Release #10.028
August 31, 2010

ALPA Recognizes Pilots with Prestigious Presidential Citation
Pilot Honorees Uphold Highest Standards of Commitment and Professionalism, Advance Aviation Safety and Security

WASHINGTON—The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), will recognize several pilots with its Presidential Citation on August 31 during ALPA’s 2010 Air Safety Forum in Washington, D.C.

“In bestowing a Presidential Citation, ALPA recognizes pilots who have made exceptional contributions to advancing aviation safety, security, and pilot health and who embody the highest standards of professionalism,” said ALPA president Capt. John Prater. “Whether they are investigating an accident, providing support to pilots in difficult times, advocating for pilots’ jumpseating privileges, ensuring the security of our air transportation network, or demonstrating a single heroic act, these honorees have gone beyond the call of duty, and their efforts have been critical to furthering ALPA’s reputation as the leading non-governmental aviation safety and security advocate in the world.”

The following ALPA pilots will receive Presidential Citations:

American Eagle Capt. Kevin Bailey, of Crown Point, Indiana, chairs the Security Council of ALPA’s National Security Committee. In this role, Capt. Bailey is the voice for all the Master Executive Council (MEC) Security chairmen on security initiatives undertaken by the Association. Capt. Bailey brings his in-depth knowledge, broad experience, and keen insight to ALPA’s aviation security efforts and in mentoring new pilot security coordinators. He also represented ALPA with distinction on the Transportation of Deportees and Prisoners Working Group.

Continental Airlines First Officer James Berzon, of Las Vegas, Nevada, is ALPA’s National Jumpseat Committee vice-chairman. F/O Berzon’s continuing commitment to developing and maintaining a robust program of coordinating jumpseat availability for pilots throughout the airline industry has earned him a reputation as a passionate advocate for pilots’ jumpseating rights. His efforts have ensured that the rules and regulations of jumpseating are upheld today and are being improved into the future—a goal that the Association has long championed.

American Eagle Capt. Paul Brady, of Medway, Massachusetts, oversees ALPA’s safety training programs and serves as vice-chairman of the ALPA Accident Investigation Board and as a member of the Steering and Oversight Committee. His outstanding contributions as the Training Programs coordinator in developing relevant, current educational course curricula that provide vital safety and accident investigation information have resulted in ALPA’s safety training programs being acclaimed industry-wide. An instructor in four courses, he provides highly sought-after direct interaction with safety volunteers. Capt. Brady is also an experienced accident investigator who has managed several ALPA accident investigation teams and directed ALPA’s investigation activities while working with the NTSB.

United Airlines Capt. Greg Downs, of Newtown, Pennsylvania, serves as chair of the United Council 52 Central Air Safety Committee. Capt Downs’s selfless efforts immediately following the 9/11 attacks and for years thereafter exemplify the best in pilot assistance volunteers. His steadfast commitment and tireless efforts to assist the families of the pilots of United Flights 93 and 175 ensured that they received much-needed support in the days, months, and years following the tragedy. His many other contributions include assisting pilots from other airlines to establish Aviation Safety Action Programs and working with representatives from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association to start a safety program for air traffic controllers.

As a long-time member of the ALPA Accident Investigation Board, Delta Air Lines Capt. Pete Frey, of Danbury, Connecticut, epitomizes the ALPA safety volunteer’s unwavering commitment to assisting his fellow pilots. He has been the driving force in accident and incident investigations for many years. Recently, he gained the praise of fellow pilots as the senior member of the ALPA team participating in the NTSB investigation of the Colgan Air Flight 3407 accident. In that role, he worked side by side with the Colgan pilots, offering guidance and counsel through months of difficult investigation. Capt. Frey headed up the on-scene ALPA response and put in many hours of effort in the aftermath of the crash, coordinating the development and publication of ALPA’s analysis of the accident.

Piedmont Capt. Todd O’Brien, of Binghamton, New York, is the vice chairman of ALPA’s National Security Committee (NSC). In this role he is responsible for coordinating all aspects of the committee’s mission, including budget oversight and project mentoring. Prior to holding this office, he was the committee’s director of operations, ensuring that the group’s vital functions continued to run smoothly in the face of a rapidly changing array of threats. Additionally, Capt. O’Brien has represented the Association as liaison to major federal law enforcement agencies and organizations and continues to provide an important aviation perspective to the TSA and Federal Air Marshal Service. His efforts have been instrumental in ensuring that ALPA’s NSC remains at the forefront in protecting air transportation against those who seek to disrupt it with criminal acts.

Recognized as a consummate pilot assistance representative, Continental Capt. Gwen Schallow, of Hammonton, New Jersey, demonstrates the highest level of compassion, insight, and integrity in supporting her fellow aviators, especially in the areas of professional standards and critical incident response. She served for two years as vice-chair of ALPA’s Pilot Assistance Committee, and continues to ensure the committee’s ability to communicate information and key messages about pilot assistance endeavors. Capt. Schallow recently revitalized the Critical Incident Response Program and training curriculum at Continental, and is also greatly respected for the insight she brings in resolving professional standards issues in a positive and fair way.

Continental Airlines pilots Capt. Richard Greene, of Magnolia, Texas, and First Officer Richard Lowe, of San Antonio, Texas, and cabin crew members Pamela Howard of Spring, Texas, Albert Felipe of The Woodlands, Texas, and Regina Ressler of Baytown, Texas, will be recognized for their heroic efforts on Continental Flight 1404 on December 20, 2008. The flight experienced abnormally strong, gusty crosswinds during its takeoff roll and veered off the left side of Denver International Airport Runway 34R. The airplane came to rest in a small ravine and caught fire. Capt. Greene and F/O Lowe, who were riding as passengers on the flight, demonstrated selfless bravery when they risked their lives to evacuate fellow passengers and injured working crewmembers. Their heroic actions helped ensure that there were no fatalities and that all on board were brought to safety.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union, representing nearly 53,000 pilots at 38 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at


CONTACT: ALPA Communications, 703/481-4440 or