President Julie Townsend called the meeting to order. Don Selvage then led the invocation, pledge, and Four-Way Test.
Pam Craven introduced the guests and visiting Rotarians. Happy Dollars were collected by Michelle Emerson-Lewis. Mike Loudon then led the Club in singing.
President Julie then installed the following new members: Mark Miller, sponsored by Michael Huff and Beth Ann Noles sponsored by Matt Brown.
Ed Lunz then introduced Adam Abitol with NOAA.
Adam began by providing his education accomplishments with a USNWC, MA, USNTPS Class 152 and his MS in Systems Engineering from John Hopkins. In aviation, he has over 4000 hours and has flown several different types of aircraft – helicopters, seaplanes, jets, and many more.
About NOAA, at the Department of Commerce, there are about 3000 employees, 321 NOAA corps uniform and service employees, 50 planes, and AOC - 9 aircraft. There are 4 types of aircraft that NOAA currently flies.
Adam's job role is COO/Operational Flight for Hurricanes, GRAV-D, TOMS, OWN, King Air, 35 OER. He is also an instruction Pilot – Senior OP, and Test Pilot.
Adam explained that testing is a very important part of their work and testing can take 2 – 3 years prior to launch. The process is to alter and modify the aircraft, then analyze, simulate, compare, inspect, then test/demo, and finally flight test.
Adam explained that the Technical Reports that are written throughout the process are the most laborious part of the process. Which includes Test Plans, Report of Test Reports, Daily Flight Reports, Data Cards, and Deficiency Reports.
Adam went on and showed videos of Flight Chases where they have two airplanes flying side by side in ‘flying form’ and observing the NOAA aircraft during test fly. He supplied a video of the NOAA aircraft releasing a Hurricane Drone and the process of how the observation leads to improving the process prior to launch.
Adam took many questions from the audience before he had to depart to chase the many Hurricanes forming.
President Julie closed with her paraprosdokian of the week: The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.
Next week’s program will be A Conversation in Politics with Dr. Susan McManus.