May 24, 2023

We are honored to have “Sherman” join our team! Here’s the back story: As you may know, all first prototypes of new aircraft have the problem of being heavier than initially designed. We have done various things to reduce the weight but were still looking for more ways to do that for this flight testing phase. After much discussion between our test pilot Ron McElroy, and Flight Test Director, Sam Bousfield, it was
agreed that the biggest bang for the buck would be to shift to a lighter test pilot. Ron is staying on as our test consultant and his ongoing involvement is invaluable.
We contacted several potential pilots with excellent experience, and through the interview process kept circling back to one who checked all the boxes for us, and was the best fit. Pictured below, the new Test Pilot, Leonard “Sherman” Kearl, is a 20+ year Air Force Test Pilot now retired from the military but providing support of many government flight test programs.
Here you can see him doing some orientation to the pilot controls with Sam Bousfield. The intensive orientation process has also included careful review of past flight test videos, consultation with Ron McElroy, study of engineering and testing results, meetings with the test team, etc.

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