Air Charter Safety Foundation

818 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 900

Washington, DC 20006

Phone Number  (888) 723-3135




2016 Air Charter Safety Symposium
The ACSF Symposium is the annual gathering of the air charter industry where current and emerging safety challenges are investigated.

2016 Air Charter Safety Symposium:
March 8-9, 2016
NTSB Training Center
45065 Riverside Pkwy
Ashburn, VA

Schedule of Events

Tuesday, March 8th


Safety processes are usually considered adequate until one of them fails and there is an accident. At that point, a follow-on investigation usually unearths a series of holes in your previously impregnable safety protections. What is worse is that all line personnel agree the series of holes were obvious before the accident.

At NASA, we recognized this cycle and found that a safety campaign was not enough, that an SMS was not enough, that safety cultures could drift, and that meetings were not responsive enough to fix the problem. What followed was an effort that would eventually lead us to a self-correcting, data-driven process that took us away from excessive risk towards a safer path to achieve our mission.

APPLIED SYSTEM SAFETY & SMS IN BUSINESS AVIATION Curt Lewis, President, Curt Lewis & Associates

This presentation defines basic system safety engineering principles and the concepts of Safety Management Systems (SMS) as applied to business & corporate aviation. It explains the concepts of hazard identification, risk analysis, and various levels of mitigation. The role of human factors is explained in order to create a total safety culture.

STANDARDIZATION – WHY BOTHER? Dann Runik, Executive Director, Advanced Training Programs, FlightSafetyInternational

Building a Safe Team Through Standardization is a light-hearted but also very serious look at the importance of standardization in any team setting, and what can happen when standards either don’t exist or they are purposely ignored. We define what Standardization is, and more importantly what it isn’t. We use this knowledge to discuss the best way to build team standardization and a mission oriented, disciplined methodology to trap human error.

SAFETY METRICS Troy Smith, Special Agent, U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau ofInvestigation, Program Manager of Aviation Safety

This presentation discusses safety metrics which can be utilized to get the attention of senior management to line pilots to support staff to focus on its internal safety programs. Specific tools and examples will be explored on how to implement simple programs to measure safety efforts within a charter operation or flight department.

DRONES/UNMANNED VEHICLES—AVOIDANCE & RECOGNITION Brian Wynne, President & CEO, Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI)

Mr. Wynne will discuss the need for the FAA to finalize its rule for small unmanned aircraft systems, which will provide the tools and training needed to create a culture of safety and airmanship among the UAS users.

Wednesday, March 9th

ASAP PANEL DISCUSSION Russ Lawton, Director of Safety & ASAP Program Manager ACSF Panel Members: Randy McDonald, FAA, Manager-Aviation Safety Action Program, Nicky Armour, UTRS & WBAT Project Lead and other guests


The presentation covers several accidents and relates solutions so that the cause of the accidents will not be repeated. The presentation explains that the Safety Culture is a product of senior leadership. Strong leadership will ensure that a culture of compliance instilled and constantly nurtured to prevent the downward spiral into disaster.

The presentation discusses Normalization of Deviance: The accumulated acceptance of cutting corners or making work-arounds over time. With a strong safety culture an organization can prevent Normalization of Deviance from taking root in their safety practices. The presentation presents ideas of how organizations can identify active and latent errors to prevent accidents.

REDUCING RISK The Honorable Chris Hart, NTSB Chairman

As safety continues to improve, two challenges arise. The first challenge is that complacency increases and safety vigilance decreases. The second challenge is that, as the "low hanging fruits" are addressed, continued improvement becomes ever more difficult and necessitates more thinking "out of the box". This presentation will address both challenges.

THE NEW ERA OF SAFETY John Allen, Vice President, Safety, Jet Blue Airways

The new FAA Compliance Policy, what it means for the FAA inspectors and what it means for certificate holders. The June announcement of the new FAA Compliance Policy has been 10 years in the making through vibrant internal debate within the FAA. With the new policy comes an evolution of the relationship between the regulator and regulated. This policy advocates for the use of training, counseling and other safety improvement tools and use enforcement when the other tools are inappropriate. This Compliance Policy is needed to enable SMS to succeed with its requirement of transparency for certificate holders in the identification of risks and hazards.


Any person who attends the ACSF Air Charter Safety Symposium grants permission to ACSF to record his or her visual/audio images, including, but not limited to, photographs and sound or video recordings, and, without notifying such person, to use those images for any purpose of ACSF, including advertisements for ACSF and its programs.

Hotel Information:

Courtyard Dulles Town Center
45500 Majestic Drive  
Dulles, VA 20166 

A room block has been reserved at the Courtyard Dulles Town Center. The room rate is $139 (excludes taxes) per night. You may now make reservations by calling (800) 321-2211. To receive the discounted rate, attendees must request the Air Charter Safety Foundation room block at the Courtyard Dulles Town Center. You may also reserve online using the link provided below.

Book your group rate for 2016 ACSF Safety Symposium


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Applied System Safety & SMS in Business Aviation - Curt Lewis

Safety Metrics - Troy Smith

Drones/Unmanned Vehicles: Avoidance & Recognition - Brian Wynne

ASAP Panel Discussion - Randy McDonald

ASAP Panel Discussion - Nicky Armour

Reducing Risk - The Honorable Chris Hart

The New Era of Safety - John Allen




In the Crosshairs of Runway Incursions & Excursions - Al Gorthy

Integrated Risk Management: Bridging Theory and Practice - Jim Zawrotny

FAA Medical Certification: Improving Health & Enhancing Safety - Quay Snyder, MD, MSPH

Managing Professionalism & Airmanship - The Honorable Robert Sumwalt

2014 SMS Audit Results - Steve Witowski

A Day You Will Always Remember - Harry Nelson

ASAP Panel - FAA Presentation




Critical Role of Safety Leadership - The Honorable Robert Sumwalt

Managing Cockpit Automation - James Lara

Managing Cockpit Automation (Speaker's Notes)

Monitoring Culture - Paul Ratte'

Quality Performance Beyond Regulatory Compliance - Gary Grass

SMS Audit Results 2013 - Steve Witowski

SMS Audit Results - Safety Performance

Threat and Error Management - Dave Stohr

Why Go-Around Policies Are Ineffective - Dr. David Jamieson & Capt. Bill Curtis

Photos from the 2014 Air Charter Safety Symposium



Aviation Safety Culture - Marc Stirton and Robert Figlock

Critical Incident Response - Kevin Armstrong

Developing Safety Culture - Robert Carraway

Safety Leadership - Bill Grimes

Upset Prevention and Recovery - Ransbury - Nemeth

Chris MacWhorter FAA ASAP Panel

Photos from the 2013 Air Charter Safety Symposium.

Guest Blogs:
Robert Carraway, Symposium Speaker

Bill Grimes, Symposium Speaker

Lindsey McFarren, Syposium Recap



Aviation Fire Safety - Jeff Hare, J. Hare Safety and Survival Systems

Crew Resource Management for 135 Operations - Shannon Forrest, FlightSafety International

Collaboration to Improve Runway Safety - Christopher Hart, Board Member, NTSB

Managing Fatigue in Aviation - Mark Rosekind, Ph.D., Board Member, NTSB

The State of Aviation: Challenges for 2012 and Beyond - John M. Allen, Director, FAA Flight Standards

Photos from the 2012 Air Charter Safety Symposium.

Guest Blogs:
Dr. Tony Kern, Symposium Keynote Speaker 
Shannon Forrest, Symposium Speaker
Keat Pruszenski, Symposium Speaker



Trends in Aviation Safety- John Allen
SMS Update -  Don Arendt  
Building a Positve Safety Culture in Your Company- Shawn Pruchnicki
Emergency Response Preparedness - Don Rickerhauser
Disaster Response Drill - Bob Schmidt
NTSB Priorities - Earl Weener
NTSB Family Assistance Program - Paul Sledzik
FAA Update Accident Prevention Investigation - Tony Fazio
Accident Briefing - Deborah Hersman

Photos from the 2011 Air Charter Safety Symposium



Responding To The NTSB's Increasing Focus On Air Charter - James Ballough
Addressing Security Concerns With Practical Advice - Lindsey McFarren
International Issues in SMS Implementation - Don Arendt
Business Aircraft Safety - ALAR Update - Jim Burin
SMS And Auditing - Ken Gray
Legal Concerns Raised By Safety Programs
Business Benefits Of Safety Programs - Christopher Hart
Automation Of Operational Risk Assessment - Dave Hewitt & David Vernon



Any person who attends the ACSF Air Charter Safety Symposium grants permission to ACSF to record his or her visual/audio images, including, but not limited to, photographs and sound or video recordings, and, without notifying such person, to use those images for any purpose of ACSF, including advertisements for ACSF and its programs.