Aviation accident statistician and former member of the NBAA board of directors Robert E. Breiling is this year’s recipient of the John P. “Jack” Doswell Award, granted annually for lifelong individual achievement in supporting business aviation.
“NBAA is proud to recognize Bob Breiling’s outstanding contributions to the business aviation community,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. “Through his devoted research and analysis of aviation accident data, as well as his work with NBAA, Bob has helped promote standards that have led to improvements in aviation safety and better training.”
His firm, Robert E. Breiling Associates of Boca Raton, Fla., analyzes business aviation accident rates and provides reports for NBAA publications and for the industry. It also supplies global data on business aircraft accidents to the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) and produces annual reports on specific aircraft models, as well as the following reports that provide comparative accident data: Helicopter Review, Single Turboprop Review, Turbine Accident Review and Fractional Review.
Breiling’s data also was instrumental in obtaining an industry-wide FAA alternative that allows the use of advanced simulators– instead of in-aircraft experience– for some pilot recurrent training requirements, said NBAA, and helped support the development of FAR Part 91K regulations governing fractional operators.
Upon hearing that he would receive the award, Breiling said, “I am certainly proud to receive this prestigious NBAA award. I would like to think that my work over the years in analyzing business turbine-aircraft accidents has created awareness as to their causes and helped reduce accidents.”
The Doswell Award, established in 1987, is named in honor of Jack Doswell, whose gifts inspired a high standard of involvement in the business aviation community.
From 1973 to 1980, Breiling served on the NBAA Board of Directors with Doswell. An aviation enthusiast from his early years, NBAA said, Breiling joined the U.S. Navy in 1951 and became a pilot. He flew a McDonnell Banshee F2H-3 and an F9F Panther–Grumman’s first jet fighter and one of the Navy’s first carrier-based jet fighters. He flew from the U.S.S. Hornet aircraft carrier while stationed in the Pacific and served 24 years in the Navy Reserve, ending his military service as the commander of a Lockheed P-2V squadron.
His interest in aviation accidents, Breiling told AIN, derives from his time as a Navy safety officer. He said that after leaving the military and while he was flying for Pan Am–which he did for three years–he met an insurance executive looking at companies buying jets. That was in the early 1960s, when the early Learjets were coming into service, and there was no data on aviation accidents. He then went to work for one of the insurance companies, where he identified, analyzed and classifed business aviation accidents. Coincidentally, he soon became a regular speaker at the Flight Safety Foundation’s corporate aviation seminars. He subsequently left the insurance industry and became one of the officers involved in the founding of SimuFlite, the training company. He later returned to the insurance business, where he found that companies were seeking accident information from him, so that led him to start his company in the early 1980s, he said. “We have the only worldwide database for all aircraft.”