patrick mendenhall

Patrick Mendenhall has been involved with flying, designing, instructing in and testing airplanes for over fifty years.  He started flying at age 14, received his private license at age 19, graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1980, then worked for Boeing as a flight test engineer prior to joining the Navy in 1981.

He spent eight years on active duty as a Navy light attack pilot and retired from the Naval reserves. In addition to flying, his military duties included several leadership and management positions, including a tour as an operational test pilot at VX-5 in China Lake, California. There, he was involved in various aspects of tactical and operational test and evaluation, with an emphasis on human factors integration. It was there that he was first introduced to Crew Resource Management (CRM) as it relates to human factors issues.

After leaving active duty, Patrick was hired by Northwest Airlines (Now Delta) in 1989, where his flying experience has concentrated mostly on international, wide body operations.  He is type-rated on the Airbus A330, the Boeing 767/757 and the Boeing 737, and has accumulated over 17,000 hours of flight time.

Captain Mendenhall is considered a Subject Matter Expert in Human Factors, CRM, TEM, and Risk Management, and lectures to audiences throughout the world on these topics as they pertain to high reliability and critical outcome industries.  He is certified by the International Air Transport Association as a CRM instructor as well as being an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) TeamSTEPPS master trainer.

In 2009, he founded Critical Reliability Concepts (CRC) to facilitate risk management consulting, education and training within High Reliability Organizations (HROs).  Since that time, he has provided educational content, training and inspiring counsel to thousands of individuals within HROs that include, transportation, healthcare, defense, first responders, oil & gas and many others.

In 2012 he co-authored and published “Beyond the Checklist: What Else Healthcare Can Learn from Aviation Teamwork and Safety.” Written with renowned journalist Suzanne Gordon, and medical educator Bonnie O’Connor, PhD, this work provides valuable insight into how and why the aviation safety model has been so successful, and how these lessons can – and should – be applied to healthcare.

Captain Mendenhall has been a vital content provider to several CRM training organizations including Crew Resource Management LLC, Critical Outcome Strategies LLC and  He also serves on the Board of Advisors for the Surgical Care and Outcomes Assessment Program, a program of the Foundation for Healthcare Quality.  Please Contact Patrick for more information or speaking opportunities.

Patrick lives in Tacoma, Washington with his wife of thirty-two years and is a vital contributor to CRC, as a facilitator, presenter and a curriculum developer.

Meet the Team:

Scott Linn

Suzanne Gordon

Brett Mendenhall