The United States Helicopter Safety Team has named Karen Gattis, FAA Flight Standards Acting Deputy Director for General Aviation Safety Assurance, as its new government co-chairman. As a regional partner with the worldwide Vertical Aviation Safety Team, the USHST was formed in 2013 to lead a government and industry cooperative effort to promote safety and work to reduce civil helicopter fatal accidents.
Based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Gattis is a 17-year veteran of the FAA. She previously had oversight of ten General Aviation offices as a Division Manager with an emphasis on helicopter operations and air tour operations.
Gattis served in the Army National Guard from 1981 to 2015 and retired as a Colonel. In the National Guard, she served as the Director Joint Chief of Staff and as Aviation Brigade Commander. She also is certified to fly multi-engine commercial aircraft and rotorcraft.
“Karen Gattis will be an excellent asset for the USHST,” said Wayne Fry, who is stepping down after completing a term of nearly four years as the USHST government co-chair. “She has extensive experience in aviation safety and an expert understanding of safe practices. I am happy to hand the reins to her to lead our efforts to reduce helicopter accidents and fatalities here in the United States.”
Detailed information about USHST safety enhancements and safety documents aimed at reducing the number of fatal accidents can be found on the USHST website. The documents are organized into eight safety categories: Private Flying, Commercial & Civil Flying, Customers & Crews, Training, Infrastructure, Unintended IMC, Low Altitude Operations, and Loss of Control.