Bert Botta

Captain TWA/NetJets (ret)

Petaluma, CA 94954

415.320.9811 cell/text




Current: September 25, 2023

General Specialties: Aviation & Aerospace and Human Factors

Specialty Focus: General Aviation, Pilot Error, Pilot Human Factors, Pilot and Flight Crew Professional Standards, Flight Crew Performance, Pilot Complacency, Aviation Accidents, Pilot Fatigue, Pilot Performance, Flight Crew Coordination, Corporate Flight Crews, In-Flight Safety, Cockpit Behavior, Emotional Intelligence

Aviation Expert Experience:

• SEAK Expert Witness Directory, 12/21
• SEAK Expert Witness Training, 2/22
• Aviation Expert Witness Experience:

Researched and Opined on:

• Pilot competency
• Pilot incapacity, medical issues
• Pilot wrongful death case settled.
• Wrong surface event, current, 11/22  

“Bert, I am pleased to report that we resolved the case yesterday for a positive (yet confidential result).

The information you provided for the case allowed for myself and my clients to show the defense that we were worthy adversaries and knew what should have been done and what hadn’t been done in training and in the flight.

Without your expertise, we wouldn’t have been so successful.

I’ve not handled an aviation case before, and you (and the aerobatic expert you brought onto the case) were both great!”

Thank you, Kelly

Education: MA, John F Kennedy University; BA, San Francisco State University; Post Graduate studies, Advanced Human Studies Institute, Miami, FL

Years in Private Practice as a Licensed Professional Counselor: 10

Additional Information

Specialties and Experience:

Bert combines 35 years of Professional Aviation as a Worldwide, International Airline and Corporate Pilot with 10 years as a former Licensed Professional Counselor in Private Practice.

General Specialties: Opining on Flight Crew Human Factors, Pilot Judgment, Pilot Behavior Analysis, Accident Analysis


• Masters Degree, Counseling Psychology, John F Kennedy University, Orinda, CA.

• BA, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA.

• Post Graduate Studies in Human Behavior, at the Advanced Human Studies Institute, Miami, FL.

 35 Years as a

• Professional Airline and Corporate Jet Captain

• FAA Designated Check Airman

• Licensed Professional Counselor with 10 years in Private Practice

• Chairman, TWA Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) Professional Standards Committee

• Chairman, NetJets Professional Standards Committee 

• 8 years as an Aviation Consultant and Pilot Career Consultant

Bert’s experience gives him a unique, in-depth perspective on the emotional and psychological makeup of aviation professionals as an Aviation Expert.

  • TWA Pilot/Captain: 16000 hours flying experience
  • NetJets Gulfstream and Citation Jet Captain, 4000 hours flying experience
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (MO, FL, NM)
  • Professional Standards Committee Chairman TWA/Airline Pilots Association
  • 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 his 35 years of world-wide experience as an International Airline Captain, Bert is a unique combination of Aviation Expert Witness and Professional Counselor. This makes him knowledgeable about the psychological and emotional makeup of aviation professionals.


Captain Bert Botta CV and Aviation Background

TWA PILOT/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 Bert was concurrently a Missouri Licensed Professional Counselor with a private practice in St. Louis, MO where he was based with TWA.

Because of his background as a Licensed Professional Counselor, his chief pilot often assigned him pilots who were having trouble passing their check rides and/or upgrading from First Officer to Captain.

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


TWA/ALPA PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: (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, interpersonal conflict, 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. Bert developed the NetJets Professional Standards Committee and was the first chairman of the committee.

AIRCRAFT SIMULATOR INSTRUCTOR: Aircraft Simulator Training, 2016-2018.

CIVIL AIR PATROL, Instructor pilot, Taos, NM squadron, 1996-1998

SOLAIRUS AERO: Chief pilot, 2003, Consultant, 2018-2020


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


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

WRITER/AUTHOR Articles published

  • Airline Pilot Magazine
  • Aviation International News
  • Air Inc and other pilot career prep magazines
  • Newspaper columnist, St. Louis Suburban Journal
  • Columnist, Sedona Times, Sedona, AZ.

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.
  • 1985-1988: Post Graduate Studies in Counseling Psychology, Advanced Human Studies Institute, Coral Gables, FL


  • 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. Developed men’s personal development and service community, St. Louis, MO 1992-1998
  • 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) Bert 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: A 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
  • June, 1993
  • September, 1993
  • February, 1998

PERSONAL REFERENCES: Available upon request

HEALTH: Excellent