6/4/2007 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, CA -- On Saturday,
the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School will graduate
their 146th class since their start at Wright Field in
The "Outlaws," as the students refer to themselves,
hosts 11 pilots, 10 engineers and two navigators
including pilots from Canada, Japan and Singapore, as
well one female pilot.
"The students have completed one of the most
challenging and demanding courses in the world," said
Col. Andre Gerner, TPS commandant.
Each has completed more than 558 hours of academics
and more than 670 hours of flight training -- each
student puts in about six hours per day of instructor
contact time, not including academic and flight
The opportunity to fly so many aircraft and
experience such a wide realm of aircraft missions can
be found nowhere else in the Air Force and possibly
the world, Colonel Gerner said.
"Time management and defeating my goals of
perfection has been the most challenging issue for me"
said Capt. Michael Welser, flight test engineer.
Captain Welser said the most unexpected aspect of the
school has been the sheer amount of group work
"Good teamwork and organization was important as a
member of up to five different groups at a time," said
Capt. Robert Volesky, flight test engineer. "I
expected TPS to be a lot of work and a lot of fun. It
lived up to both."
When Maj. Douglas Creviston, test pilot, found out he
was selected to attend TPS, he said he was excited
about the opportunity.
"I was quite happy that I wouldn't have to keep
filling out the application to re-apply," he said.
Jenny Geitgey, spouse of Capt. Jason Geitgey, flight
test engineer, also found it to be a very challenging
year for their family as they just finished 15 months
at the Air Force Institute of Technology before
heading to TPS.
"I had a lot of misconceptions about living on base
and being part of a military community," Mrs. Geitgey
said. "I found most of my stereotypes were incorrect,
and I have been pleasantly surprised at the quality
and caliber of friends I have made this year."
Elena Sherwood, spouse of Canadian Air Force Capt.
Reagh Sherwood, test pilot, shared a 14-year dream of
her spouse and her part in making it come true.
"Following this dream has been an amazing ride," Mrs.
Sherwood said. "We've met some incredible people who
have enriched our 'out of country' experience and made
us feel at home. I've had great people to travel this
road with and will carry their influence with me
always. I had no illusions as schooling comes with
challenges, and I knew that at this caliber it would
not be a walk in the park."
The class also boasts another first as the school
graduates a husband and wife team in Maj. Carrie and
Capt. Brent Reinhardt.
"Being a husband and wife team made it harder, and
it made it easier at the same time," Major Reinhardt
said. "We understood what each other were going
through. We were both working and taking the course at
the same time."
During the final six months, the students
demonstrated their knowledge from across the
curriculum by planning and executing real-world test
management projects. Class 06B's projects were:
HAVE COLT: Characterization of
Optimized Landing and Takeoff explored the potential
performance increase for the T-38A by taking off with
45-percent wing flaps versus the flight manual
recommended 60-percent setting. Previous testing of
the T-38C suggested this lower flap setting might
result in shorter takeoff rolls and better climb
Team members included Maj. Andrew Allen, Maj. Michael
Davis, Capt. Jason Armstrong, Capt. Sean Musil,
Canadian Air Force Capt. Reagh Sherwood and Capt. Adam
HAVE CLETIS: Cone Length Extension
Tube Investigative Study determined the optimum length
of the connecting tube between the trailing-cone
static system and the tail of the Air Force Flight
Test Center's F-16B "Pacer" aircraft which is used as
an airspeed calibration jet. The trailing-cone system
was used to calibrate the Pacer Jet, which will then
be used to calibrate the pilot-static systems of new
or modified aircraft at Edwards.
Team members included Maj. Darin Hoenle, Maj. Swami
Iyer, Maj. Carrie Reinhardt, Republic of Singapore Air
Force Capt. Yeu Fong Chua, Capt. Andy Jutte and Capt.
HAVE FUN: Full-scale Numbers was
another in a series of projects using the TPS-owned
L-23 Super Blanik sailplane. In this iteration,
maneuvers were performed on the highly instrumented
glider to extract the drag contribution caused by full
control deflections. These data are required to
further refine the aerodynamic model for the aircraft
and could lead to more efficient dynamic soaring
techniques to be used in future manned and unmanned
Team members included Maj. Sean Celi, Maj. Jeff
Geraghty, Maj. James Stahl, Navy Lt. Victor Glover,
Capt. Geoff Bowman and Capt. Brent Reinhardt.
HAVE HALO II: Huron Airborne Link
Optimization was a follow-on to a previous experiment
that characterized the performance of a "WiFi"
datalink between a C-12C and a ground station. This
project carried the research further by moving the
ground station into a second C-12 to explore
air-to-air data link performance.
Team members included Maj. Doug Creviston, Japan Air
Self Defence Force Maj. Mori Kikuchi, Capt. Jason
Geitgey, Capt. Jason Vap and Capt. Rob Volesky.
"Each student has been trained to lead members of a
flight test team in the latest methods of flight
testing, systems evaluation and test management, while
instilling the cooperation and understanding between
test team members necessary for successful flight test
operations," Colonel Gerner said. "Each of the 23
members of Class 06B is now ready to take their place
as leaders in the flight test community, not as the
'Outlaws' this class would like you to think they are,
but as hard working, highly-intelligent individuals
seeking to be the best of the best and the leaders of
generations to come."
Source: USAF/Edwards AFB by Della Perry