NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


July 18, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. - National Transportation Safety Board Member Richard F. Healing has announced his retirement from government service. He will leave his position as Member of the National Transportation Safety Board on August 1.

In his letter of resignation to President Bush last week, Member Healing said, "Since March 28th, 2003, it has been my great honor to be part of your administration; and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity of serving the American people in this important safety role."

While at the NTSB, Member Healing was an active speaker - advocating enhanced aviation safety for helicopters in air medical and offshore operations, corporate aviation, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), human causal factors, and Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF). This year he was a featured keynote speaker at 19 different safety conferences, academic events and industry meetings. A professional safety engineer, he sought to ensure that emerging safety technologies were thoroughly understood by the heavily tasked NTSB professional staff, including digital image recording, integrated mechanical diagnostics systems, simulation and modeling capabilities, nano- technology and composite material science. He was asked by Defense Department leadership to participate on Task Forces for Aviation Safety Improvement and Private Motor Vehicle Safety.

Before joining the Board in 2003, Member Healing spent a year as Director of Transportation Safety and Security for the Battelle Memorial Institute. Prior to that, he served for 17 years as Director, Safety and Survivability, for the Department of the Navy. In 2001, Mr. Healing was presented the Navy's highest civilian award - the Distinguished Civilian Service Medal. He also was recognized with the SAFE International "General Spruance Award" for safety education achievement, and an Aviation Week "Laurel" for bringing new awareness to the importance of wire health and condition monitoring technology in aviation. In November 2003, Member Healing was awarded the Saint Louis University - Parks College Vanguard Trophy, "For Outstanding Contributions to Aviation Safety".

A licensed Professional Engineer since 1974, Mr. Healing attended the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and graduated from Worcester Polytechynic Institute. He graduated from the Naval War College in 1990. He served 6 1/2 years active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard. After more than 29 years and four commands, he retired from the Coast Guard Reserve as a Captain.

"I want to thank Member Healing, not only for his service to the NTSB these last two years, but for his long record of service to our country," NTSB Acting Chairman Mark V. Rosenker said. "He brought a valuable perspective to our deliberations with his special interest in issues like human factors, vehicle recorders and helicopter operations. I know I speak for all Members of the Board when I say that he will be missed."

As part of the NTSB State Advocacy program, Member Healing testified in the state legislatures of Wisconsin, Kansas, Nebraska, Maryland and Virginia in support of driving safety initiatives. Mr. Healing was the Board Member on scene with the Go Team that traveled to the Metrolink derailment in Glendale, California early this year that later proved to be a criminal act. He also chaired the Board's recent hearing investigating the freight train collision and derailment in Macdona, Texas.

NTSB Office of Public Affairs: (202) 314-6100



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.