Gov.-elect Susana Martinez has just named six men to review the safety of the state's airplane fleet. The members of the group "reflect the Governor-elect’s belief that any aircraft flying over New Mexico should be maintained safely and operated properly. Due to the fact that questions have been raised about the safe operation of state aircraft, the Governor-elect has asked a group of experts to review the matter and provide a preliminary assessment of the maintenance condition and operational safety of state government aircraft."
The team is
JOHN D. “MIKE” RICE, CHAIRMAN
Mike Rice is a retired brigadier general from the New Mexico Air National Guard and Arkansas Air National Guard. Rice currently works as an aviation consultant, and served as the director of aviation for the City of Albuquerque and director of the aviation division for the New Mexico Department of Transportation.
Mike Arias has is a retired chief master sergeant with the Air National Guard and worked in aviation quality assurance for 15 years.
Terry O’Brien has been involved in aviation since 1972. O’Brien currently owns and operates A&P Services LLC, an aircraft maintenance company in Edgewood. He served as the director of maintenance for a FAR Part 141 flight school in Georgia, and mechanic for a FAR Part 135 repair station and a 135 charter company in Albuquerque.
Richard L. Perry is a retired colonel with the U.S. Air Force, and has a broad background in aviation operations and maintenance. Perry served as the director of engineering and system safety at the U.S. Air Force Safety Center and ran the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airworthiness Assurance NDI Validation Center before starting his own consulting company providing aviation safety management and forensic engineering services. He holds an airline transport pilot certificate and served as chief pilot for an FAA certificated flight school.
Steve is a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, and currently the director of the Configurable Space Microsystems Innovation and Applications Center (COSMIAC) at the University of New Mexico, as well as the owner of a small airborne surveillance and imaging-related company. Suddarth has developed several airborne imaging systems for the U.S. military.
Ed Whitworth retired from the New Mexico Air National Guard as the 150th Logistics Group Commander. Whitworth is an aircraft maintenance officer and aircraft chief of maintenance for A7D and F16 aircraft.
The questions about the safety that Martinez is referring to were raised in this Larry Barker report.