Department of Aviation & Safety

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Captain A. J. Tolbert

Captain Tolbert has headed the Department of Aviation and Safety at Florida Memorial University since August 2008. He was born and raised in the small town of Williston, South Carolina. He graduated from the University of South Carolina with honors and a degree in geography in 1975; earned a masters degree in safety from the University of Central Missouri in 1978; and earned a doctorate in safety engineering from Warren National University in 2007. He received his flight training in the United States Air Force where he flew the KC 135 and was an instructor pilot in the T-37.

He was hired by American Airlines in 1987 and earned the rank of captain in 2000. He retired from American Airlines on September 2008 after 21 years of service. He has type ratings on the Boeing 727, the Boeing 737, the MD-80, the MD-11, and the Airbus 300 and has logged over 15,000 hours of flight time.

He is the 2005 recipient of the Lt General Harold L. George Civilian Airmanship Award from the Order of Daedalians for heroic acts and outstanding airmanship during an engine fire after takeoff on July 30, 2005. This award is presented annually to the pilot, copilot and/or crew of a United States certified commercial airline selected by a Federal Aviation committee to have demonstrated ability, judgment and/or heroism above and beyond normal operational requirements.

In addition, Captain Tolbert was awarded the 2007 Order of the Eagles Trophy which is the highest honor bestowed upon a crewmember by the American Airlines flight department.

Captain Tolbert teaches Flight Safety, Aviation Weather, Crew Resource Management, Multi Engine Aircraft Systems and Navigation and Performance.