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Education & Professional Profile

Lt Col Ned Linch (USAF retired) is an aviation accident expert witness and accident investigator.  He is a current FAA Certified Flight Instructor in airplanes and gliders (CFIA/CFII/CFIG), a general aviation aircraft owner/pilot, a current 767 major airline pilot based in Atlanta, a glider instructor and glider tow pilot, and a retired USAF F-16 fighter pilot, instructor pilot, and safety officer/accident investigator.

Linch is a decorated combat veteran and recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross for Heroism (Valor device), the USAF's Aviation Valor Award, the Lockheed Martin Semper Viper award, and two Air Medals for F-16 missions flown over Iraq. He is also a Distinguished Graduate from both Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT) and F-16 pilot training.  Linch has also earned numerous awards for his work as a safety officer and accident investigator.

He has a diversified aviation background which runs the flying gamut from general aviation to the airlines to extensive experience in the USAF flying fighters. He earned a Master of Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Bachelor of Aviation Management from Auburn University. Linch is also a graduate of the USAF's flight safety officer course (conducted by the Southern California Safety Institute) where he learned to investigate aircraft accidents, study human factors, and create safety programs. Not only does he have the degrees, training and experience, he’s been an adjunct aviation management professor at Auburn University and a general aviation airport authority board member.

In addition, he holds an ATP (Air Transport Pilot certificate...the highest level pilot license) with an FAA "type rating" for the Boeing 737, 757, and 767.  In addition to being an FAA Certified Flight Instructor, he has commercial pilot privileges for Single Engine Land & Sea, Multiengine Sea, and Glider aircraft.  He has over 7000 hours of total flying time and over 30 years of flight experience including over 2100 hours in the F-16. Linch stays current and qualified in aerobatics, instruments, and mountain flying.

Linch has a keen interest in human factors in aviation, pilot fatigue, and midair collision avoidance. He is an accomplished expert in aviation accident causation and aircraft safety issues. He has been a featured author in Air Force and Navy safety magazines and the EAA's Sport Aviation magazine.

He founded Aces Aero to provide aviation consulting to include aviation expert witness & accident investigations, safety program development, and flight instruction using the concepts he developed in the USAF that have application to all pilots from general aviation to the airlines.

Linch has real-world aircraft accident investigative experience with military and civilian aircraft and has the expertise to determine the root cause of any aircraft accident.   


Formal Education

Master of Aeronautical Science 07/98, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Honors: "graduated with Distinction", 4.0 GPA (4.0 scale)

Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management 06/85, Auburn University, High Honor Graduate, Deanʼs Honor Roll, 3.9 GPA (4.0 scale)

Professional Military Education

Air War College, United States Air Force, Jan 2007
Squadron Officer School, United States Air Force, Dec 1985

Safety and Human Factors Training

Southern California Safety Institute, USAF Safety Center, Flight Safety Officer Course and Accident Board Training:
Accident investigation, analysis and report writing, safety program development, and human factors training.

FAA Certificates

  • Flight Instructor, Single Engine, Instrument, Glider (CFIA, CFII, CFIG)
  • Airline Transport Pilot, Multi-engine Land, Boeing 737, 757, and 767
  • Commercial Pilot Single Engine Land & Sea, Multi-engine Sea, and Glider
  • Tail wheel pilot endorsement
  • Glider tow pilot endorsement
  • Flight Engineer, Turbojet powered
  • Advance Ground Instructor (AGI)
  • Instrument Ground Instructor (IGI)
  • Radio Telephone Permit: Restricted

All Aircraft Flown

  • F-16 (Instructor & Flight Lead)
    • F-16C Block 25, 30, 32, 40, and 42
    • F-16D Block 25, 30, 32, 40, and 42
    • F-16B
  • Boeing 767, FAA type rated
  • Boeing 757, FAA type rated
  • Boeing 737-700/800, FAA type rated
  • MD-88
  • Boeing 727
  • Vans RV-4 experimental (owner and operator)
  • Vans RV-6
  • Vans RV-8
  • AT-38
  • T-38
  • T-37
  • T-43
  • F-111A
  • F-111E
  • Maule M7-235 Super Rocket seaplane
  • TwinBee UC-1 seaplane-amphibious
  • Piper Super Cub seaplane (PA-18)
  • Piper Cub (PA-18)
  • Cessna 152,172N, 175
  • Piper PA-28: Arrow II (PA28R-180), Archer II (PA28-181), Warrior II (PA28-161 and PA28-151), Cherokee (PA28-140) 
  • Piper PA25-235 Pawnee (glider tow plane/crop duster)
  • Piper Tomahawk (PA38-112)
  • Piper Seminole (PA44-180)
  • Riley (RY-65)
  • Pitts Special (S-2)
  • Harmon Rocket experimental
  • Extra 300
  • DeHavilland Beaver on floats
  • Ford Tri-motor
  • Grumman Tiger
  • Beechcraft Bonanza
  • M-Squared Light Sport seaplane
  • Schleicher Ka-7 glider
  • Scheibe SF-34 glider
  • Schweizer SGS 2-33A glider 
  • Schempp-Hirth Standard Cirrus glider
  • Grob 103 aerobatic glider
  • MDM-1 Fox aerobatic glider
  • Pilatus B4-PC11 aerobatic glider
  • Blanik L-13A glider
  • Blanik L-23 glider
  • Schempp-Hirth Duo Discus glider


"Best flight safety officer I’ve seen..his contributions have had a nation-wide impact!"

- Lt General Seip, 12thAir Force Commander - 2008. 
Davis-Monthan AFB, Tucson, Arizona

"Epitome of today’s totally involved safety officer—my #1 of 8 flight safety officers."

- Brig Gen Barry -- 56th Fighter Wing Commander - 1998. 
Luke AFB, Phoenix, Arizona

"Safety officer extraordinaire…put squadron on right track for combat. Top 1% of all pilots/safety officers I’ve seen in 20 years.
My #1 flight lead in combat…leadership evidenced by the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross for Valor in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM."

- Col Clarke - 187th Fighter Wing Commander - 2003.
Alabama Air Guard, Montgomery, Alabama