Death of Robert T. Francis

Honorable Robert T. FRANCIS II, former AAE foreign associate member, died on April 17, 2021, outside of Washington, DC, at the age of 83. Bob held various senior positions within the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), throughout North Africa and Western Europe, including being stationed in Paris for 9 years. In 1995, Bob was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve on the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), where he served as vice chairman. He played a key role in the NTSB’s investigation of the crash involving TWA 800, which crashed 25 years ago, after departing New York and was enroute to Paris. The crash claimed 230 lives. Bob’s command of the French language greatly facilitated interactions with the family members of the French victims, as well as French government officials.

Through his career, he was passionate about improving international aviation safety. He served on the Flight Safety Foundation’s Board of Governors. He also served on the Flight Safety Foundation’s ICARUS Committee, along with AAE members Jean Pinet and Claude Bechet. He was a founding member of the Washington Chapter of the Royal Aeronautical Society. Bob held a commercial pilot certificate, and he loved sailing, skiing, running, and reading. He enjoyed following baseball and professional America football. Known as a gentleman by many, he leaves behind his wife 55 years, two daughters, a son-in-law and two grandchildren.

Robert SUMWALT

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