Tailwinds Benz

It is with great sadness that NTPS announces the passing of Wing Commander Satapat "Benz" Rattana, Royal Thailand Air Force from Cancer. He was 36. Benz excelled at NTPS and was a Distinguished Graduate of Class 2019B. He always had a great attitude and a smile on his face for classmates and staff alike. He will be missed.

Blue Skies and Tailwinds Benz! Godspeed.

NTPS Faculty & Staff Vaccinated

NTPS announces that the NTPS Faculty and Staff have been vaccinated for COVID-19. Professional Course Students should be complete with their vaccinations by the end of April or early May depending on the vaccine type.

2021 FTE GA Selections Announced!

NTPS Selections for the 2021 Flight Test Engineer GA Program

The National Test Pilot School (NTPS) is pleased to announce that the selection process for the 2021 Flight Test Engineer Graduate Assistant Program has been completed and we are excited to introduce the first three selectees.

Dr. AL Wins SETP Doolittle Award

On 25 September 2020, the Society of Experimental Test Pilots announced Dr. Allen L. (AL) Peterson as the recipient of the 2020 Doolittle Award. The James H. Doolittle award was established in 1966 to honor outstanding accomplishment in technical management or engineering achievement in aerospace technology by a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. An excerpt from the award of AL’s accomplishments as the President & CEO of the National Test Pilot School for the past decade reads: Dr. Peterson has envisioned and successfully directed initiatives leading NTPS to become the first test pilot school in the world to attain full EASA certification, WSCUC collegiate accreditation, and ISO 9001-2015 certification, thereby positioning NTPS for a successful long term future.  Furthermore, Dr. Peterson has integrated outreach to both our technical and local communities into the daily fiber of the school. In short, Dr. Peterson’s leadership and technical management skills have elevated NTPS… to the point where it can be truly called “The World’s Test Pilot School.”  Dr Peterson is a Master Army Aviator and Experiemntal Test Pilot with more than 5000 hours in 80+ aircraft, test pilot experience on over 80 flight test programs, a FAA RW/FW/NVG CFI, an EASA Flight Test Instructor, and a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. All here at NTPS congratulate AL for this well-deserved honor!


NTPS Grad Sikorsky Senior Manager

Oleson Named Sikorsky Flight Test Engineering Senior Manager


I am pleased to announce Robert (Duane) Oleson has accepted the role of Flight Test Engineering (FTE) Senior Manager, based in West Palm Beach, FL.  Duane will officially move into his new role effective August 10, 2020. 

As the FTE Senior Manager, Duane will be responsible for providing senior level technical leadership and management for the flight test engineering team in West Palm Beach, FL. The flight test engineering team consists of approximately 100 flight test engineers and technicians in disciplines including Structures & Dynamics, Powerplants, Performance, Handling Qualities & Flight Controls, and Special Projects groups as well as Flight Test Data Processing and Telemetry operations.  Duane will provide leadership and resources for all flight test programs, to ensure technical, cost and schedule objectives are achieved, and risks are successfully identified and mitigated.  Duane will manage the flight test engineering department staff levels to meet multiple, simultaneous flight test programs, including off-site testing locations while also focusing on maintaining a highly engaged and efficient team.   Additionally, Duane will work closely with Cliff Liles, Pax River FTE Senior Manager, to ensure the West Palm Beach and Pax River engineering teams remain aligned to consistently execute flight test programs. 

Duane has more than 24 years of experience within Sikorsky Aircraft and specifically flight test engineering which make him uniquely qualified for this role.  Duane began his career in 1996 and has held positions of increasing responsibility since that time including ground test engineer, flight test engineer, flight test engineering resource manager, and most recently as the acting flight test engineering manager since 2018.  Duane is also a model development safety committee member and ODA unit member flight test analyst.  Duane earned a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  In addition to being a private pilot, Duane also attended the National Test Pilot School and completed the accelerated flight test engineering program.

Please join me in congratulating Duane and wishing him much success in this critical role.  I also want to sincerely thank Duane for his dedication and support as the acting flight test engineering manager