Physician and Business Flyer Dick Karl Will Be Keynote Speaker at NBAA’s New Light Business Airplane Exhibition and Conference

Contact: Dan Hubbard at (202) 783-9360 or

Washington, DC, November 24, 2008 –The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today announced that Dr. Richard (Dick) Karl, nationally recognized cancer surgeon and business airplane owner and pilot, will be a featured speaker at the opening of the inaugural Light Business Airplane Exhibition & Conference (LBA2009).

Karl is well known in medicine for applying the exacting safety standards used in aviation to hospital settings. He serves as chairman of the Department of Surgery and director of the Division of Surgical Oncology at the University Of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa, FL. He also is a senior member of the Moffitt Cancer Center team.

“No question about it, I’m an avid flyer,” Karl said, “And the significant advances in aviation safety over the past 30 years convinced me that the successful lessons learned in the cockpit could translate to the operating room.”

As a result, he founded the Surgical Safety Institute (SSI). With human factors expert Bill Taggart, SSI’s Director of Training Programs and Research, and his wife Cathy Karl as principal, the institute includes medical and aviation experts and an advisory panel of experienced physicians, clinicians, nurses and commercial airline pilots. 

SSI provides training, software and support based on the principles and systems developed in safety-critical fields like aviation and the submarine service to hospital and surgical safety groups nationwide – a growing field that Karl said “has given me a new perspective on business aviation.”

Karl uses a twin-engine turboprop Cheyenne for business missions in support of the organization he founded. “Having my own plane means I can conduct sessions and make presentations in several smaller communities in a single day,” he said.

Karl’s lifelong passion for small airplanes led him to contribute a regular column called “Gear Up” in Flying magazine. He has also written about the validity of looking to aviation safety systems to reduce medical errors in hospital and surgical suite settings.

In a well-known paper, “Staying Safe: Simple Tools for Safe Surgery,” published in 2007 in the Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons, Karl wrote that “my own lifelong interest in surgery and in flying has led to some rather obvious comparisons between the two.” One of them is that in aviation the assumption of “to err is human…underlies the systems designed to detect potential errors, to ‘trap’ them and, if they still occur, to correct them before harm occurs.”

Karl’s passion for safety and flying reflect key themes of the inaugural LBA2009 event, where he will be an Opening General Session keynote speaker along with another small business airplane owner and pilot, Richard Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes magazine.

NBAA’s inaugural Light Business Airplane Exhibition & Conference will be held from Thursday March 12 through Saturday, March 14, 2009, in San Diego, CA. The LBA2009 exhibit hall at the San Diego Convention Center will host Exhibitors and Attendees involved in nearly every aspect of light business airplane use.

LBA2009 also will include a Static Display of Airplanes just minutes from the convention center, at Landmark Aviation Services on San Diego International Airport (SAN).  The static display will feature approximately 50 aircraft, ranging from light jets, to turboprops, to pistons.

Those wishing to participate in NBAA’s first Light Business Airplane Exhibition & Conference should make plans to attend today. Anyone wishing to attend or exhibit can register online at, by contacting NBAA at 1-800-928-4283 (1-800-9-AVIATE) or by e-mail at

Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association, Inc. (NBAA) is the leading organization for companiesthat rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than8,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention,the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at

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