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Meet the Fleet

Introducing Honeywell Aerospace’s Flight Test Operations Crew. From engineers, mechanics, financial analysts, and many more, our team works endlessly to test, create, and support the cutting-edge technological advancements the public and aviation industry enjoy today. Our crew is ready for their debut! 


James Clark: Aircraft Maintenance Manager

  • How long have you been with Honeywell? 3.5 years
  • What does a typical day look like for you? As Chief Test Pilot, I have numerous meetings with throughout the week and attempt to meet daily with everyone on my team to touch-base and discuss anything pertinent. Every now and then, I get to participate in Flight Testing, in one of our 10 unique aircraft.
  • Favorite thing about your job: Without a doubt, the people. I am fortunate to be surrounded by folks who love what they do, and it truly makes a difference. The energy I feel from those I work with, keeps me going and makes me want to do more. I have never been in an organization with as much potential for greatness.
  • Highlight(s) of the job:  Too many to list, however; one of the many wonderful benefits of being a part of Flight Test, is the opportunity to travel while performing our job. The locations are often wonderful, but more importantly, these trips allow our team to really get to know one another. To spend time together outside of our normal duties and just be human.
  • Favorite project you've been a part of? The acquisition of our AW139 helicopter stands out. I was heavily involved in the process and have been the lead Test Pilot on the helicopter for the last three years. Our AW139 is very special as it is currently one of the only helicopters in the world operating with Honeywell’s Synthetic Vision System.
  • Did you always envision yourself working in the aviation industry, and if not, what led you to where you are today?  From a very young age, I was drawn to flying. Both of my parents were in the Air Force where I grew up on several military bases. When my folks couldn’t fine me, they simply knew to make their way to the flight line where I’d be sitting on the ground, next to my bike, watching planes takeoff and land for hours. After high school, I joined the military and became an aviation maintenance technician for a few years before applying to flight school and spent 25 years working on and flying special operations aircraft. I consider myself one of the lucky few, who knew what they wanted to do, worked hard for it, and achieved it. Looking back, I feel that my chosen path brought me here, exactly where I want to be!
  • What makes flight operations unique? Flight operations is a very complex process which requires the greatest attention to safety and efficiency. Flight Test Operations takes this to the next level. Performing flight testing means that now, not only are we responsible for the safety of our customers and crew, but we are also performing testing to the most exacting standards, while “aviating, communicating and navigating”, globally! This is no small task, and our Flight Test team is working diligently, every day, to improve processes, procedures, and especially safety. Our vision is to build a Honeywell Flight Test, Center-of-Excellence, which will stand out, in the world of flight testing. We are also the only (non-military), flight test organization I am aware of, with such a diverse fleet of aircraft. To say we’re “unique”, is an understatement.
  • If you were in charge of naming an airplane, what would it be called? So many great names have already been taken. I guess it would depend on what type of aircraft it was to begin with…


Austin Karr: Flight Test Engineer

  • How long have you been with Honeywell? Nearly two years. I previously completed three rotations in the URDP Rotation Program before taking a permanent role in flight ops.
  • What does a typical day look like for you? My job changes on a daily basis due to the versatility of our flight department. As a flight test engineer, I am responsible for integrating and testing Honeywell products on our fleet test aircraft through mechanical and electrical modifications, installing hardware, creating a test plan, and executing the plan.
  • Favorite thing about your job: The people. I have the privilege of working alongside some of the industry's best engineers, mechanics, and pilots.
  • Highlight(s) of the job: There are too many to choose from; I really enjoy working and traveling with my coworkers.
  • Favorite project you've been a part of? Testing the new Honeywell FMS software in Italy for the SESAR initiative. It was great to work on cutting-edge technology with other Honeywell engineers from around the world.
  • Did you always envision yourself working in the aviation industry, and if not, what led you to where you are today? I have always been fascinated with the aviation industry. I majored in Aerospace Engineering in college and took a test flight engineering class, which sparked my interest and led me to my current role.
  • What makes flight operations unique? Honeywell is one of the only Aerospace companies that develop their products on an aircraft rather than strictly in a lab. We have 10 different aircraft which are capable of testing a wide array of technologies. It's incredible to see the new technology being tested, analyzed, and improved in real-time, giving Honeywell a huge advantage over other companies.
  • If you were in charge of naming an airplane, what would it be called? I would name it "Sperry" in honor of Lawrence Sperry, who invented the first autopilot and founded a company that eventually became Honeywell Aerospace! 


Paul Alexander: Chief Test Pilot

  • How long have you been with Honeywell? 3.5 years
  • What does a typical day look like for you? As Chief Test Pilot, I have numerous weekly meetings and attempt to meet daily with everyone on my team to touch base and discuss anything pertinent. Now and then, I participate in Flight Testing in one of our 10 unique aircraft.
  • Favorite thing about your job: Without a doubt, the people. I am fortunate to be surrounded by folks who love what they do, and it truly makes a difference. The energy I feel from those I work with keeps me going and makes me want to do more. I have never been in an organization with as much potential for greatness.
  • Highlight(s) of the job:  Too many to list; however, one of the many benefits of being a part of Flight Test Operations, is the opportunity to travel while performing our job. The locations are often wonderful, but more importantly, these trips allow our team to really get to know one another. To spend time together outside of our normal duties and be human.
  • Favorite project you've been a part of? The acquisition of our AW139 helicopter stands out. I was heavily involved in the process and have been the lead Test Pilot on the aircraft for the last three years. Our AW139 is very special as it is currently one of the only helicopters in the world operating with Honeywell’s Synthetic Vision System.
  • Did you always envision yourself working in the aviation industry, and if not, what led you to where you are today?  From a very young age, I was drawn to flying. My parents were in the Air Force, where I grew up on several military bases. When my folks couldn’t find me, they simply knew to make their way to the flight line where I’d be sitting on the ground, next to my bike, watching planes take off and land for hours. After high school, I joined the military and became an aviation maintenance technician for a few years before applying to flight school and spent 25 years working on and flying special operations aircraft. I consider myself one of the lucky few, who knew what they wanted to do, worked hard for it and achieved it. Looking back, I feel that my chosen path brought me here, exactly where I want to be!
  • What makes flight operations unique? Flight Operation is a complex process requiring the greatest attention to safety and efficiency. Flight Test Operations takes this to the next level. Performing flight testing means that now, we are responsible for the safety of our customers and crew and performing testing to the most exacting standards while “aviating, communicating and navigating” globally! This is no small task, and our Flight Test team works diligently daily to improve processes, procedures, and especially safety. Our vision is to build a Honeywell Flight Test Center-of-Excellence, which will stand out in the world of flight testing. We are also the only (non-military), flight test organization I am aware of with such a diverse fleet of aircraft. To say we’re “unique” is an understatement.
  • If you were in charge of naming an airplane, what would it be called? So many great names have already been taken. I guess it would depend on what type of aircraft it was, to begin with.


Gary Steele: Sr Flight Ops Specialist

  • How long have you been with Honeywell? Going on 4 years
  • What does a typical day look like for you? As the Chief Inspector for the Repair Station, I’m involved with day-to-day decisions on aircraft airworthiness and conducting inspections to ensure the safety of the aircraft and its passengers and crew.
  • Favorite thing about your job: Every day, I learn something new working alongside the Flight Test Team.
  • Highlight(s) of the job: Having the opportunity to work with brilliant individuals, coming up with solutions in developing Aerospace products.
  • Favorite project you've been a part of? I would have to say all of them. Everyone is unique and brings its own challenges.
  • Did you always envision yourself working in the aviation industry, and if not, what led you to where you are today? During my high school auto shop class, my teacher would take me to the Chandler airport, and we would work on his airplane; I was hooked. Following high school, I spent 27 years in the Arizona Army Guard as an aircraft mechanic, working various helicopters. I’ve always had a passion for aviation and continue to grow in the industry.
  • What makes flight operations unique? Every day is different when you operate in an experimental environment. It opens the door to team building, bringing-problem solving to the highest level.
  • If you were in charge of naming an airplane, what would it be called? “Muffin,” he’s my favorite cat, my buddy! 


Jason Curtis: Flight Operations Specialist

  • How long have you been with Honeywell? 10 years this October
  • What does a typical day look like for you? Every day is different, which is one of the many great things about Flight Test Operations. I could be troubleshooting an issue with an aircraft, or I could be coordinating a new test program with one of our flight test engineers. Every day brings a new challenge, which keeps the job interesting.
  • Favorite thing about your job: Working on cutting-edge technology alongside some of the best people in the industry.
  • Fun or memorable story during your time at Honeywell: In 2017, we supported hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Humanitarian supplies were loaded onto the Boeing 757 aircraft and delivered to Honeywell employees in Puerto Rico. It was a complex project that required a great deal of coordination and support, but it was great to see people throughout the organization so dedicated to making it happen.
  • Favorite project you've been a part of? Performing testing over volcanoes in Alaska. We flew a 1950s-era Convair 580 aircraft up to Dutch Harbor to fly over some of the most active volcanos in the world.
  • Did you always envision yourself working in the aviation industry, and if not, what led you to where you are today? I attended an Aerospace program at South Mountain high school in Phoenix, where I was exposed to many aspects of the industry. I took basic aircraft design and air traffic control classes, interned as a mechanic at the Air National Guard, and earned my private pilot rating.
  • What do you think makes working in Flight Operations unique? The multitude of products we support and the variety of aircraft we operate.
  • If you were in charge of naming an airplane, what would it be called? I’m not sure. I worked for a company that put nose art on all of their aircraft; my favorite was named “Hot Stuff” because it had caught on fire on two separate occasions.


Kelly Collins: Sr Finance Analyst

  • How long have you been with Honeywell? 18 years
  • What does a typical day look like for you? I focus on managing the $20+M Flight Test Operations budget by providing leaders with clear visibility to timely and accurate financial data/analysis, allowing them to make well-informed business decisions. I also facilitate procurement-related activities to ensure funds are in place to support aircraft maintenance, flight test, equipment installation, and any other normal operations, including Capital and non-Capital projects.
  • Favorite thing about your job: Working with Honeywell's many intelligent and good people.
  • Fun / memorable story during your time at Honeywell: I remember an entertaining night with colleagues in Bucharest. It was a 4-hour dinner with breaks for authentic Romanian folk dancing and many tasty beverages!  
  • Favorite project you've been a part of? All the ones I built from the ground up and helped fix a gap or give data that drives good business decisions.
  • Did you always envision yourself working in the aviation industry, and if not, what led you to where you are today? My first granddaughter brought us to Phoenix, and Aerospace is Headquartered here, which brought many opportunities.
  • What do you think makes flight operations unique? Being so close to the aircraft and walking in the hangar, you can never forget what the focus is, and there are so many clearly passionate about aviation; it makes it more than a job.
  • If you were in charge of naming an airplane, what would it be called? “Kelly-copter” 


Winfred Price: Sr Aircraft Mechanic

  • How long have you been with Honeywell? Going on 14 years
  • What does a typical day look like for you? As an aircraft mechanic, I support engineering and maintenance on various aircraft.
  • Favorite thing about your job: I like that every day is different.
  • Fun / memorable story during your time at Honeywell: Yes, but they are top secret!
  • Favorite project you've been a part of? The JetWave world tour was fun, 331TFE testing and show and tell at the Oshkosh Air Show.
  • Did you always envision yourself working in the aviation industry, and if not, what led you to where you are today? No, I started my aviation career after I joined the US Airforce.
  • What do you think makes working in Flight Operations unique? Working alongside very talented people every day.
  • If you were in charge of naming an airplane, what would it be called? “Freedom” 


Gabe Visser: Lead Eng Tech II

  • How long have you been with Honeywell? 10 years. I spent the first 7.5 years at Honeywell’s Tempe site in Valves and Starters, working in Cell 3 Production, then Engineering Test Services (ETS), and finally New Product Integration (NPI) before moving to Flight Test.
  • What does a typical day look like for you?  Powering up the Boeing 757, verifying all the computers are up and running correctly; Data Acquisition (DA), Planet, Time Server, Bay 0 (connects us to the flight deck via Arinc 429), etc. These systems, along with others, are the backbone of a test cell and are no exception in a flying test cell, they all must work correctly, and part of my job is verifying that. The rest of my day can be anything from making a bracket or a new panel, building a wire harness, or installing/instrumenting an experimental radar system or a third engine on the 757. Besides powering up the plane in the morning, I don’t have typical days.
  • Favorite thing about your job: That every day is different! One day I might finish up a new install and then fly around collecting the data the next. I could also be working on the other 9 aircraft instrumenting something else; we have many programs running at the same time.
  • Fun or memorable story during your time at Honeywell: The trips we go on in support of the projects are definitely memorable; Hamilton, Ontario, Brussels, Belgium, and Dubai, to name a few. The most notable would have to be Norrköping (Nor-shopping), Sweden; what a great place to visit with beautiful architecture and friendly people. 
  • Favorite project you've been a part of? Instrumenting/mounting a TPE-331 on the pylon of the Boeing and then flying around with it at various altitudes and power settings. What a unique experience to look out the window and see a prop spinning at full speed a couple of feet away.
  • Did you always envision yourself working in the aviation industry, if not, what led you to where you are today? No, I always loved aircraft and aviation; the power, speeds, and beauty took me down a long career in motorcycles (the next best thing to aircraft), and my abilities brought me to the aviation industry. 
  • What do you think makes working in Flight Operations unique? To sum it up, one of my friends once said, “Coolest…job…ever!”
  • If you were in charge of naming an airplane, what would it be called? Daedalus


Joe Duval: Flight Operations Director

  • How long have you been with Honeywell? 17 years, I started as a Lead Test Pilot and have advanced to the Director position.
  • What does a typical day look like for you? Primarily working with my staff to ensure a safe and effective flight operation for our team. Some days I get to fly, and sometimes I get to deploy with an airplane for flight testing away from home base in Phoenix.
  • Favorite thing about your job: We have the most unique aircraft anywhere, and to see our team innovate, modify, maintain, and fly these planes every day is amazing. No one else in the world is doing exactly what we do. 
  • Fun or memorable story during your time at Honeywell: Some of the most memorable times are the first flight of a product or a modification, like the first flight in the 757 with an engine attached. One of the most memorable was taking the 757 to Oshkosh EAA AirVenture with a Turboprop (TP331) attached as a test engine. We worked with the show organizers to schedule our time on the “Boeing Plaza,” where we would park to showcase the aircraft. We had the opportunity to be a part of the main airshow and got to do a flyby for the huge crowd. We crossed show center with the main engines pulled back and the Turboprop at full power, hoping that everyone would awe at the big jet with “Honeywell” in big letters on the side that sounded like a propeller airplane. 
  • Favorite project you've been a part of? Definitely the project of bringing the 757 “online” as a flying testbed for engine testing and then maturing the aircraft into the world-leading, multi-product testbed that it is today. It took about three years of modifications before we flew with it at test engine. We could not have done so many things without that plane. We are very proud of how well it does its job. 
  • Did you always envision yourself working in the aviation industry, if not, what led you to where you are today? Yes, I was one of those kids staring at the sky every time an aircraft flew by. As a teenager, I could identify pretty much anything flying by and then went into the USAF through ROTC in college. 
  • What do you think makes working in Flight Operations unique? We get to support the full gamut of Honeywell Aerospace and are a real differentiator for Honeywell. No competitor can match our capability in flight testing. Our support of everyone there is always something new, exciting, and unique.
  • If you were in charge of naming an airplane, what would it be called? I think the planes have to have something to happen to them or almost have a personality that drives us to name them. I don’t think any of them have given us a reason to name them recently. However, we do use a “Call Sign” when flying to communicate with air traffic control, and each airplane has its unique call sign.
Rylee McDaniel
Internal Communications Intern