image of plane at night on runway

Christopher L. Field

Educational and Professional Background

  • 1994 — B. S. Aeronautical Science, Parks College, Saint Louis University
  • 1994 — Certified FAA Commercial Pilot, SE, ME, Instrument
  • 1996 — Designated Naval Flight Officer, U.S. Navy
  • 2001 — Fleet Replacement Squadron Flight Instructor, U.S. Navy
  • 2007-2010 — Aircraft Mishap Investigator, U.S. Navy
  • 2010 -2015 — Professor Naval Science, University of Texas
  • 2012-Present — Aviation Consulting, Expert Witness Practice

Areas of Expertise

Accident investigation and reconstruction, aeronautical judgment, aircraft system and subsystem failure analysis, avionics, aircraft maintenance and product liability, control flight into terrain (CFIT), deep and shallow water aircraft salvage, flight dynamics, airmanship, airworthiness, digital and mechanical flight controls, pilot or crew training, pilot or crew performance, FAA regulations, failure analysis, flight plan reconstruction, air traffic control procedures, human factors engineering, military aircraft accidents and mishaps, spatial disorientation and weather factors.

Associated Areas of Expertise

Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS), economic evaluation of the loss of life, helicopter accidents or mishaps, cognitive witness interview, and ejection seat performance analysis.

Related Aviation Experience

  • FAA Commercial Pilot
  • Single and Multi-Engine, Land Aircraft, Pilot
  • Instrument Pilot
  • Functional Check Flight Naval Flight Officer (NFO)
  • Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures
  • Standardization (NATOPS) Instructor
  • Aviation Safety Officer, U.S. Navy
  • U.S. Navy Certified Accident Investigator
  • Cockpit Resource Management Instructor

Aircraft Accident and Mishap Investigation Experience

As the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) designated United States Naval Aircraft Mishap Investigator, was lead investigator in a multitude of complex aircraft mishaps, both rotary-wing and fixed-wing. Supervised the engineering investigations of material components and engines pertaining to each mishap. Superintended the extraction of non-volatile memory sources, including but not limited to flight data recorders. Lead investigator for two underwater salvage aircraft accident investigations, one deep-water salvage (greater than 6000’ depth) and one shallow water (approximately 250’). Types of investigations included engine material failures, fuel line material failures, aircrew human factors, spatial disorientation, hard landing, mid-air collision, and bird strike.

Aircraft Mishap Investigation Experience

AV-8B (2)
EA-6B (2)
F/A-18E (2)

Professional Flight Experience

Over 2000 flight hours, Instrument Rated, FAA Commercial/Instrument Airplane Single Engine/Multi Engine Land Ratings, Commercial Pilot, Military Instrument Check Instructor, NATOPS Instructor (EA-6B), Functional Check Flight (EA-6B), 104 combat missions, Iraq and Kosovo.


B.S., Aeronautical Science, Parks College of Saint Louis University, 1994. Professional piloting degree with courses in engineering, meteorology, finance, and aircraft maintenance.

Additional Training

NTSB Cognitive Interview/Fatigue Course (32 hours). Provides the foundational knowledge and skills needed to conduct cognitive interviews (CI) of participants in, and witnesses to, transportation incidents or accidents. Emphasis on the cognitive interviewing technique to maximize the amount and quality of information obtained during investigative interviews. NTSB Academy, Ashburn, VA, February 2009.

NTSB Accident Investigation Orientation (16 hours). Provides detailed training on how the Safety Board investigates major aircraft accidents and expectations of participants in an investigation. NTSB Academy, Ashburn, VA, March 2008.

Helicopter Aeronautics and Systems (48 hours). Helicopter aerodynamics and systems. Also, practical flight experience in techniques as autorotation, hover, takeoff and landings. NAS Whiting Field, FL, September 2007.

Jet Engine Mishap Investigation Course (9 days). Provides design and construction variations of jet engines, to include small, large, and turbo fan engines, as needed for mishap investigation. Policies and procedures of investigation, fluid system contamination, and identification of material failures. Identification and causes of engine failures in relation to compressor and turbine failures, identification of over temperature damage, identification of bearing failures, and a comparison on in-flight and post-impact fire damage. Engine power analysis procedure and temperature analysis. In-depth inspection of crash damaged engines and components and jet engine case history studies. Sheppard AFB, TX, August 2007.

Aviation Safety Officer Course (23 days). Prepares aviation safety officers to assist commanders and commanding officers in conducting aggressive mishap prevention programs and investigate mishaps, organize and administer a squadron mishap prevention program, identify hazards, manage risks and analyze safety information. Naval Air Station, Pensacola, FL, June 2007.

Professional Membership

  • International Society of Air Safety Investigators
  • International Air and Transportation Safety Bar Association
  • Lawyer Pilots Bar Association
  • Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
  • Experimental Aircraft Association

Awards and Honors

  • Navy Air Medal (two/seven)
    • Two Individual awards, Seven Strike Flight and Bronze V for Valor
  • Navy Commendation Medal (three)
    • Served as Flag Electronic Warfare Officer with Carrier Strike Group Five (two)
    • Served as Mishap Investigator at the Naval Safety Center (one)
  • Navy Achievement Medal (three)
    • Served as VAQ-134 Division Officer and Assistant Safety Officer
    • Detachment Officer In Charge for Carrier Qualification
    • Served Fleet Replacement Squadron Instructor, VAQ-129


  • P. B. Field and C .L. Field, PowerPoint™ presentation to the Greater St Louis Business Aviation Association, "Father and Son Experiences on Ejecting from Jet Aircraft," 14 May 2016.
  • C. L. Field, PowerPoint presentation to the Ejection Seat Fleet Maintainers Conference, Personal Ejection Account, Phoenix, AZ, April 2010.
  • C. L. Field, PowerPoint presentation to the NASA Mishap Investigation: Field Phase and Analysis Technical Interchange Meeting and Training, Naval Safety Center Aircraft Accident Investigation Process and Technique, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, September 2009.
  • C. L. Field, PowerPoint presentation to the CAD/PAD International Logistics Meeting, Personal Ejection Account, Indian Head, MD, May 2009.

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Christopher L. Field
Aviation Consultant

18043 Pine Canyon Ct.
Chesterfiled, MO 63005


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