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Pilot Christopher Hart confirmed as NTSB chairman

Hart is NTSB Chairman with the U.S. Senate’s unanimous confirmation March 12 of Christopher Hart, a pilot and former FAA executive, as the thirteenth chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.

“We congratulate Member Hart on his confirmation as chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “During his years at the NTSB and FAA he has demonstrated his commitment to making our skies safer, and as a licensed pilot he has first-hand experience of the challenges aviators face.

Hart has served as acting NTSB chairman since April 2014.

Hart is an experienced aviator who holds a commercial certificate with instrument and multiengine ratings. He has also served on the NTSB previously from 1990 to 1993 and from 2009 to present. At the FAA Hart served as deputy director for Air Traffic Safety Oversight and, before that, FAA assistant administrator for System Safety.

During a recent talk at a meeting of the Aero Club of Washington in Washington, D.C., Hart related that a great uncle, James Herman Banning, became the first African-American to receive a government-issued pilot’s license in 1926.

At the same event Hart described how he has already instituted changes at the NTSB, including an initiative to expand international safety cooperation during accident investigations involving several countries.

“I’ve asked my staff to look at redesigning the investigation process from scratch,” Hart said. “There are some exciting opportunities to improve.”

Hart holds a law degree from Harvard University and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in aerospace engineering from Princeton University. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association.