Release #06.041
July 27, 2006

Eastern Shore Maryland Pilot Honored by Air Line Pilots Association

WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Richard W. Clarke, a United Airlines captain and resident of Royal Oak, Md., was awarded a 2006 Presidential Citation for his tireless efforts to advance the principles of Safety Management Systems (SMS) in numerous airline, government, and industry groups. This award was presented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) on July 27th during the Association’s annual Air Safety Forum and Awards Banquet.

“As an SMS evangelist, Capt. Clarke has made tremendous strides, amassing converts throughout the industry,” said ALPA President Duane E. Woerth. “His work has been particularly noticeable in Canada, where Safety Management Systems have become a Canadian Aviation Regulation.”

SMS places the responsibility for safety directly on the CEO or senior officer. Departments are encouraged to share safety information helping to ensure that latent weaknesses, which can contribute to future problems, are identified and addressed. An effective SMS program requires strong leadership support, a good risk-management program, and employee involvement.

Capt. Clarke earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and a master’s from the University of Southern California. A retired Navy captain and pilot, he worked for four years as a staff engineer for ALPA’s Engineering and Air Safety Department in the late 1970s. Capt. Clarke later served as a private safety consultant before going to work for United Airlines in 1990, where he now flies B767s. He also has served as the treasurer and vice president of the System Safety Society, a non-profit organization supporting safety professionals around the world.

Founded in 1931, ALPA celebrates its 75th anniversary this year representing 62,000 pilots at 40 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at for more information.

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ALPA CONTACT: Jeff Orschel, (703) 481-4440 or