That new face at Flight Safety Foundation is me, Kevin Hiatt, and I’d like to introduce myself. I joined the Foundation in early July. In my role as executive vice president, I have been charged by the Executive Committee of the FSF Board of Governors to oversee the daily operations of the staff, support President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Voss and provide additional aviation safety insight.
My professional aviation career began in 1976 when I graduated from the Aviation Technology program at Purdue University. At that time, the U.S. military was not inducting any new pilots, so I stayed on the civilian side of flying and took the classic entry-level job — flight instructor. That progressed into an opportunity to fly for a corporation in larger multi-engine aircraft. After a few years in that segment of the industry, I started flying for what was then called a commuter airline, the forerunner of the industry segment now known as regional airlines. It was there that I first checked out as a captain and moved into turboprops.
A bit later I was selected to fly for Delta Air Lines. I spent 26 years at Delta, flying almost every Boeing and Douglas airliner they had. During that time, I worked in the Flight Safety Department and in Flight Operations. Just prior to an early retirement, I was chief pilot of the Atlanta International Airport pilot crew base. Being far too young to be truly retired, I went to work for World Airways first as director, and then vice president of safety and security. I stayed at World for five years.
With this background I believe that I can bring useful, relevant aviation and safety experience to the Flight Safety Foundation, my flying experience enhanced by my recent focus on safety business management. I hope to use my experience to reinforce a staff already highly knowledgeable in all aspects of aviation safety.
I will be interacting with a staff of 21 in Alexandria, Virginia. U.S., and five in Melbourne, Australia, to make our operations more efficient, economical and responsive to aviation industry safety needs, and, most importantly, the safety needs of our valued Foundation members.
In meetings with FSF directors we already have begun to explore new ways to conduct our research, business and communications. Bill Voss brings his exciting vision to our Foundation, and I will bring the energy and experience to carry out the processes to make those ideas become real.
Your input as members and readers is very important. I welcome your correspondence and telephone calls discussing any topic concerning the safety of our worldwide aviation industry.
I view my new role at the Flight Safety Foundation as giving me the opportunity to expand my efforts in aviation safety throughout the industry. It’s an honor to join the Foundation, an organization that holds a unique place in the history of the aviation industry worldwide and plays a key role in bringing the industry together to address current and future aviation safety issues.