Release #12.34
August 9, 2012

Capt. William de Groh Receives ALPA’s Air Safety Award
Saginaw, Texas, Pilot Recognized for Outstanding Leadership

WASHINGTON—The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), will recognize Capt. William “Bill” de Groh with its 2011 Air Safety Award for his outstanding commitment to advancing air transportation safety. The award, which is the Association’s highest safety honor, will be presented to Capt. de Groh at ALPA’s 58th Air Safety Forum in Washington, D.C.

“Ever since attending the ALPA Basic Safety School in 2001, Capt. de Groh has been actively and integrally involved with ALPA safety activities at the local, Master Executive Council, national, or international levels,” said Capt. Lee Moak, ALPA’s president. “His focused dedication to aviation safety and his unwavering willingness to serve when asked exemplifies the ALPA spirit of volunteerism and sets a high standard for excellence in aviation safety.”

After earning a degree in aerospace engineering, Capt. de Groh joined McDonnell Douglas as a flight test engineer and worked on projects for the Harrier “jump jet” and the F/A-18 Hornet. He left the corporate world in 1999 and joined American Eagle Airlines, where he is now a captain on the Embraer.

His background in engineering offered a logical transition into his volunteer work at ALPA, where he has served as an accident investigator for American Eagle, chairman of the ALPA Aircraft Design and Operations Group, and chairman of the Aircraft Design and Operations Committee for the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations.

In 2004 he was named director of ALPA Aircraft Performance Programs, and in 2005 Capt. de Groh presented a paper on rejected takeoffs at the Flight Safety Foundation’s International Aviation Safety Seminar in Moscow. He also testified as an expert at the National Transportation Safety Board’s public hearing regarding Southwest Airlines’ landing overrun accident at Chicago Midway Airport in December 2005.

Capt. de Groh has briefed organizations worldwide on topics that included wake turbulence, runway incursions, landing distances, and rejected takeoffs. He has also authored or assisted in writing many articles on aviation safety and was a member of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Aviation Rulemaking Committee on Takeoff and Landing Performance Assessment.

“Capt. de Groh’s dedication and experience have served the American Eagle pilots with whom he so proudly flies,” said Capt. Moak, “as well as the ALPA pilots with whom he interacts every day. His commitment to aviation safety touches every professional aviator in the skies today.”

The Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents more than 53,000 pilots at 37 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at


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