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Forum: PIREPs: Pay it Forward…Because Weather for One is Weather for None

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Biographies - Panelists
NTSB Conference Center
6/21/2016 12:00 AM

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Biographies - Panelists



Panel 1


Bruce Landsberg is the former President of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association's (AOPA) AOPA Foundation and the Air Safety Institute and led those activities for more than 22 years. During his tenure, the organization was nationally recognized with numerous awards for aviation safety leadership and educational program excellence. The Foundation assists AOPA to preserve the freedom of flight including safety programs, preserving airports, improving the image of general aviation, and growing the pilot population. Mr. Landsberg continues as Senior Safety Advisor to AOPA and the Air Safety Institute, writing a periodic "Safety Pilot" column in AOPA Pilot magazine, as well as a popular blog in AOPA ePilot. He has authored hundreds of articles on aviation safety and guided the development of dozens of online courses. He continues liaison duties with the Federal Aviation Administration, National Transportation Safety Board, National Air Traffic Controllers Association, National Weather Service, and various industry groups. A former U.S. Air Force officer, he holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in industrial technology from the University of Maryland. Prior to coming to AOPA, he held management positions with Cessna Aircraft Company and FlightSafety International. Mr. Landsberg has logged more than 6,000 hours as an airline transport pilot and holds Gold Seal flight instructor certificates. He has been an AOPA member for more than 40 years and is a proud aircraft owner and keeps his aircraft at Mount Pleasant Regional Airport in the great state of South Carolina.

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Mike Bettwy is currently the Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service Aviation Weather Center (AWC). In this role, he serves as the main liaison between the AWC and its customers, partners, and users of National Weather Service (NWS) aviation weather products and services. Mr. Bettwy has more than 10 years of experience in operational aviation weather forecasting, research, and public affairs. He works closely with the aviation community both within the United States and internationally to ensure the production, dissemination, and use of NWS aviation weather products and services meet user requirements and international standards, in support of safe and efficient flight. Mr. Bettwy's work extends from modernizing legacy NWS aviation products to collaboratively developing policy, procedures, and requirements for emerging information needs of NextGen.

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Jeff Osiensky is the Acting Chief of the Environmental and Scientific Services Division of the National Weather Service (NWS) Alaska Region. In this capacity, he is in charge of all meteorological and scientific services within the NWS Alaska. He has also managed the aviation program in NWS Alaska for more than 10 years, served as manager of the Alaska Aviation Weather Unit and Anchorage Volcanic Ash Advisory Center, and has served as both manager and forecaster at the Center Weather Service Unit located in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Route Traffic Control Center. Mr. Osiensky has nearly 20 years of aviation forecasting experience in Alaska. Areas of interest include improving collaboration, gaining efficiencies in the path from research to operations, and improvements in the number and quality of observations (including PIREPs). Mr. Osiensky had also served as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Volcanic Ash Program Manager for a number of years, working to improve aviation safety through the International Civil Aviation Organization International Airways Volcano Watch.

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Rob Stephenson is the Quality Control Manager for Anchorage Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). He started his career in Air Traffic Control in the United States Air Force in 1983. He has been at the Anchorage ARTCC since 1987 and held positions as a Certified Professional Controller, Military Operations Specialist, Front Line Manager, and Operations Manager.

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Dan Adriaansen received a bachelor's degree in meteorology in 2007 from the State University of New York College at Brockport and a master's degree in Atmospheric Sciences in 2010 from the University of North Dakota (UND). After graduating from UND, he began his current position as an associate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. Mr. Adriaansen's primary research area focuses on development of the Current Icing Product and Forecast Icing Product for in-flight icing conditions. He has also been involved in the development of a state-of-the-art wind turbine icing forecasting system for renewable energy and has made contributions to ceiling and visibility and high altitude ice crystal icing research projects at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

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Panel 2


Gary Christiansen is a Senior Air Traffic Control Specialist in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Procedures Office (AJV-83). He was an air traffic controller for 25 years, most of which was at the Fort Worth air route traffic control center. He served 1 year as a Quality Assurance Specialist and 2 years as a Front Line Manager. Mr. Christiansen has worked at FAA headquarters in the Air Traffic Procedures Office for the past 2 years.

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Matt Tucker joined the US Army in June 1983, where he served as an Air Traffic Controller. In 1987, he entered the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at Baton Rouge air traffic control tower (ATCT) as an Air Traffic Assistant and then as an Air Traffic Controller in November 1989. In March 2000, he became the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) Weather Liaison working in Washington D.C. While working as the Weather Liaison, he worked on all FAA weather programs, as well as serving on the Commercial Aviation Safety Team's Joint Safety Analysis Team (JSAT) for Turbulence and the Joint Safety Implementation Team and JSAT for remaining Risks. In February 2003, he transferred to Jacksonville air route traffic control center (ARTCC), and, in August 2012, he transferred to Atlanta ARTCC, the world's busiest air traffic control facility where he currently works as an Air Traffic Controller. Mr. Tucker is also currently the NATCA Weather Representative, working on programs such as NextGen Weather Processor and the Collaborative Decision Making Weather Evaluation Team, and is the International Federation of Air Traffic Control Associations Representative to the International Civil Aviation Organization's Meteorology Panel.

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Bill Flett is a flight dispatch services Senior Manager at United Airlines. As a company flight dispatcher in 1997, working with graphic ASD displays new to the company and industry at the time, Mr. Flett researched the global PIREP data environment and worked with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and ARINC to open a messaging capability enabling transmission of company PIREP data to the National Weather Service (NWS). Mr. Flett developed and maintains the company's ground host processor that is used to accomplish the company's PIREP reporting feed sent to the NWS by company aircraft and dispatchers.

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Tom Gressick has 28 years of Airline Operations experience, including time in Airport Operations, Crew Scheduling and Dispatch. For the past 18 years, he has been employed by Southwest Airlines and is the Senior Manager of Dispatch Training. Mr. Gressick earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida.

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Mike Glasgow is a Lockheed Martin Fellow and the Chief Architect for Lockheed Martin's Flight Service and UAS programs. Mr. Glasgow leads the modernization activities on Flight Services that have produced new, safety-oriented capabilities such as Next Generation Briefings, Surveillance-Enhanced Search & Rescue, Adverse Condition Alerting, and Flight Service Data Link, which enable inflight electronic submission of PIREPs. Previously, he was the Chief Architect for the Federal Aviation Administration's Advanced Technologies and Oceanic Procedures (ATOP) program, which replaced and transformed air traffic control (ATC) automation for oceanic and procedural airspace. Mr. Glasgow has 33 years of experience primarily in the ATC and Flight Services domains. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee.

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Spike Smith is an Air Traffic Control Specialist in the Flight Service Safety and Operations Policy Group. Mr. Smith is part of a team responsible for policy, safety, and operational requirements for the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) in-house delivery of flight services within the State of Alaska. This oversight also extends to the other 49 states through a performance-based contract with Lockheed Martin Flight Services. During his 25-year career with the FAA, Mr. Smith has spent the majority of his time in Alaska as an Air Traffic Control Specialist, Staff Specialist, Supervisor, and Air Traffic Manager. He is facility-rated at 11 of the 17 current operating facilities across Alaska. During his time in Anchorage, Mr. Smith was part of a team that implemented the first Flight Service initiative to improve PIREP effectiveness in the State of Alaska.

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Panel 3


Bob Whitworth is the Manager of the Air Traffic Training Policy and Requirements Team, Office of Safety and Technical Training, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). He is responsible for administration and upkeep of the FAA's air traffic technical training directive, identification of air traffic training requirements, participation in training development, and coordination with affected bargaining unit representatives. An air traffic controller since 1976, his combined 37 years of federal experience have led him to diverse assignments including Air Traffic Manager at four FAA facilities, three assignments at New York Terminal Radar Approach Control, training administrator at New York Air Route Traffic Control Center, and several leadership positions at FAA region and Headquarters offices. Mr. Whitworth holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of New Haven.

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Tom George is the Alaska Regional Manager for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). He works with federal, state, and local officials on a wide range of aviation issues in a part of the country that relies on aviation for basic transportation between communities. He has been involved on projects including the Capstone Program which demonstrated the operational benefits of ADS-B technology, the use of satellite tracking devices for search and rescue, and implementation of the Federal Aviation Administration Weather Camera Program. He serves as a board member of the Alaskan Aviation Safety Foundation and is a member of the Governor's Aviation Advisory Board. Prior to coming to AOPA in 2001, Mr. George was a project manager at the University of Alaska Geophysical Institute's Alaska Satellite Facility, engaged in the acquisition, processing, and distribution of satellite data. He also participated in resource mapping research projects across Alaska using aircraft and helicopters to conduct field campaigns. He holds degrees in science, geology, and land resources management from Oregon State University and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. He is a commercial multi-engine rated pilot, a certified flight instructor, and owns a Cessna 185, which he uses for aerial data collection and business travel.

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Dr. Kimberly J. Szathmary is an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Safety in the Department of Applied Aviation Sciences, College of Aviation, at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Daytona Beach Campus and is Manager of the university's new Flight Data Analysis Lab (stand-up in progress). She earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in International Business, Management, and Aeronautical Science in 2014 while researching Airline Service Quality. Current research interests include predictive flight modeling, data visualization, and using flight data to detect precursors to loss of control inflight. Dr. Szathmary is also involved in research in unmanned systems and their integration into the National Airspace System. She is a retired United States Air Force pilot and senior Supervisor of Flying which entailed direct control of as many as 40 heavy aircraft in missions ranging from airdrop, air refueling, low-level maneuvering, instrument and visual flight, and assault landings. She also holds commercial pilot and flight instructor certificates.

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Dr. Richard Mangrum is an Associate Professor of Aeronautics at Kent State University and is the Coordinator for Graduate Studies in the college. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Aviation Accreditation Board International as an Educator Trustee. Dr. Mangrum began in aviation with 10 years in the United States Air Force as a helicopter mechanic on the MH-53. He holds an airline transport pilot certificate with a type rating in the CE-560 XL/XLS, is a certified flight instructor, including instrument and multi-engine, is an advanced ground instructor and instrument ground instructor, and has non-flight ratings as an airframe and powerplant mechanic and aircraft dispatcher. He has graduate degrees from Oklahoma State University and has served as a flight instructor and Assistant or Chief Instructor at Oklahoma State and Kent State Universities. Dr. Mangrum has taught aviation weather at various institutions since 1994 and has recently developed a minor in Aviation Weather at Kent State, as well as a minor in Aircraft Dispatch. He is the Chief Dispatcher and primarily teaches weather, dispatch, and instrument flight theory.

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John Kosak's career includes 7 years at a fractional company where he worked in numerous aspects of the business, including logistics, dispatch, flight planning, operations training, and operations management. Highlights of his time at Flight Options include co-authoring a Dispatch Training program that received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval for training company dispatchers in house, managing a separate fleet of aircraft and pilots during the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics for several weeks, helping with the merger of Flight Options and Raytheon's Travel Air operations, and helping Flight Options transition from a Part 91 to a Part 135 company. After working at Flight Options, John joined the National Business Aviation Association's (NBAA) Air Traffic Services at the Air Traffic Control System Command Center. As an Air Traffic Management Specialist working for NBAA members, Mr. Kosak helps business aviation aircraft navigate the complex National Airspace System (NAS) and serves as a general aviation advocate during daily planning conference calls attended by Air Route Traffic Control Centers, Terminal Radar Approach Control facilities, Air Traffic Control Towers, and other operators throughout the NAS. In addition to daily duties at the desk, Mr. Kosak also writes up documents for the weekly NBAA Update e-newsletter and stories for the Business Aviation Insider, the official member magazine of the NBAA. He facilitates presentations about weather and traffic management at the NBAA yearly Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, in addition to online webinars. While completing Penn State University's Weather Certificate course, Mr. Kosak became the NBAA general aviation representative on the FAA's Collaborative Decision Making Weather Evaluation Team in 2008. Later, he began participating in the Friends and Partners of Aviation Weather meetings in the summer of 2010. Both of these groups work with government, industry, academic, and private sector companies to come up with better weather products and systems for delivering them to operators. This led to Mr. Kosak's eventual promotion to Program Manager, Weather at NBAA's Air Traffic Services.

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Captain Steve Jangelis is the Aviation Safety Vice Chairman and the Airport and Ground Environment Chairman for the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) headquartered in Washington, D.C., and also serves in the same capacity for the Delta Air Lines Master Executive Council Central Air Safety Committee in Atlanta, Georgia. He also serves as an Accident/Incident investigator for the Delta Central Air Safety Committee. He is currently a Captain on the Boeing 717 based in New York City. He is type rated on the Douglas DC-9, Boeing 727, and Boeing 757/767 and was a Simulator Instructor, Captain, and Line Check Airman on the Boeing 727, flying for both cargo and passenger operations.

While working towards his university studies, Captain Jangelis worked as an Airside Field Operations lead at an airport in the Midwest for 3 years. He is currently the Co-Chairman of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Root Cause Analysis Team and serves as the ALPA representative to the FAA's Runway Safety Council and the FAA Research, Engineering, and Development Advisory Committee Subcommittee for Airports. He has also participated in Safety Risk Management panels on runway construction, airspace modifications, and participated as a simulator operational testing pilot for Data-Comm taxi installations, Final Approach Runway Occupancy Signal and Surface Movement Guidance and Control System evaluations.

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Panel 4


Paula Rychtar is the Deputy Program Manager for the United States Voluntary Observing Ship (VOS) Program, within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS). The VOS program is integral to the NWS's mission: protection of life and property and enhancement of the national economy. VOS marine weather observations provide essential contributions to the data input for the numerical weather prediction models, forecasts (aviation and marine), warnings, and support the study of defining global climate issues by measuring extreme weather events, climate variability, and long-term climate changes. The VOS program is globally overreaching and works in cooperation with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on standardizing instrumentation, best practices, and affording opportunity for the collection of high resolution data. Along with managerial and operational responsibilities within VOS, Ms. Rychtar is the editorial supervisor for the on-line magazine dedicated to mariners, The Mariners Weather Log. Ms. Rychtar has more than 35 years of experience in oceanography/meteorology, beginning her career in the United States Navy, 1979. Ms. Rychtar provided analysis of expendable bathythermographs for antisubmarine warfare, radiosonde observations, surface and upper-air analysis; created ditch headings for aviation; and became an aviation pilot weather briefer/forecaster at Naval Air Station Lemoore California. After separation from the US Navy, Ms. Rychtar continued working in environmental science, working for the Department of Defense at White Sands Missile Range, Alamogordo, New Mexico, supporting efforts of research and development under the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization. In 1987, Ms. Rychtar took a lateral transfer to from the Department of Defense to the Department of Commerce working for the NWS Weather Service Office San Francisco and Weather Service Forecast Office, Redwood City, California. There Ms. Rychtar performed duties as surface weather observer, quality control/analyst for the Automated Surface Observing System testbed site, and pilot weather briefer. Since transferring to the NWS in 1987, Ms. Rychtar' s many duties, responsibilities, and expertise have been devoted to satisfying the unquenchable need for quality environmental data, essential to the NWS's mission. The scope of responsibilities that Ms. Rychtar undertook prior to accepting a position within the VOS program in 2004 ranged from Network Radar Operator/Cooperative Program Management/Upper Air (radiosonde) Observations/Pibals/Climatology and supporting River Forecasting using Integrated Flood Observing and Warning System.

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Bryan Heitman is the founder of Aerovie, LLC, an electronic flight bag (EFB) focusing on new weather technology for pilots. Aerovie was created in 2014 as an iPhone and iPad application designed for pilots to submit PIREPs into the national airspace system via Lockheed Martin Web services. Since then, Aerovie has grown into a full-featured EFB with features that include: soundings, vertical flight profile, automatic threat detection, and overlay features not found in other products such as geo-referenced icing and prog charts. Mr. Heitman has been flying for 16 years and holds commercial and flight instructor certificates, both with instrument ratings. He is very involved in safety-initiatives by the Cirrus Owners & Pilots Association and assists in both research and teaching among Cirrus pilots. His background includes growing successful internet hosting companies, writing software, and designing architecture to support highly scalable and reliable online systems.

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Tammy Farrar is a Research Meteorologist with the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) NextGen Aviation Weather Division and is the Lead for the Aviation Weather Research Program's Turbulence project. She also leads the Airborne Observations project, working policy and requirements issues related to the acquisition and use of automated aircraft-based observation data. In this capacity, Ms. Farrar serves as an associate member of the World Meteorological Organization's Expert Team on Aircraft-based Observations. In addition, she is a member of RTCA Special Committee (SC)-206 (Aeronautical Information Services and Meteorological Data Link Services), SC-230 (Airborne Weather Detection Systems), and the Wake Vortex Tiger Team.

Ms. Farrar served for 11 years as a Weather Officer in the U.S. Air Force. Her positions included Special Projects Team Chief and Special Support Plans Officer at Air Force Global Weather Central in Omaha, Nebraska, and Wing Weather Officer for the 86th Tactical Fighter Wing and Command Briefer for the Commander in Chief, U.S. Air Forces Europe at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Her military aviation weather experience includes staff and operational support to fighter and airlift units, exercise and special mission support, and accident investigation. Prior to joining the FAA, Ms. Farrar worked as an Editorial Assistant for the American Meteorological Society's (AMS) Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences.

Ms. Farrar holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Atmospheric Sciences with a minor in Physics from the University of Arizona, and a Master of Science degree in Meteorology with an emphasis in Climatology from Florida State University. She has served as Chapter Officer for local AMS chapters and is a member of Chi Epsilon Pi, the Meteorology Honor Society. In addition, Ms. Farrar has completed more than 30 hours of graduate level coursework in Secondary Science Education through the University of Maryland and George Mason University.

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Elizabeth Krajewski is Product Manager, Aviation Forecast and Data Services, in the business solutions group at The Weather Company, an IBM Business. In her role, Ms. Krajewski is responsible for working cross-functionally to develop and enhance Weather's aviation weather products. She works closely with airline customers, as well as industry and government organizations to deliver products that help airlines meet set regulations. She also works with developers to enhance forecaster toolsets to ensure the latest science and technology is available to improve forecast accuracy and efficiency. In addition, her oversight includes the Total Turbulence Solution, which helps airlines equip aircraft with proprietary technology for automated turbulence reporting and alerting. Previously, Ms. Krajewski served as an operational meteorologist for 10 years, with half of that time dedicated to aviation forecasting. As an aviation forecaster, Ms. Krajewski provided enroute weather forecasts for turbulence, volcanic ash, icing, convection, ozone, and space weather. She also provided Terminal Aerodrome Forecasts globally to Weather's airline customers. In order to become an aviation forecaster at Weather, she completed a rigorous training program where meteorologists must pass a mandated curriculum that meets the Enhanced Weather Information Systems requirements set forth by the Federal Aviation Administration. Ms. Krajewski joined the company in 2001 as a meteorologist service specialist. In that role, she was responsible for providing quality control and meteorological support for key data products and services worldwide, as well as maintaining high standards for product timeliness, accuracy, and quality. She received her Bachelor of Science in Meteorology and Master of Science in Atmospheric Science from University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

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Dr. Neil Jacobs directs the research and development of both the tropospheric airborne meteorological data reporting system (TAMDAR), as well as the numerical models that use the data to forecast weather. He also oversees the development of new TAMDAR-based products that enable better decision-making by industry and governmental agencies. His areas of expertise include mesoscale and microscale dynamics, numerical weather prediction, and data assimilation. He is the chair of the American Meteorological Society's Forecast Improvement Group, and also serves on the United Nations World Meteorological Organization's observing systems expert team. Prior to joining Panasonic Weather Solutions (AirDat) in 2005, Dr. Jacobs worked on various analysis and modeling projects including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Earth Systems Science Program, GOES satellite imagery, Department of Energy's Ocean Margins Program, and the National Weather Service's Atlantic Surface Cyclone Intensification Index. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the University of South Carolina, a Master of Science degree in Air-Sea Interaction from North Carolina State University, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in numerical atmospheric modeling from North Carolina State University.

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