chapter  16
14 Pages

Is There A Role For A “Test Controller” In The Development Of New ATC Equipment?

ByRon Westrum

In the aviation field, test pilots have long performed a valuable function in the evaluation and improvement of new aircraft. Through their special experience and training, test pilots are able to provide expert feedback for the development process. Although often glamorized by films and books, the role of the test pilot is basically that of a member of the engineering team. The test pilot checks out the plane in the air, explores the performance envelope of the various aircraft systems, notes “bugs” and other infelicities of the equipment, and makes suggestions for improvements. Test pilots have unusual piloting skills, but more important. They have training in systematic check-out and a high sensitivity to performance quirks that others might miss (Hallion, 1981).