Safety Pioneer, Philanthropist Randall Greene Dies

He was Safe Flight Instrument Corp.'s leader for nearly two decades, a long-time chairman of Corporate Angel Network, and a pilot who amassed 9,500 hours i

Randall Greene, who steered Safe Flight Instrument Corp. for nearly two decades and was a past chairman of the Corporate Angel Network (CAN), died on September 29 after a prolonged battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

In 2001, Greene took over the company that his father, inventor Leonard Greene, had founded in 1946. The younger Greene served as president and CEO and expanded Safe Flight Instrument's mission of safety innovation regarding flight performance systems, becoming a leading supplier of instrumentation and safety systems for general and business aviation, and commercial and military fixed-wing and rotorcraft.

That company has pioneered safety enhancements involving AoA, stall warning, landing and approach indicators, automatic throttle systems, wind shear recovering guides, and safe takeoff rotation computation, among others.

A pilot who amassed 9,500 hours in 270 aircraft types, Randall Greene earned degrees from Boston University, General Theological Seminary, and Yale University. Born the year before Safe Flight was established, he began his aviation career as a charter and U.S. Forest Service pilot in Taos, New Mexico.

He later joined Bendix—General Aviation Avionics Division as a program manager and engineering test pilot and served as director of international government relations for AlliedSignal Aerospace. Both businesses are now part of Honeywell. 

In 1988, he founded Commander Aircraft Company in Oklahoma City after acquiring the type certificates of the former Rockwell Commander single-engine 112/114 series of aircraft from Gulfstream Aerospace. By 1991, he had led a successful public offering of the company, and he later serviced as president of flight test and marketing consulting company Aeronautical Systems Corporation in Boulder, Colorado, before joining Safe Flight Instrument.

Over the years, he garnered 19 U.S. patents, won numerous awards for his safety innovation and charitable contributions, and became an associate fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and an FAA-designated test pilot for FAR Part 23, 25, 27, and 29 aircraft.

He was long affiliated with CAN, which arranges transportation aboard business jets for cancer patients to and from hospitals, serving as chairman and then chairman emeritus. He also was a former vice-chairman of the board of the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum.

Greene handed over the role of president of Safe Flight to Matthew Greene in 2019, carrying on the family tradition. Earlier this year, the company was sold to Loar Group.