James Cash has spent nearly three decades successfully deciphering information from electronic recording devices to help determine the causes of major aviation and other transportation accidents, leading to reforms and greater safety for the traveling public. Working at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Cash is the government’s top expert on cockpit voice recorders—the black box devices that record the voices of pilots, co-pilots and engineers during flights, and are used to help determine the system failures and human errors that cause airplane crashes.
Over the years, Cash has played a pivotal role in the development and use of sophisticated audio, video and data recording devices used to help airlines and other transportation providers determine the causes of accidents, correct serious deficiencies and potentially save countless lives. His job has evolved from extracting information from tape recordings to the use of sophisticated electronic technology.
For his lifetime of work, Cash was a recipient of the 2012 Service to America Medal Career Achievement Award.
Watch how Cash spent his career helping put to rest the mysteries behind some of the nation's most notorious air travel incidents:
Presented to outstanding public servants by the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service, and sponsored in part by Bloomberg, Booz Allen Hamilton, The Boston Consulting Group, Chevron and United Technologies Corporation, the prestigious Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals awards are offered in nine categories. To nominate a federal employee for a 2013 medal go to servicetoamericamedals.org.
The Partnership for Public Service works to revitalize the federal government by inspiring a new generation to serve and by transforming the way government works. Visit ourpublicservice.org for more information.
Want to contribute to this story? Share your addition in comments.