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Shawn Pruchnicki

Lecturer, Center for Aviation Studies, The Ohio State University

Shawn currently a faculty member at The Ohio State University where he teaches aviation safety,human factors, accident investigation and complex aircraft operation for the Department of Aviation. Other teaching responsibilities have included teaching cognitive engineering for the Industrial Systems Engineering Department and clinical toxicology for the College of Pharmacy. Shawn also functions as an independent contractor/Research Engineer for San Jose State University at NASA Ames in addition to work performed in his own company, Human Factors Investigation and Education. Prior to coming to OSU, he flew as a Captain with Comair Airlines (Delta Connection) for 10 years flying the Canadair CL-65 regional jetliner. He has over 4,000 hours of flight time of which3,000 is turbojet and has a type rating in the CRJ in addition to both ATP multi and commercial single engine. He is also a CFI, CFII and MEI and has given approximately 800 hours of flight instruction.

Shawn was extensively involved with both local and national safety work for the Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA) and held many national and local positions including Director of Human Factors, local safety committee Vice-Chair, and both Assistant Chief and Chief Accident Investigator for ALPA at Comair. He has also served on or co-chaired several national aviation working groups with the FAA. With ALPA, he has worked numerous accident investigations with the NTSB including the Comair 5191 Lexington, KY accident where he was ALPA’s principle human factors investigator. He was recently featured in the film documentary “Sole Survivor” to be released in the fall 2012.

Shawn graduated from the Ohio State University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and before he began his career in aviation he worked as a licensed pharmacist for 10 years at the Central Ohio Poison Control Center in Columbus, specializing in the field of toxicology. He has been Board certified as a Specialist in Poison Information (CSPI) since 1991 and still works actively in the discipline of toxicology. During this time, he was also a paramedic and firefighter with Jackson Township Fire Department in Grove City, Ohio. Since 1990, he has published and presented to regional, national and international audiences in both the fields of toxicology and aviation.


  • –present
    Lecturer, Center for Aviation Studies, The Ohio State University