Dr. Charles Billings
1929 – 2010

                The aviation human factors community lost a highly respected member and friend when Dr. Charles "Charlie" Billings passed away on August 30th, 2010.
                During his 60-year career, Dr. Billings worked as a physician, flight surgeon, and teacher.  For the past 17 years, he also was an Emeritus Professor at Ohio State, where he worked on cognitive systems engineering and human factors research.

                Dr. Billings earned international recognition for his expertise in aviation medicine and human factors.  His research has been highlighted in scores of professional publications, books, and lectures.  He earned many honors, including president of the Aerospace Medical Association, Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and two-time NASA Leadership Award designee. He served as a consultant on the United Aircraft Corporation Apollo Project and lectured at prestigious institutions around the world.

                Born in Boston, Dr. Billings studied at the Eastman School of Music, Wesleyan University; Ohio State University (where he received a Master of Science) and New York University (earning a Doctor of Medicine).  He was drafted into the Air Force and attended the USAF School of Aviation Medicine, becoming a squadron flight surgeon.  Later, he received graduate training in aviation and occupational medicine at OSU and  taught there for 15 years.  After joining NASA, he became chief of Aviation Safety Research and was later selected a Fellow and Chief Scientist before retiring.  His numerous honors include President of the Aerospace Medical Association, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and a two-time NASA leadership award designee.

                Dr. Billings had broad interests in civil aviation and passenger health in air travel, researching such topics as the effects of alcohol on pilot performance.  He also was principal initiator of the NASA Air Safety Reporting System (ASRS), which has since formed the basis of similar safety systems in 11 nations.  He was a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and an Associate Fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and an Emeritus member of the International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine.