SEATTLE, Oct. 1, 2009--The Museum of Flight takes crime scene investigation techniques to airplane accidents in a program Oct. 17 with John Purvis, University of Washington alumnus and internationally recognized authority in large aircraft safety and accident investigation. During his 17 years leading the Boeing Commercial Aircraft accident investigation team, Purvis delved into the mysteries of hundreds of incidents, including the world's worst single aircraft accident--the crash of a Japan Airlines 747 in 1985 that killed all but four of the 524 persons onboard. Purvis describes each assignment as "an opportunity to learn a lesson, a way to prevent further tragedies." The presentation is at 2 p.m. in the William M. Allen Theater, and is free with admission to the Museum.
Purvis' program will highlight some of his most dramatic assignments, including the six months he spent engaged in the investigation of the 1985 Japan Airlines crash. His assignments have taken him to accident scenes throughout the world, where he has had to not only dissect the causes for each incident, but also deal with the personal tragedies of crash survivors and their families. His work has helped saved countless lives as the investigations have lead to safer air travel through improvements including aircraft designs, flying techniques, and air traffic control operations.
Purvis retired from Boeing at the end of 1998; subsequently he and business partner Kevin Darcy established an aviation safety consulting business, Safety Services International. He has spoken at government and industry safety meetings throughout the world and has served as panelist and speaker at many industry meetings and conferences as well as authoring numerous technical papers and articles. Purvis has also taught accident investigation courses for numerous customers, including the FAA's Transportation Safety Institute, and has served as a panel member at the Airline Pilot Association basic accident investigation class.
Image: John Purvis. Courtesy John Purvis.