Release #04.031
July 30, 2004

ALPA’s John O’Brien Retires, Keith Hagy Promoted to Safety Director

WASHINGTON, D.C.---John O’Brien, after serving for 32 years in safety positions at the Air Line Pilots Association, including the past 22 years as ALPA’s widely respected Director of Engineering and Air Safety, is retiring effective July 31.

Keith Hagy, currently the Associate Director of Engineering and Air Safety, has been promoted to Director.

O’Brien’s widely recognized abilities as a safety strategist and consensus builder allowed him to play a pivotal role in advancing aviation safety on many fronts during his tenure at ALPA.

O’Brien’s career with ALPA began in 1972 as a staff engineer. After several promotions he was appointed to the director’s position in 1982. While performing in these capacities he also served on, or chaired, a lengthy list of industry and government advisory committees and special programs. He currently serves as a member of the Flight Safety Foundation’s Board of Governors, the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Board of Trustees, and chairman of a NASA Aviation Safety Advisory Committee.

Prior to coming to ALPA, he spent seven years with Pan American Airlines, five years with the airline division and two years with the aerospace services division. His credentials include an M.B.A. from Stetson University and a B.S.A.S. from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. His immediate retirement plans involve sharing a motor home, a map, and the open road, with his wife, Kathy, for the next several months.

Keith Hagy joined ALPA in 1986 as a senior staff engineer in the Accident Investigation Department. He has participated in more than 130 aircraft accident investigations, including more than 30 classified as "major". 

As Director of Engineering and Air Safety, Hagy is responsible for coordinating all aspects ALPA’s safety, security, and human performance activities, which are supported by 35 professional staff members and approximately 700 pilot volunteers from 42 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. He represents ALPA on numerous industry and government committees and advisory groups, and currently is the International Secretary for the International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI).

Prior to joining ALPA he was with the Boeing Company as an Engineer – Aircraft Stability and Control Analyst, where he focused on the evaluation and flight-testing of aircraft performance and handling qualities. He was awarded a patent on a stability augmentation system used on B737 aircraft.

Hagy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace and Ocean Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. He is a licensed pilot and lives in Warrenton, Va. with his wife Mariellen and their four children.

ALPA, the world’s oldest and largest pilots union, represents 64,000 airline pilots at 42 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Its website is

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ALPA CONTACTS: John Mazor, Linda Shotwell (703) 481-4440