Robert L. Sumwalt, Chairman, National Transportation Safety Board

Robert L. Sumwalt

Chairman, National Transportation Safety Board

Robert Llewellyn Sumwalt III was born in June 1956 in Columbia, South Carolina.  He earned an undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina and received a Master of Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where he specialized in Aviation Aerospace Safety Systems and Human Factors Aviation Systems.

He is a commercial pilot, serving 24 years as an airline pilot with Piedmont Airlines and US Airways. He was a corporate aviation department manager for a Fortune 500 energy company. He has logged over 14,000 flight hours and earned type ratings in five aircraft. He spent eight years conducting aviation safety research with NASA’S Aviation Safety Reporting System.

Sumwalt has been a faculty member of the University of Southern California’s Aviation Safety and Security Program.

He has been a member of the National Transportation Safety Board since 2006. President George W. Bush designated him vice chairman for two years and he was reappointed to that position by President Barack Obama. President Donald Trump reappointed Sumwalt to a term that expires in December 2021. He was nominated by President Trump to be the Chairman of the NTSB and confirmed by the Senate. He assumed that position in August 2017.

In the News…

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been conducting investigations into Tesla electric vehicle battery fires on U.S. roads, including three high-speed crashes in which the lithium-ion battery reignited after firefighters extinguished the fires.

“Most manufacturers’ emergency response guides for fighting high-voltage lithium-ion battery fires lack necessary, vehicle-specific details on suppressing the fires,” the NTSB said.

They added that “in addition to hampering efficient extinguishing of high-voltage lithium-ion battery fires, the lack of clear, vehicle-specific firefighting information can lead to confusion or inadvisable action on the part of first responders.”

NTSB is establishing its Battery Safety Initiative for Electric Vehicles to coordinate research and other efforts.

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Chairman Sumwalt today? You can let him know at:

Chairman Robert L. Sumwalt
National Transportation Safety Board
490 L’Enfant Plaza SW
Washington, DC 30594


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