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Lifetime Achievement

Lifetime Achievement

Bird Strike Committee-USA is pleased to announce recipients of the James Forbes Lifetime Achievement Awards.

The Steering Committee of Bird Strike Committee-USA has presented James Forbes Lifetime Achievement Awards to 7 individuals who have made significant and sustained contributions to the mitigation of wildlife hazards to aviation. 

Roxie Laybourne (1910-2003) Smithsonian Institution (1997)

Roxie was an ornithologist who developed forensic techniques for identifying species of birds involved in bird strikes. Her pioneering work led to aircraft safety improvements.

John Seubert (1921-2013), U.S. Department of Agriculture (2000)

John was a research biologist who did pioneer work on bird strikes in the 1960s and 1970s, including developing procedures for Wildlife Hazard Assessments and Wildlife Hazard Management Plans.

Richard Dolbeer (1945-  ), U.S. Department of Agriculture (2002)

Richard was a wildlife scientist who served as Chairperson of Bird Strike Committee USA from 1997-2008. Richard worked closely with the FAA to develop the National Wildlife Strike Database and the manual on Managing Wildlife Hazards at Airports as well as publishing numerous scientific papers related to mitigating the risk of bird strikes.

John Goglia (1945-  ), National Transportation Safety Board (2004)

John Goglia served as a member of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), 1995-2004. With more than 30 years’ experience in the aviation industry, he was the first NTSB Board Member to hold an FAA aircraft mechanic’s certificate.  As a NTSB member, John advocated efforts to minimize the risk of bird strikes. As a teenager, John was involved as a scuba diver in the rescue and recovery operation in the aftermath of the Lockheed Electra crash in Boston Harbor in 1960. The crash, which killed 60 people, was caused by a flock of European starlings.

Eugene LeBoeuf (1950-  ), U.S. Air Force BASH Team (2006)

Gene was the Staff Wildlife Biologist for the FAA from 1989 to 1995 and chief of the USAF BASH team from 1995 to 2009.  During his tenure with FAA, Gene was instrumental in establishing the National Wildlife Strike Database, developing and revising various Advisory Circulars related to wildlife and airports, and improving Wildlife Hazard Assessments and Wildlife Hazard Management Plans at airports nationwide.

Edward Cleary (1941-2016), Federal Aviation Administration (2006)

Ed Cleary was the Staff Wildlife Biologist for the FAA from 1995 to 2007.  During his tenure, Ed built upon the programs established by LeBoeuf and, in partnership with U.S. Department of Agriculture, developed the FAA Manual on Managing Wildlife Hazards at Airports. Ed developed various training programs to educate FAA Airport Inspectors and airport personnel in managing wildlife hazards at airports.

Sandra E. Wright (1951- ), U.S. Department of Agriculture (2016)

Sandy Wright was the manager of the National Wildlife Strike Database from 1995-2015.  With her knowledge of birds and aviation combined with adept computer and editing skills and a keen attention to detail, she was able to organize all wildlife strikes reported to the FAA starting in 1990 and accurately enter them into a database.  She built the database from 1,800 reports in 1990 to 14,000 reports entered in 2015 when she retired (170,000 reports total for 1990-2015). 

During her 20-year tenure, Sandy made significant contributions to aviation safety and science-based wildlife management at airports that will continue for future generations.