This story was updated on Jan. 6 with information on when Michael Graham and Thomas Chapman were sworn into their positions on the NTSB board.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Senate recently confirmed two new members for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), bringing the investigative agency back to a full board of five members for the first time in nearly a year.
The NTSB will welcome aboard Michael Graham and Thomas Chapman as its newest board members, according to a news release from the agency. The NTSB will have a full board for the first time since Feb. 15, 2019.
Graham was sworn in on Jan. 3 by NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt, and Chapman was sworn in on Jan. 6. President Donald Trump nominated Graham and Chapman and the Senate voted to confirm them on Dec. 19. Graham’s term as a board member is through 2025, and Chapman’s term runs through the end of 2023.
Graham previously served as the director of Flight Operations Safety, Security, and Standardization for Textron Aviation Inc., overseeing its safety management system, global security, and air safety investigations. Graham is the former chairman of the Air Charter Safety Foundation, leader of the single pilot safety working group of the National Business Aviation Association’s Safety Committee and member of the general aviation information analysis team.
Graham’s career began in the U.S. Navy as a naval aviator flying A-7s and F/A-18s. He later worked as a F/A-18 aircrew instructor and avionics integration engineer for Boeing/McDonnell Douglas and joined Cessna in 1997 as a demonstration pilot. Graham is a certified airline transport pilot with 10,000 flight hours and is type-rated in six different citation models. Graham earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Mexico.
"It will be a privilege to be working with the premier team of technical and dedicated transportation safety experts of the NTSB," Graham said.
Chapman previously served as minority counsel to the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation and Space and has nearly four decades of experience in government, legislative, and regulatory affairs. He was involved in the recent bipartisan effort to pass comprehensive legislation reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration, Transportation Security Administration, and the NTSB.
Chapman previously served as US Airways’ vice president for government affairs, legislative counsel for Southwest Airlines, and as senior vice president for government and technical affairs for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Chapman is a graduate of the American University Washington, College of Law and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from C.W. Post College.
"The NTSB’s people are renowned for their skill and technical expertise,” Chapman said. “I am honored to join such a dedicated team and look forward to contributing to the important work of the agency."
The NTSB has been functioning with three board members — Sumwalt, Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg, and Member Jennifer Homendy — since the departure of member T. Bella Dinh-Zarr in February and Earl Weener in July 2019.
"I am pleased to have our board back to its full complement and I know our work will benefit from the breadth and depth of experience of our two newest members," Sumwalt said.
The NTSB investigates major transportation accidents, including those involving school buses, and issues recommendations created to improve safety. The agency does not have regulatory authority.