A fond farewell to Member Hart and best wishes to your next pursuit

Chairman Christopher A. HartChairman Christopher A. Hart
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Over 20 years of excellence 

Exceptional Safety Advocate



There is no link to a story for this post. Somehow the aviation trade press, the NTSB press office and all of the trade associations failed to recognize that Friday, January 26 ,2018 was the last day of the long tenure of Christopher A. Hart as

  • NTSB Member (1990-1993),
    • [NHTSA and FAA—Assistant Administrator for System Safety, Deputy Director for Air Traffic Safety Oversight],
  • Member (2009),
  • Vice Chairman and Member (2013),HART SWEARING IN
  • Acting Chairman (2014),
  • Chairman (2014-17)


  • Member (2017-2018).

US commercial airline safety, the Board’s most visible jurisdiction has been on a constant curve of decreased fatal accidents:







Unlike another claim that this track record correlated with a person’s year at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Member Hart would not assert that his presence at L’Enfant Plaza is a causative factor for this improvement.NTSB Board

Careful review of the FAA internal history would identify the hand of the Assistant Administrator for System Safety pushed the first data-driven, quantitative tool called Flight Operational Quality Assurance. It is the first element of the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing system; as to that and its associated practices, one may accurately attribute these safety innovations for the recent safety improvements. Member Hart, it can be fairly said, is at least the Uncle of the new FAA and industry’s advances based on these proactive, quantitative systems.



Chris’ education laid the foundation for his NTSB/FAA/NHTSA work:

  • master’s (magna cum laude) and bachelor’s degrees in aerospace engineering from Princeton University
  • law degree from Harvard University

Princeton Flying Club

His roots as a licensed pilot with commercial, multi engine, and instrument ratings may be traced to his membership in the Princeton Flying Club; here is a picture of one of Hart ‘s early flightsPFC aircraft




One, who watches his presentations before the press, frequently sees his pilot hands  flying over the podium to explain what happened.

NTSB Acting Chairman Hart flying hands






The retiring Member literally used his podium to speak to audiences about safety. Linked here are his over 400 speeches which he delivered during his tenure at the NTSB.

Hart speech






The Member/Vice Chair/Chair has been a frequent subject of this blog (partial list):


Hart and Helicopter

All of aviation thanks Member Hart for his service and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.


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3 Comments on "A fond farewell to Member Hart and best wishes to your next pursuit"

  1. A good and talented civil servant for almost 30 years. I remember when he gave me time from his busy schedule to explain to me why I couldn’t do something I wanted to do in ICAO. Must have convinced me cause I didn’t do it.

  2. I have had the distinct privilege of having worked with Hart for over two decades. His diligent pursuit of quantitative, proactive safety indicators gave confidence to an entire industry. Many of us in aviation safety who have been inspired by Hart will forever be in his debt. While professional colleagues, I always considered Hart a friend. Thank you, Joe and Sandy, for making note of Hart’s significant contributions!

  3. That’s great Chris! Congratulations!

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