Purdue forms student flight safety organization

March 27, 2012

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University is forming the first student chapter of the Flight Safety Foundation.

The foundation was formed 65 years ago to pursue continuous global aviation safety improvement through research, education, advocacy and publishing. The foundation, based in Virginia, is an international membership organization with members in 150 countries around the world. There is a professional chapter in Australia and affiliations with groups in Russia, Taiwan, Nigeria and Cyprus.

"The Flight Safety Foundation is internationally recognized as the voice of the airline industry and the selection of Purdue as their inaugural student chapter is a significant recognition of our impact on the aviation industry," said Stewart Schreckengast, associate professor of aviation technology. "Purdue's chapter will facilitate aviation research opportunities between our graduate students and airlines around the world."

Schreckengast conducts aviation safety and security research at Purdue. He previously served as a naval aviator for 22 years before retiring as the safety officer for the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Flight Safety Foundation's chief operating officer Kevin Hiatt, who serves on Purdue Aviation Technology's industry advisory board, will attend the announcement at 10 a.m. on Thursday (March 29) at the Aviation Technology Career Fair at Niswonger Aviation Technology Building. The former 767ER captain and Purdue alumnus credits the university for helping prepare him for a career in aviation and aviation safety.

"The foundation and the university both strive to develop global solutions to key aviation challenges," said Hiatt, who served as Delta Airlines international chief pilot. "Purdue is a key partner in our mission to promote and facilitate the global application of leading aviation safety assessments, standards and practices."

Purdue aviation technology's 33 full-time faculty serve more than 600 students in West Lafayette alone. The department offers undergraduate degrees in aviation management, aeronautical engineering technology, and professional flight and graduate degrees in technology concentrating on aviation and aerospace management. The department's training fleet includes 16 Cirrus SR20 aircrafts and an Embraer Phenom 100. The Phenom helps make Purdue's flight program's one of the few where every student flies a jet.
Writer: Jim Schenke, 765-494-6262, jschenke@purdue.edu

Sources: Stewart Schreckengast, 765-494-9958, swschrec@purdue.edu
                  Emily McGee, 703-739-6700, ext. 126, Flight Safety director of communications, mcgee@flightsafety.org