January 31, 2014

Processing Safe Flight for Six Decades

A global tech company, NCR’s solutions portfolio of software and hardware services range from point-of-sales terminals and ATMs, to barcode scanning systems and mobile technologies that facilitate more than 450 million transactions a day. “By continually learning about – and pioneering – how the world interacts and transacts,” said Jeffrey Michael, NCR’s director of aviation, “we’re helping companies not only reach their goals, but also change the way all of us shop, eat, travel, bank and connect.”

Brothers Frank Jefferson and John Henry Patterson established the National Cash Register Company in Dayton, OH, in 1884. The company’s connection to aviation preceded the aviation department it launched in 1954 with two DC-3s. Until they left in 1914 to start the Dayton Engineering Laboratory Company (Delco), Edward A. Deeds (NCR’s CEO from 1931 to 1957) and Charles F. Kettering (head of NCR’s research laboratory) were NCR executives, and friends and advisors to the Wright brothers.

NCR has had a global presence for most of its existence, said Michael, but its aviation department didn’t provide international travel services required by the executive staff until six or seven years ago. NCR moved its headquarters to Atlanta, GA, in 2009, and the aviation department recently moved its base to a new facility at Kennesaw. “Today we operate a Challenger 300, dry lease a Gulfstream 550, and have another G-550 ready to go into pre-buy that should be operational by December,” said Michael.

Michael credits the aviation department’s founders for establishing the operational culture that has led to six decades of accident-free flying. Starting with the company as a first officer 20 years ago, Michael “had the pleasure of meeting the first director of aviation, Don Keeley, along with other retired pilots and maintenance personnel.” These department pioneers established “the guidelines which we still operate under today: a conservative, safe, professional approach to corporate aviation… with the indisputable support of the entire NCR family.”

Proud to be IS-BAO certified, Michael said the program changed the department’s operations. They are based more on established processes than reactions. Emphasizing that safety is a dynamic endeavor, Michael said “no one company or person can know it all; it’s critical to keep the lines of communication open between fellow aviation departments and corporate aircraft manufacturers and to engage reputable consultants. We’ve been grateful to benchmark with departments like Coca-Cola, Cox Enterprises and Home Depot.”

Ultimately, safety comes down to the people involved. “Today’s group is just as dedicated as the original crews… [and] we’re definitely staffed with highly experienced professionals,” said Michael. Maintenance chief Frank Krafka starts his 25th year in 2014, and “aside from our recent hire, the pilot staff averages 17 years with NCR.”

About NBAA’s Flying Safety Awards

Spectra Energy Corporation received the NBAA 60-Year Safe Flying Achievement Award in 2013 and is just one of many NBAA Member Companies participating in NBAA’s Flying Safety Awards program. For 60 years, NBAA’s Flying Safety Award program has brought worldwide attention to the business aircraft safety record. Your company’s outstanding safety record can be recognized, too. Apply today!