October 2020, President Message

Hello, fellow SETP members!  I would like to update you on a few things!  First, I am truly humbled to be selected by my fellow members to lead the Society this term!  I was drawn to become a member ever since my first attendance at the Annual Symposium as a student at USNTPS in 1996.  The amazing technical presentations, the lessons learned, the networking, and camaraderie were incredible, and I was hooked.  I have taken on countless lessons learned during my 24 years of active test piloting and passed on hundreds from my own experiences to others at Symposia or in organizational “True Confessions” meetings with other testers.  This is the mission of our Society:

“the sharing of ideas and experiences which promote and enhance safety, communication and education. To prevent accidents and loss of life by improving safety, design and flight test of aerospace vehicles and their related systems.”

You have something to contribute!  We want to hear about your lessons learned.  Help others learn from your experiences and potentially prevent a mishap and support the mission of the Society.

SETP UPDATE - Attendance at the 64th SETP Annual and first Virtual Symposium and Awards Ceremony testified to the Society’s solid foundation and continued relevance in transmitting lessons learned throughout the flight test world. As of today, we have 2483 members from 34 nations. Corporate membership has rebounded from recent declines in past years and now stands at 70 companies.  Our many symposia held around the world continue to be the cornerstone of the Society, and this year’s annual symposium was a memorable, albeit different, event.  Many thanks to the hard work of Andrew McFarland and his team for pivoting the hand we were dealt and executing an outstanding Virtual Symposium!  This year has been extremely challenging for the Society and the rest of the world.  It’s hard to predict what the next year will look like but I am confident the Society will adapt and prosper.

GOALS - The Board of Directors remains committed to our primary mission of promoting and enhancing flight test safety through communication and education.  We will continue to promote and support all of our technical symposia and local section activities to promote the effective exchange and dissemination of lessons learned.  This year resulted in many cancellations or pivoting to virtual events.  It’s still unclear what the 2021 schedule will permit.  My goal is to return to in-person Symposia when it is reasonable to do so.  If its not reasonable to meet in person, then we will consider a virtual event.  With your help, another goal is to strive to recruit every eligible test pilot to join the Society.

We will continue to support educational outreach initiatives to stimulate interest in the aerospace profession while simultaneously partnering with the Flight Test Historical Foundation and the U.S. Air Force Flight Test Museum to preserve our flight test history. Finally, your Board of Directors will be addressing a variety of ways that we might improve how our operations support the constitutional goals of the Society.

BE AN ACTIVE MEMBER - The Society can neither function nor flourish without the active participation of the membership. There are many ways you can be an active member:

  • Attend or volunteer to help at your local SETP section symposium or section meetings.
  • Mentor new test pilots in your organization.
  • Share the benefits of SETP membership and encourage non-member test pilots to join.
  • Submit a paper for presentation at your local and Annual SETP Symposia.
  • Submit an article for Cockpit Magazine.
  • Mentor young students by supporting science fairs, airshows, or other science/aviation related events.
  • Donate to one of our charitable Foundations; any amount makes a difference. (Donations to these Foundations are tax-deductible for US taxpayers).

Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your AmazonSmile purchases when you shop at www.smile.amazon.com.  SETP has two links to choose from when you purchase eligible items through AmazonSmile:

SETP Foundation link: http://smile.amazon.com/ch/32-0188969

SETP Scholarship Foundation Link: http://smile.amazon.com/ch/95-2479396

On behalf of your new Board of Directors and the SETP Staff, I thank you for your support.   

Fly Safely then Efficiently-Be an Active Member-Be a good Mentor.


Warmest Regards,

Michael “Sting” Wallace (F)
SETP President