John DeLeeuw

Safety Background

Captain John DeLeeuw is currently the National Safety Committee Chair of the Allied Pilots Association, which represents the pilots at American Airlines. Prior to that, he was the Senior Manager of Flight Safety at American Airlines (AA) for over five years. He addressed safety assurance programs such as Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA), Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP), and Line Operations Safety Audit (LOSA) as integral elements within the AA Safety Management System. He was responsible for the Flight, Cabin, Maintenance, and Dispatch ASAP, as well as the FOQA program at American Airlines. He planned and managed the Corporate Safety Department's efforts to support American Airlines' commitment to be the world leader in airline safety. While working most closely with the Flight department, he interfaced with all AA departments to proactively identify and develop strategies and practices to prevent accidents and incidents. He also acted as the Party Coordinator in many NTSB investigations regarding American Airlines’ incidents or accidents. He served as Chair of the Airlines for America Flight Safety Committee for over two years as well.

Previous to his management position at American Airlines, John was the Deputy Chairman of the National Safety Committee for the Allied Pilots Association (APA). He was actively involved as the APA Acting Safety Chairman, Lead Accident Investigator for APA, ASAP participant, FOQA participant, and Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST) member. He implemented several safety initiatives benefiting the 15,000 American Airlines pilots, and secured assistance during incidents and accidents for AA crew members throughout the world. He has participated in numerous NTSB investigations, and was the designated APA Party Coordinator in four of them. He developed and prepared the joint AA/APA Fatigue Risk Management Plan (FRMP) for FAA certification. He was also involved with FAA Runway Safety Assessment Team (RSAT), and the aviation industry FAA Joint Implementation Measurement and Data Analysis Team (JIMDAT.)

John currently also works with OPES Solutions Group. OPES SG is involved in the oil/gas industry and medical industry, and uses a comprehensive approach to improve safety, and therefore reliability. They also assist drilling crews on the fundamentals of operating safely in a high risk / high reliability environment.

Flying Experience

John is a current and qualified pilot on the 787 Dreamliner. Previously, John was a Captain on the MD-80, and accumulated over 12,000 hours of experience on this particular aircraft. During his 30-year flying career at American Airlines, he has flown both Domestic and International operations; flying the Boeing 787, the MD80, and the 727. He has amassed 18,000+ accident and incident free flight hours.

Prior to flying at American Airlines, John was a C-130 Hercules Evaluator and Instructor Pilot in the United States Air Force. He participated in Desert Storm and numerous classified Special Operations throughout the world. John worked directly with US Army Special Forces and Navy SEALS flying HALO airdrops, and flying insertions/extractions in combat and covert operations.


University of Southern California, Viterbi School of Engineering
Aviation Safety and Security Certificate

University of Arkansas
Masters in Operations Management, graduating summa cum laude

University of Arizona
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, graduating cum laude

Published on May 4th, 2020

Last updated on September 8th, 2020