Bert Botta

Captain TWA/NetJets (ret)

4 Michael Drive, Petaluma, CA 94954

415.320.9811 cell




Personal Statement: What if you could find an Aviation Expert Witness who was not only a former Major Airline Captain and Pilot Instructor but also a Captain for the World’s Largest Corporate Jet Charter Company?

What if that same person was a Licensed Professional Counselor who had a private practice consisting of airline flight crews and aviation professionals?

Would this person be someone who could give you the kind of in-depth, up close and personal assessments of just about any kind of aviation case?

You get all this and more when you hire me!

  • TWA Captain: 16000 hours flying experience
  • NetJets Captain (World’s largest Corporate Jet Charter Company)
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (MO, FL, NM)
  • Professional Standards Committee Chairman (Airline Pilots Assoc)
  • Professional Standards Committee Chairman (NetJets)
  • Designated FAA Line Check Airman (Instructor pilot)
  • Certified FAA Flight Instructor
  • Expert Aviation Witness experience
  • Aviation Industry Consultant
  • Author, Aviation Writer, Podcaster

In addition to my 35 years of world-wide experience as an international Airline Captain I’m a rare combination of Aviation Expert Witness skills since I’m intimately familiar with the psychological and emotional makeup of aviation professionals. These kind of skills can help bring a quicker, more profitable and complete resolution to your aviation cases.



(1) 2/2/21 MARIA A. CARUANA, ESQ.

Law Offices of John A. Biard,

401 Lennon Lane, Suite 125,

Walnut Creek, California  94598

(925) 945-4491


During a transport from the SFO International Airport to the layover hotel, the vehicle in which the Delta First Officer was riding collided with another vehicle and the First Officer sustained a leg injury.

I was called in to review the case and attempt to validate whether the First Officer’s claims were or were not valid that he was unable to perform his duties for Delta Airline and whether he should be awarded approximately $2 million dollars in damages.

After 7 months of deliberation, and prior to my being deposed, the case was settled out of court.

(2) 9/21/21 ERIN JORDAN

C/O Lewis Brisbois

6385 South Rainbow Blvd.

Suite 600, Las Vegas, NV 89118

T: 702.693.4354 

F: 702.893.3789


On 9/7/21 I was asked to respond, in rebuttal form, to the Initial Expert Disclosure and Lost Earning Capacity report of an Alaska Airline pilot who was seeking damages for his not being able to continue his flying career due to medical problems.

I determined that much of this report appeared to be based on speculation by a person unfamiliar with aviation.

In my rebuttal, over the subsequent days and research based on my experience, I opined that the Alaska Airline pilot would be medically capable and qualified to continue his flying career at a company like NetJets or Flexjet.

The case is under continuing investigation and I await the possibility of being deposed.


(3) PrivateAviation, 2004. I was hired as an Expert Aviation Consultant to work with Sheryl Barden, CEO of Aviation Personnel International, to investigate a private jet captain who was purported to be conducting private jet flights recklessly and endangering his high-profile clients.

PrivateAviation Report: Flight Crew of 400TK.

Re: Mr. Robert Frey 5/4/04 letter

CASE OVERVIEW (Aircraft number and locations are fictional)

On May 19th and 20th, 2004, myself and Ms. Sheryl Barden of Aviation Personnel International met with the flight crew of a Gulfstream III aircraft in a hotel at the Van Nuys airport.

This meeting and subsequent ones were conducted to ascertain whether allegations that the Captain of 400TK was flying recklessly and endangering the lives of his high profile passengers were true or false.

What emerged from these interviews were two different realities of the
presenting problems. The one reality, separate and apart from the other four people interviewed, was that the Captain of 400TK saw no problem with his behavior and approach to safety.

He admitted no fault with his behavior as the PIC of 400TK. He in no way indicated that how he conducted his flights was either unsafe or inhibited the safe, effective flow of information between the crew members of 400TK.

On the other hand, there was unanimous agreement among the remaining four members of the 400TK team that the Captain was much less than a safe, competent, effective leader and, in fact, was dangerous to the safety of flight.

The remaining four team members cited numerous, corroborative yet dissimilar examples of how the captain’s behavior contributed to an unsafe and uncommunicative work environment.

My Conclusions:

It is my personal opinion, based on my thirty-five years as a commercial pilot, twenty six of those years as a pilot and Captain for TWA, as chairman of the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) Professional Standards Committee at TWA for three years, as the founding Chairman of the NetJets Professional Standards Committee and as a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Missouri with a past private practice in the city of St. Louis, as an expert witness in a number of aviation related court cases, that Captain xxxxxxx constitutes a major hazard to safety when he is operating, in any capacity, as a crew member of an aircraft.

In addition, I believe that, based on the two days of interviews with the
other crew members of 400TK, who exemplify the kind of people who I would be privileged and honored to serve on the flight deck with, that Captain xxxxxx lacks the kind of ethics and value system that would in any way enhance the image that PrivateAviation or any other company wishes to project to its clients.

My opinion of Captain xxxxxxx unethical behavior is based on testimony that surfaced in the latter phases of our interviews. I would be happy to share this in private should you so desire.

My Recommendations:

I recommended the termination of Captain xxxxxxx. Should PrivateAviation wish to give Captain xxxxxx a second chance, I recommend he be given a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation and subsequent psychotherapy before attempting to return him to flight status in any capacity and with any other company.

I recommend this because of my concern for the safety of anyone who would happen to find themselves in the same cockpit or cabin with him in his present state of mind.

I also have compassion for a man who apparently is absent any semblance of a life outside of an aircraft cockpit. I would hope that, through psychotherapy, Captain xxxxxxx could begin the process of looking at how his behavior and lack of personal responsibility for the effect of his actions on others affects the very lives of those he attempts to control.   

Beyond this, I strongly recommend that the FAA be notified of Captain
xxxxxxx disregard for the reporting requirements of his alternative
therapies and other medical treatments. I also recommend a complete first class flight physical be given to him by a doctor designated by the FAA to do so.

Respectfully submitted,

Captain Bert Botta

(4) Eastern Airlines (EAL) PEER program (Pilot Employment and Referral Service), Miami, FL. I was hired to determine the need for counseling and intervention to relieve stress as a result of the deterioration of Eastern Airline pilots working conditions during Frank Lorenzo’s takeover of EAL.

(5) US Airways Professional Standards Committee, Pittsburg, PA. Over a period of 5 days, I was hired to teach principles of stress reduction to the US Airways pilot and flight attendant Professional Standard Committee Chairmen in their dealings with line pilot and flight attendant behavior problems.

Captain Bert Botta CV and Aviation Background

TWA CAPTAIN: 1966-1992: 16000 hours flying experience, Captain, First Officer, Flight Engineer. A/C types: DC3, B707, L1011, MD80/DC9, CE 525, CE 650, G200.



NOTE: As a Designated FAA Line Check Airman I was concurrently a Missouri Licensed Professional Counselor with a private practice in St. Louis, MO where I was based with TWA.

Because of my background as a Licensed Professional Counselor, my chief pilot often assigned me pilots who were having trouble upgrading from First Officer to Captain.

The outcomes were extremely positive and, in two cases, I was able to help save the pilots careers.


TWA/ALPA PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: 1986-1989. (Professional Standards is the committee that oversees and intervenes in anything involving pilot behavior that impacts the safety of flight, i.e. behavioral problems, alcoholism, drugs, etc.)




NETJETS GULFSTREAM AND CITATION JET CAPTAIN: 4/2000 – 12/2009, 4000 hours flying experience. Transported high net worth individuals, i.e., heads of state, professional athletes, celebrities, corporate executives, etc.

NETJETS PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Teamsters Union, 2001-2003. I developed the NetJets Professional Standards Committee and was the first chairman of the committee.

AIRCRAFT SIMULATOR INSTRUCTOR: Aircraft Simulator Training, 3581 Westwind Blvd, Santa Rosa, CA. 94903. 2016-2018.

CIVIL AIR PATROL, Instructor pilot, Taos, NM squadron: 1996-2000

SOLAIRUS AERO: Chief pilot, 2003.


PILOT INTERVIEW PREP SPECIALIST Aviation Consulting Services. 2000 – 2001. Interviewed, coached and prepared pilot applicants for major air carrier interviews and testing.


  • 1989 and 1993: Speaker, Fifth and Seventh International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, Ohio State University.
  • 1987: Speaker, ALPA Professional Standards Committee Meeting, “A Counseling Methodology to Solving Pilot Behavior Problems”

WRITER/AUTHOR Articles published

  • Airline Pilot Magazine, 1989-1992
  • Aviation International News, 2001-2003
  • Air Inc and other pilot career prep magazines
  • Newspaper columnist, St. Louis Suburban Journal, 1992-1996
  • Columnist, Sedona Times, Sedona, AZ, 1992-1994

EDUCATION MA, Counseling Psychology, 1981-1984, John F. Kennedy University, Orinda, California, BA, Social Sciences, San Francisco State University, 1961-1964, AA, Liberal Arts, San Francisco City College, 1959-1961.


  • 1989-1996. Licensed in Missouri, New Mexico and Florida: 4500 Hours working with individuals, families, groups and industry.
  • 1993-1996: Creve Coeur Counseling and Psychological Associates, St. Louis, MO (Ralph Caraffa, PhD, Supervisor)
  • 1985-1988: Counseling Psychology, Advanced Human Studies Institute, Coral Gables, FL. Post Graduate Fellowship.


  • Workshop, Seminar and Men’s Group Leader: 1988-1996, St. Louis, MO Area Men’s Council
  • Certified Leader, Men’s Personal Leadership Training, ManKind Project, 1992-1998. Envisioned, organized and developed men’s personal development and service community, St. Louis, MO 1992-1998
  • Envisioned, developed and led men’s personal and leadership development programs in St. Louis, MO, Taos, NM, San Francisco, CA, Marin County, CA and Sonoma County, CA: 1993-1998
  • Staff Trainer, Men’s Awareness Training, Milwaukee, WI, 1992-1998
  • MPAA (Minority Pilots Association and Academy) I helped develop minority kids interest in and qualification for aviation in Taos, NM, 1996-2000


USA Today

  • January 10, 2008: “Fatigue and Understaffing: The Threat to Runway Safety.”

Aviation International News

  • November, 2001: “Soul Searching: Thoughts on Life and a Flying Career”
  • March, 2002: “Can Pilots Find Inner Peace in Turbulent Times?”
  • May, 2002: “A Fractional Pilot’s Life Comes Full Circle”
  • September, 2002: “A Pilot’s Emotional and Spiritual Survival Guide”
  • August, 2019: Speaker: “Grappling with Grief: Tales From the Flight Deck Podcast”


  • May, 2015: An Old, Bold Pilot Discovers the Meaning of Life
  • July, 2015: Mentor in a Poopy Suit
  • December, 2016: Airline Pilot Wannabe
  • January, 2017: A Look Inside the Life of Free Airline Travel

(More articles upon request)


  • Articles published (available upon request)

Airline Pilot Careers

  • July, 2001: Flying Beyond Retirement: Fractional operators hire pilots after age 60

Airline Pilot Magazine

  • March, 1989: Air Safety and Mental Health

Fifth International Aviation Psychology Symposium

  • April 17-20, 1989: Sanity, Common Sense and Air Safety: Keys to Understanding Pilot Error

The Catalyst: (TWA Master Executive Council)

  • Professional Standards Report
  • Stressed Out? Tips to Eliminate Merger Mania!

The Lancet

  • May, 1990: Power Trip
  • August, 1990: Family Awareness Seminar helps pilots avoid heart disease

Hub City News

  • Issue 19: Captain Upgrading
  • Lifestyles

Flight Facts

  • September, 1979: Sinking Spells

TWA Lancet

  • August, 1990: “The Heart of the Matter”

Marin Independent Journal

  • November 13, 2011: A Pilot’s New Direction

St. Louis Suburban Journal

  • March, 1993: Men and Community: The Sacred and the Profane
  • June, 1993: A Different Kind of Recovery
  • September, 1993: Are Toys Us?
  • February, 1998: Men, Mountains and Money

(More upon request)

PERSONAL REFERENCES: Available upon request

HEALTH: Excellent, FAA 1st Class physical 1/20