Wings Magazine

Former U.S. astronaut Kelly to keynote key NBAA event

Washington, D.C. - The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) announced today that Capt. Mark Edward Kelly, U.S. Navy (retired) and a former astronaut, will be the keynote speaker at NBAA’s 2015 Flight Attendants/Flight Technicians (FAFT2015) Conference, which runs June 30 to July 2 at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Ariz.

May 8, 2015  By NBAA

Kelly is a highly decorated war hero who flew combat missions in Iraq and also is a former NASA astronaut. His dedication to teamwork, leadership, communication and family are matched only by his unwavering commitment to succeed.

“Capt. Kelly’s remarks will focus on how FAFT2015 attendees can use their specialized training and experience to overcome obstacles and succeed in tough situations,” said Elaine Lapotosky, director of operations for Jet Professionals and NBAA Flight Attendants Committee chairwoman. “Maintaining a  calm approach, staying focused and adhering to the highest professional standards are hallmark traits cabin crews need to display at all times. Capt. Kelly personifies the same traits, and we are honoured that he will be sharing his story with us.”

As an astronaut, Kelly flew on four space shuttle missions; two as commander, including the Endeavor’s last mission in May 2011. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering and nautical science from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, from which he graduated in 1986 with the highest honours. He received a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1994.

Most recently, Kelly, along with his twin brother Scott, are involved in NASA’s unprecedented Human Research Program (HRP) project to study the human effects of long-term spaceflight. Scott Kelly is spending a year in space aboard the space station during what will be the longest space mission ever assigned an astronaut, while Mark Kelly will go about his life in Arizona. Since the brothers are genetically identical, NASA has a rare opportunity to compare the effects of long-term space flight on Scott against Mark’s genetic code. HRP’s mission is to reduce the risk to astronauts during long-duration space flight.


Kelly became a naval aviator in December 1987, receiving his initial flight training in the A-6E Intruder attack aircraft. His many service awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal and the Navy Commendation Medal.

“We are honoured to have Capt. Kelly as our FAFT2015 keynote speaker,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “His remarks and personal insights will prove both inspirational and highly instructive to all those in attendance.”

Hundreds of flight attendants and flight technicians are expected to attend this 20th annual FAFT Conference for three days of educational training, networking with industry peers and leaders and face-to-face meetings with scores of vendors offering products and services to help them work better and more efficiently.


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