Jacksonville, Fla.—Jacksonville University’s Davis Aviation Center and Aviation Advisory Board are honored to welcome Andy Downs, an aviation security expert and author, who will present a lecture entitled “Hijacking & Hostages: The Need for Law Enforcement and Aviation Crews to Work Together” on Friday, Oct. 21 at 10:30 a.m. in Gooding Auditorium on campus. The event is free and open to the public.
The event marks the 40th anniversary of the first fatal aircraft hijacking in America. Downs will discuss the events that led to the death of his father—Captain Brent Down and Susan Giffe, the estranged wife of hijacker George Giffe, Jr. He will discuss the concurrent role and necessary communication required between law enforcement and flight crews that could prevent future tragedies, such as the one that took the life of his father.
“We are thrilled to welcome Andy to our campus,” said Dr. Juan Merkt, director of aeronautics. “This topic is a growing concern and an important one for our students to better understand. Our goal is to prepare them for any kind of situation they encounter in the industry and Andy will give them a great start.”
Downs has spent more than 20 years as a pilot and air charter owner. He has written extensively on aviation security issues and hijackings. Downs currently lectures and trains law enforcement organizations, universities and other niche groups about aviation security. His goal is to educate first responders about the unique environment and challenges aviation present. He is currently producing the documentary “58 November” for PBS. For more information, and to view the trailer, visit 58November.com.
For more information, contact Daryl Hickman at (904) 256-7434.