Flight Operational Forum-Norway is organized with a board registered in The Brønnøysund Register Centre and a Committee planning and facilitating the annual Conference. The Committee consists of individuals with broad experience from Norwegian aviation and with a genuine interest for Flight Operation and Flight Safety. 

From left: Kent Sviggum, Narve Jensen, assistant manager Knut Backer, manager Morten Kjellesvig, Captain Walter Schwyzer and IT responsible Pål Berg Leirvåg.

Manager Morten Kjellesvig started his aviation career as a glider pilot in 1978. He served 15 years in the Royal Norwegian Air Force, flying the F-16. Now he flies Airbus 340/330 for SAS. He has a background within Flight Safety and Accident Investigation from both the Royal Norwegian Air Force and SAS. Morten has an MSc in Air Safety Management from City University in London, and he runs his own consultancy company ScandiAvia. He teaches Risk Management and Accident Investigation at City University London.

Assistant manager Knut Backer is a captain with SAS, where he has been a pilot since 1989. He has been flying MD80, B767, and B737 since 2001. Knut has also a background as an Air Traffic Controller, and he has been representing Norsk Flygerforbund (Norwegian Air Line Pilots’ Association) for a number of years. He has been the Association’s ATS representative, Vice President and it’s head of the Flight Safety Committee. He has also been the Norwegian ALPA’s representative in different IFALPA (International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations) and ECA (European Cockpit Association) Committees. Knut has attended a number of national and international Flight Safety forums and projects, and made numerous presentations, including at Flight Operational Forum-Norway.

Conference responsible Hilde Torgersen started to work with SAS, besides school, in 1983. She has been working with airplane equipment and a project with the Operational Facilities at Oslo airport. Hilde has been Equipment Manager, Administrative Secretary and worked at Crew Support. She has been with FoF Norway since 2003. Hilde has now left SAS and works as a teacher.

Kent Sviggum was certfied as an Air Traffic Controller at Bergen airport/Flesland in 1993. After that, he served at Bodø tower and approach control until 1997. Since, he has been working at Bergen/Flesland tower and approach control. Kent was the station’s ATC Specialist from 1997 to 2007. He has been chief of Operations at the approach control since 2007, and he has been involved in numerous projects, been simulator instructor, responsible for external relations and PFO-controller (Periodic Training). Kent has, since 1999, written a number of articles for his column ”ATC voice” in Flynytt. Through this work, he has visited Air traffic Control units all over the world and he has had the chance to fly a great number of aircraft, from Tiger Moth to F-16.

Narve Jensen is a retired Air Traffic Controller (ATC Supervisor) from Oslo Fornebu and Gardermoen control towers, 43 years of service total. Narve is an enthusiatic model airplane pilot since early 60’s, and he has been involved in the National organization since 1977, including the Norwegian representative to FAI since 1979. Since 1995, Narve has been the Chairman of the Scale Subcommittee in the modelling section (CIAM) of the FAI.

IT responsible Pål Berg Leirvåg started his aviation career in the Air Force in 1981, and in 1984 completed his training on fighter aircraft. Flight took place on F-5 and F-16 on various squadrons, as well as a period in the United States as an instructor at Sheppard Air Force Base. He has completed many various schools / courses in the Air Force, including the Armed Forces Staff School. He has held many different positions, both operationally and administratively. The last position in the Air Force was as squadron commander of the 336th Squadron at Rygge Central Airport. He then started at SAS in 1998, and has since flown MD-80, Dash 8-Q400, Fokker 50 and B737 as FP, FC and FCI. During his time at SAS, he also held a position at the Human Factors Office at SAS Flight Academy, where various CRM courses were developed and held. He is currently a full-time pilot in SAS.

Walter Schwyzer, Safety Promotion, had his first presentation at our Flyoperativt Forum in 2014 when it was explored how to use FDM to detect trends on Loss of Control In-Flight events. Since then, Walter is regularly invited to speak at different conferences in Europe, Eurasia and Asia. The topics range from human factors to training exploring the coupling and complexities of the socio-technical system of aviation. Other subjects were Pilot Monitoring, Case Study on TK1951, Naturalistic Aeronautical Decision Making, Criminalization of Accidents and Training for Airmanship. Walter holds a MSc In Air Safety Management, was a Non-commissioned Officer of the Swiss Air Force and before aviation a degree In Mechanical Technology when he worked in this field for large automotive companies. Today he flies the A330 for a large Asian operator and holds different aircraft and instructor ratings and Is a qualified Air Safety Investigator. Member of ISASI, RAeS, EAAP and The Flight Safety Foundation for many years.Walter’s view on flight safety: “Aviation is a very dynamic environment, we’re in constant flux, hence the importance of the human element to make the necessary interventions in the flight progress. We need to invest in training, meaningful training to create more resilient pilots to cope with the unknown when they occur, survive the startle effect, keep the airplane flying with basic skills and find viable solutions to the problems. We need to be mindful that being resilient does not mean having superpowers. We are still carbon-based units!

Bjørn Bjerke started his flying career at Norwegian Aviation College (NAC) at Bardufoss, Norway from 1992 to 1995. He was hired by SAS in 1997 and have flown DC-9, MD-80, B737 and are now active on the A320. He has had LOA twice, once flying for Viking Airlines in Sweden and Greece, and two years as captain on a private Boeing BBJ stationed in Moscow. Aside from flying, Bjørn is running a small computer company together with two colleagues delivering myRoster, an app for flying personnel adopted by employees in several airlines.