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Tue, May 18, 2010

Gone West: Former NTSB Chair Jim Burnett

Reagan Appointee Served Six Years As Chair

Former NTSB Chairman Jim Burnett passed away in his hometown of Clinton, AR, at the age of 62.

The Associated Press reports that Burnett, a Reagan appointee, served as Chairman of the body from 1982-1988. He had been appointed by the President the previous year.

Burnett had been active in Republican Party politics since 2004, when be became a national committeeman from the state of Arkansas. He reportedly  passed away due to complications from diabetes.

Burnett was on the NTSB when the national drinking age was raised to 21-years-old. In 1996, he was inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame for his work on fire-retardant airplane seats. A monument to Burnett was erected in 1994 by the Japanese IREI Air Safety Foundation near the spot where a JAL airliner went down in 1985. The monument praises Burnett for his leadership and dedication to airline safety.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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