By Robert Sumwalt
This week we were proud to welcome renowned author and aviation commentator John J. Nance to Washington as part of our NTSB Speakers Series. Millions of Americans instantly recognize Mr. Nance through his role as an aviation analyst for ABC News and Good Morning America. In his role as a bestselling author, however, Mr. Nance has also built a longstanding relationship with the NTSB, researching many aviation disasters using NTSB investigative reports and statistics.
In his lecture, Mr. Nance touched on the roots of the NTSB as an independent federal agency – an independence, he argued, that was critical to furthering key aviation safety concepts, such as crew resource management. According to Mr. Nance, many of these concepts are now finding application in other industries – most notably, healthcare. With his wife, Kathleen Bartholomew, a registered nurse, Mr. Nance lectures around the country on how hospitals and healthcare providers can improve patient service by adopting many of the very safety systems pioneered by the aviation industry.
Mr. Nance painted a fascinating picture of how far our system of air travel has come in recent decades, and the significant role that the NTSB has played in advancing its safety.
Robert L. Sumwalt has been a Member of the NTSB since 2006. He is a frequent contributor to the blog.