Reflections and Reminiscence

Gary Crump on Dr. Warren Silberman

I first met Warren Silberman in mid-1997 shortly after he retired from the United States Army and his command of the Bliss Army Hospital and Clinic at Fr. Huachuca, AZ.  He was hired as the Manager, Aerospace Medical Certification Division at the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute in Oklahoma City, replacing Dr. Audie Davis who retired after more than 30 years of government service.

We became instant friends, but I can’t claim that as a unique friendship because everyone who met and knows Warren feels the same way---what you see is what you get.  He was a perfect fit for the job of running the FAA’s medical certification operations.

He hit the ground running and started transforming the way the FAA did the business of certification.  His leadership led to the development of the DIWS (Document Imaging Workflow System) that converted the process of managing paper files into electronic medical records.  His down-to-earth approach to certification did much to bring the FAA’s certification policies and procedures into the “real world.”  In fact, he was sometimes in the “principal’s office” explaining his certification decisions to his boss, the Federal Air Surgeon, in Washington, DC. In addition to running the division and all the headaches that go with the job, he also was actively working airmen certification cases along with the other staff physicians and Legal Instrument Examiners.  Every time I saw him at meetings throughout the year, he had his laptop open and was working cases while listening to lectures.  He was a production machine!

When Warren retired from the FAA at the end of 2011, he started his own AME practice and aeromedical consulting service, and AOPA was fortunate indeed to convince him to sign on as our Pilot Protection Services consultant.  Warren is a pilot and AOPA member and we were thrilled to have him working with our PPS medical certification staff in helping all of you, our AOPA members and pilots, with your certification challenges.

In early March, Warren called to inform me that he has accepted a position with the FAA Office of Aerospace Medical Education in the same building at the Aeronautical Center where he was as Manager of AMCD.  Beginning April 4th, he will be working with Dr. Steve Veronneau and his staff in training and supporting the 3,000 Aviation Medical Examiners who perform our flight physicals throughout the US and the world.  We are sad to see Warren go, but I know that Warren’s deep, heartfelt passion for civil aviation medicine education puts him in the right place, and I know Dr. Veronneau and his staff welcome him with open arms.

Warren will continue to be active in the aviation medicine community.  He is the President-Elect of the Civil Aviation Medical Association, and is active in the Aerospace Medical Association, so the medical flying community will continue to reap the benefits of his tremendous enthusiasm and world-renown expertise.

We wish you well, Warren. Thanks for your friendship, the great work you did for AOPA and our members!

Portrait of Gary Crump, AOPA's director of medical certification with a Cessna 182 Skylane at the National Aviation Community Center.
Frederick, MD USA
Gary Crump
Gary is the Director of AOPA’s Pilot Information Center Medical Certification Section and has spent the last 32 years assisting AOPA members. He is also a former Operating Room Technician, Professional Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technician, and has been a pilot since 1973.

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