Local

March 8, 2013

Trio of Luke aviators to become test pilots

STEPHEN DELGADO
Thunderbolt staff writer

The history of aviation is full of legendary pilots, which include test pilots such as Chuck Yeager and some of the men chosen to be part of the Mercury program in the early days of the space program.

Luke Air Force Base has three pilots who will take to the skies and test a variety of aircraft, much like Air Force pilots before them.

Capts. Corey Florendo, 309th Fighter Squadron C Flight commander, Adam Hafez, 308th FS Flight commander and John Trombetta, 21st FS instructor pilot, have been selected to attend Test Pilot School, a course that lasts a year at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

This accomplishment is a long and difficult process.

“The selection process is rather complicated,” Florendo said. “First, to qualify you must have a bachelor of science degree in mathematics, physics or engineering. This requirement is due to the fact that test pilot school is essentially a master-level course in aeronautical engineering. Air University grants the graduates of the course a master’s degree. The candidate also has to meet certain qualifications with respect to flying, such as being an instructor with a certain number of hours.”

The application process is lengthy and requires a great deal of information.

“Applications are submitted once a year, usually in the May/June timeframe, and consists of a narrative of why you should be selected as a test pilot, copies of all previous aircraft check-rides, also known as the Form 8, which show your competency as a pilot,” Hafez said. “A resume of flying experience is also required and up to three letters of recommendation, one of which must be from your supervisor. The other two letters are the applicant’s option and often include current and former test pilots or current or former wing leadership.”

The applicant must pass an initial screening committee in order to go to Edwards AFB for a week of interviews, flying and testing aircraft the candidate isn’t used to such as a T-38, C-12 and a glider, Florendo said.

“Our interview scores are combined with the score of our initial application package and a selection is made,” he said. “The time from the initial announcement message to being selected is about eight months.”

Hafez said other qualifications are required before applying, such as a minimum of one year as an aircraft commander in a manned major weapons system and as a qualified instructor pilot in the weapons system, or a minimum of 750 hours in an airframe.

The next year will be academically intense and involve flying a plethora of aircraft.

“We fly just about every fighter in the American inventory, as well as a few foreign MiGs and other aircraft such as a helicopter,” Florendo said. “Some guys even get to fly the Goodyear blimp. It’s all designed to give pilots experience in how different aircraft fly.”

In all, Hafez said it is a special experience to be able to attend the test pilot school.

“I feel honored and fortunate to be selected for Test Pilot School,” he said. “Selection to TPS is very competitive and usually takes more than one attempt before being selected. I’m excited for the chance to be involved in the testing of future weapons.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs February 27, 2015

MDG appointment line upgrade Patients calling the 56th Medical Group at 623-856-2273 Wednesday afternoon to schedule an appointment may reach a busy signal and may have to call back if all booking agents are on the line with other callers. The queue function allowing patients to wait on hold for the next available booking agent...
 
 

Always improving …

Staff Sgt. Staci Miller Staff Sgt. Andrea Caldwell, 56th Component Maintenance Squadron avionics production supervisor, performs an acceptance inspection on an enhanced upgraded programmable display generator Feb. 12. The EUPDG allows the pilot to program up to twelve displays.
 
 

Pay dates increase for civilians in 2015

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — Civilian employees will have 27 pay dates in 2015 compared to the usual 26, so some employees might need to adjust their Thrift Savings Plan contribution elections to receive the maximum agency matching contributions for 2015. The Internal Revenue Code imposes a limit each year on the amount that...
 

 
DT_MAIN-PHOTO-150126-F-VN822-025

RMO Stakeholders keep eye on sky Pt. 2

Susan Gladstein Christian Black, 56th Range Management Office geographer, replaces the antenna on the Bender Springs weather station at the Barry M. Goldwater Range East. The new multidirectional antenna allows for a 360-degree...
 
 
18_150211-F-NQ441-87V

Full service wash …

Tech. Sgt. William Rotroff, 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit F-35 dedicated crew chief, rinses an F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter after it gets a scrubbing Feb. 11 at the Luke Air Force Base wash rack. Crew chiefs are trai...
 
 
Senior Airman Devante Williams

Luke’s best shine

Senior Airman Devante Williams Misty Hyman, Olympic Gold Medalist, receives a standing ovation during her speech Feb. 13 at the 56th fighter Wing Annual Awards Banquet at the Wigwam. Hyman talked about the obstacles she faced d...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin