Dr. Al Peterson, NTPS President/CEO and Jim Brown “JB”, VP/COO gave presentations at the Society of Experimental Test Pilots West Coast Symposium held in San Diego from March 12-13, 2020. JB’s paper titled: OBOGS Flight Test: How NOT to Conduct a Campaign” garnered the Jack Northrop Award for best technical presentation. Great job JB!   

Great article on the new NTPS Space Test Course recently held for the new US Space Force!

Story and Photo by Natalie Stanley
926th Wing/Public Affairs

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- Reservists from the 14th Test Squadron took part in an inaugural three-week Space Test course at the National Test Pilot School in Mojave, California, Feb. 2020.

The 14th TS, the only space test squadron in the Air Force Reserve, delivers and sustains Air Force Space Command and Air Combat Command warfighting capabilities through operational testing and evaluation of space and cyber systems.

Maj. Jason Riberdy, Space Test Flight A flight commander and Tech. Sgt. Shannon Robertson, Test Flight B noncommissioned officer in charge, were selected from a list of more than 100 volunteers to be part of the course that included 12 students from multiple organizations, including civilian agencies.

This one-off training provided a rare opportunity to interact with other agencies and to gain insight into the unique ways each conducts testing.

“To get all those test organizations together and to do training is impressive because we each have our own training processes,” said Riberdy. “We got to sit down and talk about our experience in different test and explain how we each do things and that was worth every second of being out there.”

Robertson, who is an embedded software tester for her civilian career, said the career diversity, in not only the students but also the instructors, was an invaluable opportunity to see a variety of test perspectives and ideas.

“There were people there from all different areas of test, they have different priorities and we could really mesh them together,” she said. “The experience there was unmatched.”

The course taught a combined developmental and operational test approach and included classroom instruction, formation flights, workload tests, and flight formation testing.

“With the possibility of Space Command going into Space Force, we’re trying to look at new ways of approaching testing, we want to incorporate other avenues in the way that testing has been done,” said Riberdy. “Part of our goal was also to create a cadre of personnel that can help lead the way for Space Force.”

Operational test information and recommendations provided by the 14th TS help AFSPC and ACC mature space system designs, manage and reduce risk, identify and support problem resolution as early as possible, and ensure space and cyber systems are mission capable for the warfighter.

The uniqueness of the course for the reserve participants rested in the fact that it was highly representative of the operator and not just the systems.

“A system could be super cool and high tech, but it’s nothing if the operator can’t use it,” Robertson said, emphasizing the importance of operator usability.

Robertson said space-system testing usually focuses more on the mission, but this course was a chance to look at how to make the system better for the user and to bring space into a more agile development process.

“Sure it does the mission, but what’s the use if the Airmen can’t collect on anything,” said Robertson.

Overall, the course was an invaluable opportunity for the 14th TS to not only gain insight into how others test, but to share their unique knowledge as reservists.

“I really wanted to see how the civilian air testing approached their test and try and figure out what the best practices between them were, so we can try and be a more rapid test organization, better prepared for future needs,” Riberdy said. “It also helped show the value the reserves brings, now they understand what the 14th brings to the fight.”

Both Riberdy and Robertson emphasized the quality of training they received from the National Test Pilot School. They said without the professionalism of the instructors and their enthusiasm and willingness to share, the class would not have been as successful as it was.

Original article: https://www.dvidshub.net/news/365624/course-offers-new-perspective-space-test

On February 26th, 2020, NTPS made Flight Test Education History becoming the first and only test pilot school in the world to achieve Institutional Accreditation!  In addition to ABET Accreditation for our Master of Science in Flight Test Engineering Degree, NTPS is now accredited as a Graduate School by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC); a US Department of Education recognized accreditation agency.

As part our efforts to continually improve for our students and customers, NTPS undertook a  5+ year effort to become the first test pilot school in the world to achieve accreditation.  In addition to Institutional Accreditation covering all of our degrees and courses, it also provides our customers with additional confidence that NTPS has demonstrated to an external governmental organization that its curriculum, faculty, facilities, teaching and evaluation methods, standards, and financial stability meet or exceed all required standards. No other school has demonstrated these credentials.

When you couple our institutional accreditation with our FULL EASA Certification as an Approved Flight Test ATO for Fixed Wing and Rotary Wing, our ISO 9001-2015 Organizational Certification, our SETP Recognition, and our extensive array of flight test courses there can be no doubt that NTPS is the World’s Premiere Total Flight Test Education and Training Organization!


An innovative leader in total flight test training and research, the National Test Pilot School has been serving the world-wide flight test community since 1981 and has trained thousands of Test Pilots and Flight Test Engineers through its diverse course offerings.  For more information about the ‘World’s Test Pilot School’ visit NTPS at www.ntps.com


The National Test Pilot School is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501 510.748.9001

NTPS Instructor Andy Edgell has been selected to be appointed to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Established on 4 June 1917 by King George V, The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding those making distinguished or notable national contributions in civil and military fields. The British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is Sovereign of the Order, and appoints all other members of the Order. The Order’s motto is For God and the Empire.

On 27 December 2019, the Queen's New Year honors list was published in the official newspaper of the Crown, The Gazette. Therein contained the announcement that Andy had been awarded the honor of Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his contribution and dedication to the F-35 flight test program while serving as a Test Pilot on the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

Andy and his family will attend an Investiture ceremony at a Royal residence in the coming months to collect awards from The Queen or another Member of the Royal Family.

Congratulations Andy and Family!!

Flight Test Engineering Graduate Assistant Program at the National Test Pilot School

Are you a recent engineering graduate considering launching your career towards the sky? Would you like to apply your problem solving skills at the forefront of the flight test industry? Look no further, the National Test Pilot School is searching for new applicants for its prestigious Flight Test Engineering Graduate Assistant (GA) program. Through this program, the selected candidate will learn the attributes and skills of a flight test engineer (FTE) by obtaining a Master of Science in Flight Test Engineering, completing the internationally recognized Professional Test Pilot School FTE curriculum, and gaining experience in a flight test environment while working with industry professionals from around the world. Recent graduates of this program have been handpicked by successful aerospace companies including Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, AeroTec, The Spaceship Company, World View, Icon Aircraft, Cirrus Aircraft, and Modern Technology Solutions Inc.

The selected candidate will attend academic lectures, partake in actual flight test laboratories as a flying FTE, analyze data and present findings. The lectures cover a wide range of subjects that include the evaluation of aircraft performance and flying qualities, modern flight controls, and avionics and aircraft weapons systems.

Graduate Assistants conduct research and development work while assisting NTPS instructors with course preparation and practical demonstrations. Tasks include the construction, design, and development of flight simulators, support for the NTPS Optionally Piloted Aircraft (OPA), data reduction for consultant projects from external NTPS customers, installation of aircraft instrumentation, control room support, and testing of emerging technologies. GAs are the backbone of the NTPS Experimental Aircraft Build club, currently working on the construction and flight test of a Vans RV-12 airplane.

The selected candidate will participate in the 3-year work-study program that includes a basic stipend, medical, vision, and dental benefits. To be selected, candidates must have a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from an ABET accredited institution and be able to meet the requirements of an FAA Class II Medical. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is desired. This is an entry level position, no experience beyond a college degree is required. Interested parties should send Ms. Kayla Chamness (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) a copy of college transcript, resume, and a one-page essay describing your interest and career ambitions in flight testing no later than 4 March 2020.

Selections will be announced in mid to late March 2020.

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National Test Pilot School
P.O. Box 658
Mojave, CA 93502-0658 USA
Phone: 661-824-2977
Fax: 661-824-2943