Advisory Council Members

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.

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

Lutat 150x150

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.


Chris Lacroix, Director of Maintenance, London Air Services Limited
Advisory Council Vice Chairman

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.


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.


Mark Chaffinch, Chief Pilot, Norfolk Southern Corporation
Council Member – 2018

Mark Chaffinch is the Chief Pilot for Norfolk Southern Corporation, where he has worked since 1996. During that time he has risen through the ranks starting as a line pilot, then assuming the role of the company’s first Safety Officer, followed by his promotion to Chief Pilot. With the department never having had a formal SMS, Mark had a clean slate to develop and implement an in-house SMS, which helped the department achieve IS-BAO Stage 3 certification. Mark is still very involved in the safety process and plays an active role supporting a progressive safety program.

Mark comes from an aviation family and has been around airplanes and business aviation for most of his life. Early in his career he worked in the FBO business, fueling airplanes and later doing everything from loading cargo on a DC-4 to dispatching international charter flights. Mark spent several years flying medevac missions throughout Central, South, and Latin America, and his experiences during that time spurred his interest in aviation safety. This has since become a passion for Mark and he continues to try to learn, understand, and share with others anything related to aviation safety.

Mark has a B.S. in Aviation Management from Florida Tech and a Master’s Degree in Aviation Safety from Embry-Riddle. He is an adjunct instructor for Embry-Riddle’s Office of Professional Education where he has taught various Corporate Aviation Management courses for the past 11 years. Mark lives in Virginia Beach, VA with his wife and two daughters.

Mark was the recipient of the 2017 Bombardier Safety Standdown Award.


Ed Coleman, Director of the Robertson Safety Institute and Department Chair for Safety Sciences at ERAU in Prescott AZ
Council Member – 2015


Mr. Ed Coleman has been involved with aviation and safety for nearly 30 years. He started his career as an Air Force Officer and pilot and has held safety positions at multiple levels. Following his Air Force career, Ed has held numerous aviation positions to include: Demonstration Pilot, Instructor at USAF Safety Center, Aviation Advisor, tour/bush pilot in Alaska and fixed wing medevac pilot. Mr. Coleman is an ATP rated pilot with multiple type ratings, over 7000 hours and extensive international experience. He is an FAA certified Dispatcher, MEI, CFII and has his UAS pilot certificate. He is also a member of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators. He is currently the Director of the Robertson Safety Institute and Department Chair for Safety Sciences at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott AZ.

Ed has a Bachelor of Science Degree from the USAF Academy and 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 recognized by the Bombardier Safety Standdown advisor committee with the Eugene Cernan Safety Award in 2014 for his commitment, professionalism, passion, leadership and dedication to aviation safety.


Al Gorthy, Capt. USN (ret)
Council Member – 2016


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.


Dr. Amy Grubb, Sr. Industrial/Organizational Psychologist, FBI
Council Member – 2018

Amy D. Grubb is the senior Industrial/Organizational Psychologist at the FBI. In her fourteen years with the FBI, she has been responsible for the implementation of a number of change initiatives, from serving as a leader on the post-9/11 enterprise-wide transformation of the FBI to a balanced national security and law enforcement mission (the Strategic Execution Team) to implementing HR systems and processes at all levels.

A 2010 FBI Director’s Award for Excellence recipient for creating the organizational development function at the FBI, she instituted the first corporate-wide FBI Annual Employee Survey and has extensively integrated it with organizational processes and operational programs. She advises C-suite and executive leaders on risk from the human capital perspective regarding organizational performance, policy decisions, and change initiatives, and serves as executive coach to a number of leaders.

She works extensively with nearly all populations within the FBI, from Special Agents to pilots to Hostage Rescue Team members to Intelligence Analysts to mid-level and executive populations within both the Special Agent and Professional Staff ranks. In addition, she served on the FBI’s Institutional Review Board (Human Subjects), has presented numerous papers at professional conferences, has served on advisory boards both internal and external to the FBI, and liaisons extensively within the government and the private sector communities.

Dr. Grubb also received the 2012 FBI Director’s Award for Excellence for development and implementation of an integrated Leadership Development Program for all employees at all stages of the employment lifecycle, and was a recipient of the 2014 SIOP/SHRM HR Impact Award for her work on leadership promotion. Prior to the FBI, she worked as a consultant with the Vandaveer Group in Houston, TX. 

Amy D. Grubb earned her Ph.D. (1999) and M.A. (1997) in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Houston, earning her bachelor’s degree from Villanova University.


Leo Knaapen, Chief, Industry Affairs, Bombardier Business Aircraft
Council Member – 2017

Leo Knaapen is an experienced leader and an influential force in his representation of Bombardier across civil aviation. As Chief of Industry Affairs, he is responsible for strengthening Bombardier’s global contributions by engaging, supporting and guiding its involvement in industry associations, regulatory and government agencies through working groups and committees, speaker opportunities, events and sponsorships.

Mr. Knaapen began his career in aerospace at Pratt & Whitney Canada in 1985. He joined Bombardier Aerospace in 1989, and in 1992 was named spokesperson for Bombardier’s Canadair division. In 1997, Leo Knaapen assumed responsibility for media and public relations at Bombardier Business Aircraft. In this role, he led the team responsible for communications on a complete range of products including Learjet, Challenger and Global business jets, pre-owned aircraft, Skyjet International charter, special mission aircraft, and customer support and services.

In 2007, he assumed leadership of Bombardier’s industry affairs portfolio, and has been instrumental in heightening Bombardier’s overall profile within the industry. He has increased the involvement of Bombardier Business Aircraft in key business and general aviation portfolios including safety, environment and air navigation, and has also guided Bombardier’s overall engagement with international civil aviation organizations.

Mr. Knaapen currently serves as Chair of the Quebec Chapter of the Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA). He is a member of the Bombardier Safety Standdown Advisory Council and also supported the development of the Safety Management Systems involving Design and Manufacturing for ICAO Annex 19. He is the Bombardier representative on the Board of Directors of Geneva-based Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) and sits on the Board of the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) in Washington, D.C.

Born in the Hague, Netherlands, Leo Knaapen is proficient in Dutch and French. He graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism, and worked at several newspapers and periodicals before entering corporate communications in 1981.

He is based at Bombardier Business Aircraft headquarters in Montreal, Canada.


Mark Larsen, Senior Manager, Safety & Flight Operations, NBAA
Council Member
 – 2015

Mark Larsen Photo

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.


Dr. Hassan Shahidi, Director Aviation Safety and Drone Integration, MITRE Center for Advanced Aviation System Development
Council Member – 2018

Dr. Hassan Shahidi is a Director in the MITRE Public Sector’s Center for Advanced Aviation System Development, where he directs research and engineering relating to aviation safety and drone and commercial space operational integration. He currently oversees the Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) capability development, a government-industry safety data sharing partnership. He has over 30 years of experience in applying systems engineering and data analytics to advance air traffic control in the U.S. and around the world. Previously, Dr. Shahidi led a number of air traffic modernization initiatives including performance-based navigation (PBN), airspace design analytics, traffic flow management, and automation. Prior to MITRE, Dr. Shahidi served on the Air Traffic Control Systems Engineering and Technical Assistance (SETA) initiative, where he conducted systems engineering, risk analysis, and trade studies for the FAA’s National Airspace Plan. He holds a private pilot license. Dr. Shahidi is a recipient of many industry awards, including RTCA Outstanding Achievement Award. He holds a Bachelor and Master in Economics, a Master in Systems Engineering and Operations Research, and a Doctorate in Engineering Management.


Troy Smith, Program Manager, Aviation Safety, FBI
Council Member – 2015


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


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 Challenger 300, 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.