Monday, January 06, 2014

Peter Chandler

First Flight crew of the A350XWB, L-R, Guy Magrin, Emanuele Costanzo, Peter Chandler, Patrick Du Che, Fernando Alonso, Pascal Vernau

As a teenager, he joined a local Air Cadets programme and had the opportunity to fly light aircraft. Later, he flew more regularly as he studied aeronautical engineering at Southampton University in England. After receiving his degree, he joined the Royal Air Force in 1975, where he principally flew ground-attack aircraft. Wanting to become a test pilot, he applied for and was accepted into the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in California. After graduation, Peter spent the rest of his RAF career as a test pilot and instructor.
Leaving the RAF in 1994, Peter went to work as a commercial airline pilot specialising in long-haul flights on Airbus A340s. He joined Airbus as a test pilot in 2000.The chief test pilot for Airbus’ civil programmes since 2008, Peter was deeply involved in the development and testing of the A380, just as he has been for the A350 XWB.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Ken Higgins 1942-2013

Ken Higgins rose through the ranks since joining the Boeing company in 1966 as a flight test engineer, Higgins retired  as vice president of flight operations and validation for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, a role he had for a full decade.

 He was on the flight deck for the first flights of the 737-400, -500 and 747-400, and made the first flight of the 737-700 with Mike Hewitt and 777-200 with John Cashman. He was responsible for the test organisations with BCA from 1996, including a workforce of around 150 pilots and some 1,500 engineers and technicians. Since 1987 Higgins also served as director of flight testing, and had overseen all major new certification efforts from the 747-400 onwards.