NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


September 19, 2001

Washington, D.C. - The United States Senate has confirmed the President's nomination of John Arthur Hammerschmidt as a Member of the National Transportation Safety Board. Member Hammerschmidt's new term ends December 31, 2002.

This is the third Senate confirmation for Mr. Hammerschmidt, who has been a Member since 1991. His tenure as Member is the second longest in NTSB history.

During Mr. Hammerschmidt's time at the Board, he has participated on-scene in more than five dozen major accident investigations and public hearings, involving all modes of transportation: highway; aviation; rail; marine; and pipeline.

Some accidents where Mr. Hammerschmidt has served as Member on-scene include: the 2001 collision between the U.S. nuclear attack submarine USS GREENEVILLE and the Japanese fisheries training vessel EHIME MARU near Honolulu, HI; the 2000 Alaska Airlines Flight 261 accident near Point Mugu, California; the 1997 Comair EMB-120 commuter airline accident near Monroe, Michigan; the 1996 collision of the bulk carrier BRIGHT FIELD with the Port of New Orleans River Walk Shopping Mall; and the 1993 Amtrak accident near Mobile, Alabama, the worst in Amtrak history.

Mr. Hammerschmidt has also chaired several of the Safety Board's public hearings. These hearings include: in 2000, the Alaska Airlines Flight 261 accident; in 1999, the fire aboard the cruise ship MS ECSTASY as the vessel was leaving the Port of Miami; in 1997, the pipeline explosion in San Juan, Puerto Rico that killed 33 people, the deadliest pipeline accident ever investigated by the Board; in 1995, he chaired the 5-day public hearing in Indianapolis, Indiana on the American Eagle ATR-72 accident near Roselawn, Indiana; and in 1994, the American International Airways DC-8 accident at the U. S. Naval Air Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Prior to becoming a Board Member, Mr. Hammerschmidt served as Special Assistant to the Board Chairman and Member during 1985-1991.

Mr. Hammerschmidt, a native of Harrison, Arkansas, graduated from Dartmouth College "with highest distinction" in his major and was named a Rufus Choate Scholar. He later attended Vanderbilt Law School and Harvard Business School. He also studied at the Catholic University of Ecuador in Quito as part of Georgetown University's foreign study program. He is a private pilot.

The NTSB has five Board Members, each nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate to serve 5-year terms. Mr. Hammerschmidt's latest Senate confirmation is for the unexpired term previously held by former Chairman Jim Hall, who left the Board in January.

NTSB Media Contact:
Terry N. Williams



The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.