Portal:National Transportation Safety Board/Robert Talcott Francis II
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Robert Talcott Francis II
Robert Talcott Francis II has been the Vice Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board since January 1995 when he was appointed to the Safety Board by President Clinton. In August 1995, he was confirmed by the United States Senate. Since joining the Safety Board, Mr. Francis has been involved in a number of transportation accident investigations, including the explosion and crash of TWA Flight 800 off Long Island, New York, in July 1996, the crash of ValuJet Flight 592 in the Florida Everglades in May 1996, the crash of a DC-8 cargo carrier in Kansas City, a major parachuting accident in Virginia, and an Amtrak train derailment in Arizona. He also has chaired a Safety Board public hearing on a New York MTA subway accident and a public forum on passive grade rail crossing safety. In addition to his accident investigation work and other Safety Board duties, he has been actively involved as a member of the Air Transport Association of America's Steering Committee on Flight Operations Quality Assurance programs, and the Flight Safety Foundation's ICARUS Committee, which is a group composed of worldwide aviation experts who gather informally to share ideas on reducing human error in the cockpit. Prior to his appointment to the Safety Board, Mr. Francis served as Senior Representative for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in Western Europe and North Africa and was based in Paris, France. Representing the FAA Administrator, he worked extensively on aviation safety and security issues with U.S. and foreign air carriers, transportation governmental authorities, aircraft manufacturers, and airports. At the Safety Board, he continues to be actively involved in international aviation issues, and has spoken about the Safety Board to the French Academy of Air and Space and an Italian Parliamentary Committee. In conjunction with his work at the Safety Board, he is a recipient of an Aviation Week and Space Technology 1996 Laurels Award and was recognized by both the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard for meritorious service in the TWA Flight 800 investigation. A native of Cohasset, Massachusetts, Mr. Francis received his A.B. from Williams College and attended Boston University and the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. An active general aviation pilot, he holds a commercial pilot certificate with instrument and twin-engine ratings. He is a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and a member of both the Wings Club of New York and the AeroClub of Washington. Mr. Francis and his wife, Judy, have two daughters, Allison and Carolyn. His term as Vice Chairman expires on August 14, 1997, and his appointment as a Member of the Safety Board expires on December 31, 1999.