NTSB: Gone…But Not Really

Deborah Hersman left the Chairmanship of the NTSB several months ago to assume the leadership of the National Safety Council.  As one would expect from someone who was as high profile and active as Ms. Hersman during her tenure as NTSB Chairman, she has already returned to the aviation scene.  On May 29, 2014, she appeared on CBS This Morning talking about the several recently reported airliner near misses.  We suspect that she will continue to speak out on aviation and other areas in which she was involved at the Board.

Noteworthy is the fact that commercial aviation, air traffic control and the National Airspace System are not things in which the National Safety Council appears to have either previously been involved or, for that matter, fall within their mission.  At least according to their website, their focus appears to be things like “distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety and beyond the workplace, particularly in and near our homes.”  While this description can, conceivably, be broadly read to encompass aviation, we seriously doubt that Ms. Hersman will consider herself limited in what she chooses to comment upon.

Since we’re talking about Ms. Hersman, Plane-ly Spoken was recently able to get a copy of the “Top Ten Probable Causes For Debbie Hersman Leaving The NTSB,” as presented at her April 21, 2014, farewell reception at the NTSB. While some of them are clearly “inside” references, we think you’ll get the idea.

  1. Couldn’t take even one more Sunshine Act reminder from the NTSB General Counsel.
  2. Just got tired of preparing all those holiday cards.
  3. The Chicago winters are horrible but it has better pizza and fewer lawyers.

[NOTE:  Chicago is where the National Safety Council is headquartered and where Ms. Hersman and her family moved.]

  1. Looking forward to wearing her Uggs boots 11 months a year.
  2. Looking forward to getting to a Cubs game during warmups so she and her family can see the pitching machine throw a no-hitter.
  3. Tired of the 12 hour commute each way.
  4. Learned that the Virginia Governor has announced a new traffic study on the use of I-95 HOV lanes by hybrid vehicles.
  5. With all the construction around this place, needs Captain Sullenberger’s navigational skills to find her office and parking space.

[NOTE:  “this place” being L’Enfant Plaza, where the NTSB has its headquarters]

  1. Found out that Paramount Pictures decided not to cast her as the lead in its forthcoming Iron Woman film.



(Originally posted June 13, 2014)

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