Dr. Bernard S. Loeb
Bernard S. Loeb retired in 2001 after having worked for 24 years in various positions at the National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Government agency responsible for the investigation of transportation accidents. Prior to his retirement, Loeb was the director of the Office of Aviation Safety – the office responsible for the investigation of all civil aviation accidents that occur in the United States. His office also participated in the investigation of all air carrier accidents and major incidents involving US airlines that occurred outside the US. Loeb directed the investigation of some of the highest profile accidents in the history of the NTSB. These included the crash into the Atlantic Ocean of TWA flight 800 following an explosion in the center-wing fuel tank of a Boeing 747 and the crash of ValueJet flight 592 because of a fire in the cargo compartment. Loeb was also responsible for demonstrating that the crashes of two Boeing 737s and the near-crash of a third in the 1990s were the result of a design flaw in the 737 rudder control system.
Fundamental changes in air transport safety resulted from findings and recommendations emanating from these investigations. Prior to heading the Office of Aviation Safety, Dr. Loeb was the director of the Office of Research and Engineering at the NTSB. This office included the flight recorder laboratory, the metallurgical laboratory, the fire and explosives group, and the vehicle performance division.
Prior to joining the NTSB, Loeb worked in wind tunnel facilities at David Taylor Model Basin and the Naval Ordinance Laboratory, where he performed theoretical research on laminar boundary layers. He also did aeronautical research at the Lockheed Missile and Space Division in Palo Alto, California and the General Electric Space Sciences Laboratory in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Loeb was the recipient of numerous awards during his tenure at the NTSB, including the Chairman’s award, the highest award presented to its employees by the NTSB. He was also twice the recipient of the Senior Executive Service, Distinguished Presidential Rank Award, an award approved by the President of the United States.
Dr. Loeb received a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Maryland in 1960. He then received a Master of Science in Engineering in 1964 and a Doctor of Science in Engineering in 1966 from the George Washington University.
Loeb is married, has two children, and seven grandchildren.