WASHINGTON – Steven R. Chealander was sworn in today as a member of the National Transportation Safety Board.
Chealander brings a wealth of both civilian and military aviation experience to the NTSB. Prior to joining the Board, he was with American Airlines, serving since 1991 as a pilot and Captain qualified on the DC-10, B-737, MD-80, and F-100 aircraft, and as a Chief Pilot in Los Angeles. At American, he also was a flight safety manager, performing safety and compliance audits and participating in investigations, and was most recently the Manager of Flight Operations Efficiency.
From 1964 to 1991, Chealander served in the U.S. Air Force, with tours of duty in Vietnam and Spain. An F-4 pilot and instructor pilot, and then a USAF Aggressor Pilot, Chealander was selected in 1981 to be a member of the USAF Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds.
He flew with the team until 1985, when he was assigned as a staff officer at Tactical Air Command Headquarters at Langley Air Force Base, Va.
In 1986, Chealander was selected as Military Aide to President Ronald Reagan. In this capacity, he performed a variety of ceremonial and emergency preparedness duties, including custody of the President’s emergency briefcase, “the football.”
Subsequently, Chealander commanded an F-5 tactical fighter squadron at Williams Air Force Base, Ariz., (1988-89), an F-16 squadron at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., (1989-91), and then was appointed Assistant Deputy Commander for Operations for the F-16 tactical fighter wing at Luke AFB. He retired from the Air Force in 1991 with the rank of Lt. Colonel.
Chealander received a B.S. degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and did graduate studies at the University of Utah. He is married and the father of two daughters.
Chealander’s term as an NTSB member expires on Dec. 31, 2007.