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Center Snapshot - Charles Burtnette III
Charles Burtnette III.
Image above: Charles Burnette II is next to the back stop of the testing area known as "the pit" in Building 1256. Credit: Sean Smith.

Charles Burtnette III builds things.

At home, it's boats. A Hampton native who grew up swimming in a community pool, he has broadened his aquatic horizons.

Burtnette has built a paddleboat, a sailboat and fishing boat, which allow him and wife Karen to indulge their love for Virginia's coastal waters.

They like to travel to different coastal towns and stay at bed and breakfasts.

At work, Burtnette builds models and hooks up instrumentation. He has done so since beginning his career 20 years ago as an engineering technician co-op and graduating from the apprentice school.

Burtnette has worked in the 16-foot wind tunnel, the TDT (transonic dymanics tunnel) wind tunnel and the Jet Exit Test Facility to help set up testing. He now works in the Combined Loads Test System (COLTS).

“I like the fact that I am able to work in different facilities and with different people. I don’t get bored,” he explained.

He attributes some of his work success to training with the Army National Guard for six years, which was something be became involved in as a senior at Kecoughtan High School.

“It was a lot of hard work. It taught me to work with a sense of urgency,” he said.

At Langley, he also enjoys seeing what he works on become part of something larger that is able to take flight.

At home, he enjoys launching one of his creations, and he wants to make it easier. He hopes to be able to buy a house for him and Karen right on the water one day and be able to set sail from their own backyard.

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Denise Adams
The Researcher News