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Radar expert Archie Trammell rememberedRadar expert Archie Trammell remembered

Noted aviation safety expert Archie Trammell, who served from 1981 to 1983 as the executive vice president of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, died Feb. 5 at his Mansfield, Texas, home. He was 89. Trammell, a mechanic and a member of the U.S. Coast Guard who earned his wings in the Army Air Corps during World War II, was remembered for his weather expertise, communication skills, and dedication to safety.

During his military posting, Trammell became acquainted with airborne weather radar, which led to other opportunities. After the war, he earned his A&P mechanic certificate and a commercial pilot certificate. He put his new skills to use as a mechanic for American Airlines and followed that up with a degree in journalism.

Trammell served as a staff writer for Flying magazine and as editor-in-chief of Business and Commercial Aviation magazine, where he received an award of excellence from the Aviation/Space Writers Association for his “Weather accidents” article.

In a subsequent position at avionics firm Bendix, he built his impressive understanding of weather radar. He then started AJT Inc., a company that specialized in training pilots to understand the strengths and shortcomings of airborne weather radar. The firm taught pilots and others how to operate weather radar’s many modes of control, interpret weather radar imagery, and apply the knowledge to make safe in-flight weather-avoidance decisions.

Archie TrammellTrammell held highly respected seminars throughout the United States and overseas; wrote articles, books, and safety manuals; and produced videos and DVDs.

While at the AOPA Air Safety Foundation (now the AOPA Air Safety Institute), he wrote a series of bimonthly Air Safety Journals—one aimed at VFR pilots, and another that addressed IFR pilots and procedures. The circulation of these newsletters covered virtually the entire pilot population.

After the Air Safety Foundation, Trammell continued AJT Inc. and achieved worldwide recognition for the depth and clarity of his weather radar presentations. In 2006, Trammell won the National Business Aviation Association’s Award for Meritorious Service to Aviation. The NBAA honor noted that Trammell was a “widely sought-after safety consultant whose lectures…have been used to train pilots who fly the U.S. president and other high government officials, as well as the crews of more than 4,000 business flight departments.”

Trammell is survived by his wife, Mary, and three children.

Thomas A. Horne

Thomas A. Horne

AOPA Pilot Editor at Large
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
Topics: Pilots

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