Captain Lou Németh is like a laconic Energizer Bunny – he just keeps going, but at his own deliberate pace.

Capt. Németh is one of the latest recipients of the FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award, named of course for American aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright.

Like the Wright Brothers, Lou is an inveterate innovator. He has been at the forefront of aviation training game-changers such as Simulator Operations Quality Assurance (SOQA), extracting the plethora of data from full-flight simulator sessions to better analyze a trainee’s performance; the ICAO Multi-crew Pilot Licence (MPL); the post-Colgan push for Upset Recovery Prevention and Training (UPRT) to rewrite procedures for managing Loss of Control In-flight (LOC-I) situations; and more recently the transition to adaptive learning, ie., competency-based training and assessment (CBTA) and evidence-based training (EBT).

But this Renaissance man is not one-dimensional. He also spearheaded the development of a diabetes telemetry management system as Chairman and Co-founder of KIVALO and built a remote health management system for chronically ill children. He earned certification from Creighton University as an arbitrator, where he also earned a Master’s Degree in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution

After fleeing the Hungarian Revolution with his family in 1956, landing in Florida USA, Lou flew with US Airways for 27 years as a Captain, pilot training manager, instructor pilot and courseware developer. Németh is type-rated on the A320, A330, B727, B737, B757/767, MD90, LearJet, LR40/45, T33 Lockheed Shooting Star and Gulfstream 5/550. He’s a member of the US Commemorative Air Force, flying vintage military aircraft.

Németh also served as the Director of Flight Operations at Flight International from 1979-1984. In 1995, he founded Training Innovations Group, raising startup capital and developing a simulation technology that was licensed to Teledyne Controls and used by 38 flight training organizations worldwide.

Németh has been at CAE since 2006, starting as Chief Safety Officer and from 2020 Director of Flight Operations.

He has served as a Board member and advisor to institutions such as Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Management in 1976), the Council of Aviation Accreditation, and as an expert witness in investigations in which human factors training was considered as a possible causal circumstance.

Németh has been ubiquitous on international aviation safety training working groups and rulemaking committees on behalf of ICAO, the Royal Aeronautical Society and the FAA. He is a Fellow of the RAeS.

I had the privilege of working with Lou when we were both at CAE about 10-15 years ago. And I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing him many times, tapping into his vast depth of knowledge and opinion.

One thing I especially admire about Lou is that he tells it to you straight. He knows what he knows and believes, and he always gives his honest view, whether that view is politically correct or not.

That’s one of the ways innovation happens. Especially for improving pilot training. By questioning conventional ‘wisdom’ and exploring new options. Passion, persistence, resilience. Capt. Lou Németh qualities.