Dryden Flight Research Center
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NASA Dryden Flight Research Center
The City of Lancaster, Calif., inducted former NASA research pilot Edward T. Schneider into its Aerospace Walk of Honor Sept. 24. The Walk of Honor consists of a series of sidewalk monuments displaying on brass plaques a brief summary of the careers of military and civilian pilots who contributed to the evolution of aviation at nearby Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
The annual ceremony honored Schneider and four other pilots, including a past commander of the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB, Maj. Gen. Wilbert D. "Doug" Pearson. The other three honorees included Lt. Col. John Allavie (USAF-Ret.), Richard Thomas and the late Maj. Wallace Lien. The event and a companion aviation fair at a plaza in downtown Lancaster featured aerospace exhibits and vendors, and concluded with a flyover of an Air Force F-117 Nighthawk at noon.
Schneider called his induction a "huge honor," easily the biggest in his life.
"I know a lot of the people who are members of the Walk of Honor already," he said. "These are people I have flown with like Fitz Fulton, Bill Dana, Tom McMurtry, Don Mallick, and people who are some of my heroes - Scott Crossfield, Jimmy Doolittle, folks like that. It's amazing that someone would think my accomplishments would allow me to be included with them."
Becoming the 19th NASA pilot to receive this recognition, Schneider, or "Fast Eddie" as Dryden co-workers called him, was a prolific Navy pilot earlier in his career. After retiring from the Navy in 1983, he joined NASA as a research pilot. He piloted five first flights and flew many modified planes used for research such as the SR-71, F-15B, F-18 High-Alpha Research Vehicle, F-8, B-52B and a Learjet. Overall, he has flown more than 87 different aircraft types.
His career at NASA Dryden included three years as chief pilot. He wound up his time in the Mojave Desert as Dryden's Deputy Director of Flight Operations in 2000. He then transferred to NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, to be a WB-57F research pilot and a T-38 instructor pilot.
"I think the biggest highlight for me (in my NASA career) was not only the constant variety of the work but the fact that it was cutting edge technology that was exciting to be around and participate in, especially as a research pilot," Schneider reflected. "The fact that I was backed up with such a great team of people - engineers, mechanics and technicians - is what really made it go. Without those people there is no way we could be successful. This is really an award for them as much as it is an award for me. I just get to carry it for them."
Schneider retired from NASA in 2004 and moved to San Diego, Calif., where "Fast Eddie" still flies, but on his own time. He now joins the ranks of the other 79 test pilots to be immortalized for their exceptional expertise in expanding the boundaries of flight research and testing.
For more detailed description of Schneider's impressive career, log on to:
PHOTO EDITORS: High-resolution photos to support this release are available electronically on the NASA Dryden photo gallery at: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/news/newsphotos/
TELEVISION EDITORS: Interview segments and B-roll footage to support this release will be aired during the Video File feeds on NASA TV's media channel beginning on Sept. 27. NASA Television is carried on an MPEG-2 digital signal accessed via satellite AMC-6, at 72 degrees west longitude, transponder 17C, 4040 MHz, vertical polarization. A Digital Video Broadcast (DVB)-compliant Integrated Receiver Decoder (IRD) is needed for reception. The NASA Television schedule is available on the NASA Television website:
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