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Rich Rogers Zooms Over the Top of the World for NASA
May 2011
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Assistant Chief of the Aircraft Office for Wallops Flight Facility Rich Rogers has fun performing precision research flying including over the North Pole.

What is most interesting about your role here at Goddard?

I am assistant manager of aircraft operations at NASA Wallops Flight Facility and also fly NASA aircraft in the United States and around the world helping scientists collect airborne science research data that helps us better understand and care for our world.

A typical day for me involves meetings in my office or the hangar with aircraft operations personnel, or a flight in a NASA aircraft.

I fly both a NASA P3 or Kingair aircraft each of which has some very cool instruments that allow precision research flying.

Aircraft teamwork is the key to the safety and success of our airborne science missions at NASA.
Photo of Rich Rogers of Wallops Flight Facility
Assistant manager of aircraft operations at NASA Wallops Flight Facility Rich Rogers pilots precision research aircraft and is also a leadership coach. Credit: NASA/Goddard/Wallops Flight Facility
Pilots, mechanics, electricians, project managers, scientists, secretaries, logistics coordinators, air traffic controllers, and financial analysts all working together is fun and exciting and keeps us safe and successful.

What is the coolest thing you’ve ever done as part of your job at Goddard?

The coolest thing I’ve ever done as part of my job is that I have been to the top of the world and flown my aircraft over the North Pole.

This is a view from the NASA P3 aircraft cockpit as it flies 1000 feet over the Greenland icecap during Operation Icebridge, which flies each March-May. The end of video shows an ice camp where researchers live on the ice for weeks and months at a time collecting arctic science data. Credit: NASA/Goddard/Wallops Flight Facility

What makes Goddard a great place to work?

For me it's the people and the work. Both are very exciting and fun and very important to our country. We lead the way in scientific discovery which makes our world better for us and future generations.

What lessons or words of wisdom would you pass along to somebody just starting their career at Goddard?

The lessons or words of wisdom I would pass along to somebody just starting their career at Goddard would actually be not words, but "letters of wisdom." They would be 3 B’s and an F………Be positive! Be grateful! Be always learning something new! And have FUN!

What other things do you find interesting?

One of Rich Rogers leadership classes I am a leadership coach at NASA. I enjoyed taking leadership classes and learning about leadership in the military, at IBM where I worked before NASA, and at NASA so much that I found a training program that qualified me to be certified as a leadership coach. I have discussions with individuals and groups about how leadership practices can make a positive change in your life at work and home.

Do you have a favorite book, magazine, movie, or TV show?

The Bible is my favorite book. It keeps me on the right path with a positive attitude. My favorite words from the book are the Golden Rule – “Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.” What a great recipe for life!
Rogers takes on the important task of instilling leadership values in our leaders of tomorrow. This kindergarten class is enthralled with Rogers' talk about his work at NASA and the importance of leadership in shaping your life. Credit: Rich Rogers

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Patrick A. Black
NASA's Wallops Flight Facility