Richard Loudon


Captain Rich Loudon began his 37-year aviation career as a United States Naval Aviator flying the T-34C, T-2, TA-4, FA-18, F-14, T-45, and C-9B aircraft. Serving as a Combat Mission Commander during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Lieutenant Commander Loudon retired after 20 years of service, three Western Pacific deployments aboard the USS Constellation (CV-64), and 265 carrier landings. He additionally served on tours of duty as an operational test pilot, testing emerging weapons systems and next-generation strike-fighter aircraft and flying fleet logistics support missions in the Asia-Pacific and European theaters.

Captain Loudon transitioned to commercial aviation flying for Alaska Airlines based in Seattle, Washington. He has flown over 12,000 hours in the Boeing 727, MD-80, and 737-400/700/800/900/Max aircraft. He has been a Flight Instructor and Check Airman for over two decades and is currently an Instructor Evaluator. Captain Loudon has led Crew Resource Management, Threat and Error Management, and Human Factors research, development, and training for 15 years and currently heads the Human Factors Working Group. He was recently honored with the 2023 Alaska Legend Award for his distinguished contributions to the company and the aviation industry.

Rich has served on the Human Factors subcommittee for the FAA Research, Engineering, and Development Advisory Committee and has spoken at numerous national and international conferences such as WATS/AQP, InfoShare, the Air Safety Forum, the Industry Human Factors Roundtable, and the Flight Safety Foundation Safety Forum. Rich was awarded the Royal Aeronautical Society’s 2021 Roger Green Human Factors Medal for his partnership with airlines worldwide, incorporating the novel threat-forward briefing concept he introduced to the industry.

Additionally, Captain Loudon operates a Safety Consulting company specializing in advancing organizational safety culture through high-performing teams. Rich is originally from the Seattle area and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Atmospheric Science from the University of Washington.

Published on September 10th, 2021

Last updated on August 4th, 2023