WASHINGTON (AP) -- Jim Hall, who has overseen investigations into the TWA Flight 800 and John F. Kennedy Jr. plane crashes during his six-year tenure as head of the National Transportation Safety Board, is resigning Jan. 18, his office said Monday.
Hall informed President Clinton that he would leave, although he has two years left in his term as a member of the board. His term as chairman has expired, however, and he has served as acting chairman.
Hall plans to preside at the groundbreaking for a new NTSB training academy and then depart the office in northern Virginia.
The Washington Post reported that President Clinton was considering naming board member Carol Carmody as vice chairman, and she would then become acting chairman when Hall departs. Carmody is a Democrat and President-elect Bush could name his own chairman after taking office.
Hall was an aide to Bush's presidential rival, Democrat Al Gore, while Gore was a senator from Tennessee. He was named to the board after Gore became vice president. He also has served as counsel to the Senate subcommittee on intergovernmental relations.
He used the position to bring attention to issues including aging wiring in airplanes, protecting child passengers and pipeline safety.
Hall directed investigations into the 1996 TWA crash off Long Island, N.Y., that killed 230 people, and the safety of Boeing 737 rudders, an issue that arose from the 1994 crash of USAir Flight 427 near Pittsburgh, in which 132 people died.
In the Flight 427 probe, the board ruled that the crash probably resulted from a rudder defect that also was implicated in the earlier crash of a United 737 near Colorado Springs.
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