First Officer Russ Leighton
Director of Safety
First Officer Russ Leighton has been appointed as the Director of Safety for the Coalition of Airline Pilots and also serves as the Aviation Safety Coordinator for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

He is responsible for facilitating implementation and maintenance of programs such as ASAP, FOQA, LOSA, FRMS and SMS for the 65,000+ pilots, mechanics, flight attendants, and dispatchers of the Airline Division. He is also responsible for training and maintaining Aircraft Accident Go-Teams, to help the NTSB as parties to investigations.

First Officer Leighton has been a member of the Coalition of Airline Pilots Association (CAPA) Safety Committee. CAPA is a rapidly growing organization of more than 30,000 airline pilots. It is a safety-based organization that combines efforts on Capitol Hill and elsewhere to improve and enhance the pilot profession.

He is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott with a B.S. in Aeronautical Science, and a minor in Aviation Safety. Russ has been a pilot for 20 years. With more than 12,000 hours he has flown everything from single-pilot, part 135 freight in a Cessna 208, to international flying in a Boeing 767. He was also an Air Safety Investigator for the NTSB, and was Investigator-In-Charge of more than 50 aircraft accidents.

Recently, he has been the Labor Lead for the “Call To Action” aviation safety forum road shows, and was one of the labor representatives on the Flight/Duty time ARC. The ARC was charged with defining new regulations for limits on the hours a pilot can fly and be on duty, based upon fatigue science, for the first time in half a century.

Following this, Mr. Leighton was asked to chair the Pilot Records Database ARC, on behalf of CAPA. The purpose of this committee was to help the FAA write regulations to create and maintain a comprehensive database of pilot training and qualifications, for use by air carriers when hiring new pilots.