aircraft fleet. At this time she also assumed responsibility for the growth and strategic development of Bombardier’s award-winning Safety Standdown, hailed by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board as the “premier aviation safety event in the world.”

Trilingual in English, French and Italian, Ms. Mahajan has a Diplome des Etudes Collegiales along with a Bachelor of Engineering Degree from McGill University in Montreal. Ms. Mahajan currently resides in Europe since joining Elit’Avia in 2013.

Troy Smith, Program Manager, Aviation Safety, FBI

Council Member – 2015
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Supervisory Special Agent Troy Smith has served the FBI since 1997.  He started his FBI career in the San Francisco Field Office working Organized Crime violations and flew FBI aircraft in support of the agencies law enforcement mission.  In 2006, SSA Smith accepted a position as the FBI’s National Aviation Safety Program Manager at FBIHQ.  While serving as the FBI’s Aviation Safety Manager, he was responsible for providing oversight for all components of the agencies Aviation Safety Management Program which include national and regional safety standdowns, inspections of contracted air carriers and in-house field office aviation units, renew International Standards for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) registration,  maintaining a “Gold Standard” flight operation as administered by the U.S. Government, General Services Administration, developing agency-wide policies related to aviation operations, conducting Line Operations Safety Audits (LOSA) similar to those completed by the commercial airline industry, and conducting aircraft safety investigations involving FBI aircraft. SSA Smith has a FAA Flight Instructor and a multi-engine Airline Transport Pilot certificate.

SSA Smith has earned a certificate in Aviation Safety and Security from the University of Southern California, and a Master Degree in Technology Management from Brigham Young University. Currently, SSA Smith is pursuing graduate studies in Human Factors from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

In 2012, Troy Smith was awarded the first Eugene Cernan Safety Award presented by Bombardier Safety Standdown.

Jeff Wofford, Chief Pilot and Director of Aviation, CommScope, Inc.
Council Member – 2015
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Jeff is the Chief Pilot and Director of Aviation for CommScope, Inc.  Jeff joined the US Navy after graduating from High School and served from 1975 until 1980. He began his flight training while still on active duty, receiving his private and commercial certificates, instrument and multi-engine ratings in eight months.  After leaving active duty, Jeff continued his aviation training and received his CFI and CFII and began his professional career as a flight instructor. Jeff worked for a local FBO as a flight instructor and Part 135 Charter Pilot. In 1983 was named Chief Flight Instructor and was instrumental in developing an aircraft management business for the FBO. In 1984 Jeff went to work for CommScope as a first officer , flying a Learjet 25, 35, and a King Air B-100. In his 31 years with CommScope, he has flown every model of Learjet. Jeff has been Chief Pilot and Director of Aviation since 1994.

He has a BS in Aviation Management, an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate with Type ratings for the Learjet series aircraft and Learjet 60. Jeff also holds LOAs for the North American T-28 and Lockheed T-33, as well as maintaining his CFI, CFII, and MEI. He has accumulated over 12 thousand hours of accident free flying. Jeff is a member of the NBAA Safety Committee, The NBAA Professionalism Working Group, and he is a member of the FAA Safety Team and is a FAASTeam Representative for Western NC.

Jeff was the 2013 recipient of the Eugene Cernan Aviation Safety Award presented by The Bombardier Safety Standdown.