President ITPS Canada
Giorgio has been involved in airplane and helicopter flight testing since 1987. He has been instructing test pilots and engineers since 1991 when he first taught at the International Test Pilots School in Cranfield in England. His test pilot experience includes testing of light aircraft most recently the Diamond D-Jet Proof of concept as well as DA-42 diesel and piston twin and DA-40 diesel and piston. He has also participated as flight test engineer/analyst in helicopter flight testing (Bell 429, AW-139, A-109LUH, A-129, EH-101, AS-332) and heavy transport aircraft flight testing (ERJ-145, CN-235-200, N-250, and C-27J). As test pilot school instructor, Giorgio has taught flight testing to students from 19 countries around the world. He has flown 38 types of aircraft.
Instructor Test Pilot
Vesa Keinanen is a former Finnish Air Force test pilot. A fighter pilot with operational experience on the MiG-21 and F-18, he is a graduate of both the FiAF National Flight Test Course and EPNER, the French test pilot school. Vesa was on the Finnish Air Force Fighter selection team, which eventually led to the purchase of the F-18. He was the Project Pilot for the F-18 High AoA and Departure training programme. Vesa has been three times instructor on the Finnish AF National Flight test course, as test pilot, as chief test pilot and as Course Director. Vesa was the Leader for the military transport evaluation which leads to the purchase of the CASA 295 transport aircraft. Vesa retired from the Finnish Air force as Commanding Officer of the Finnish AF Flight Test Center. He has flown over 75 types of aircraft.
Flight Test Engineer
Bill Walker received a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering degree from the Northrop Institute of Technology in Inglewood, California in 1974, and a Master of Applied Science degree from the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies in 1984. He has been involved in aeronautical engineering and flight testing and certification for 35 years. He began his working career as a design and test engineer with Canadair in 1974. He spent 4 years as a test and certification engineer with Trident Aircraft, leading to Transport Canada and FAA Type Approvals for the Trident Trigull amphibious aircraft. During his ten years with MBB Canada and Eurocopter Canada, Bill was a test engineer, test department manager and finally the Director of Engineering from 1990 to 1997. During this time he was involved in the BO105LS B-1 program, and numerous development and certification programs for specialized mission equipment installations for police and military customers around the world. Bill was also a Transport Canada Designated Engineer while working with MBB. Thereafter Bill was the Manager of Flight Test at Diamond Aircraft during the DA20 C-1 certification program. In addition, Bill is a Professional Engineer registered in Ontario.
Instructor Test Pilot
Jeff Peer is a Distinguished Graduate, Israel Air Force (IAF) Fighter Weapons School. He is also a Graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School - Class 74B. Jeff is a former Chief Test Pilot and subsequently, Commanding Officer of the Israeli Air Force Flight Test Center. Jeff has over 20 years as an operational pilot in over 30 types of aircraft, including active combat in the SuperMystere B2, the Mirage III, the Kfir C-2, the F-4E and the F-15. He is credited with more than 5 confirmed kills. Later employed by Calspan Corporation as Chief Test Pilot and Director of Flight Operations, he was mostly concerned with flight-control-system research. Jeff also instructed at the USAF and the USN Test Pilot Schools. He was the primary General Dynamics Test Pilot for the NF-16D Variable stability In-flight Simulator Test Aircraft (VISTA) and served as a member of the Saab/Swedish Air Force International Advisory Board on Flying Qualities and Flight Control Design. In 2006 he joined Adam Aircraft as Senior Experimental Test Pilot, Designated Engineering Representative, FAA Test Pilot and Flight Analyst. Jeff is a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.
Luc van Bavel
Academics Instructor, Data Analyst
Luc holds Bachelor of Sciences Electro-Mechanical Engineering from the Ecole Centrale des Arts et Metiers in Brussels.He served in the Belgian Air Force Reserve as an F-16 Maintenance Officer. Upon leaving the service he joined Promavia at Gosselies developing the Jet Squalus New Generation Jet trainer. He was seconded to the Mikoyan Design Bureau to design the MiG-8.15 jet trainer on behalf of Promavia. Subsequently Luc has been involved on a number of jet aircraft projects as a freelance designer and performance expert. He is currently actively involved in the Design and development of the Diamond D-Jet and Epic Victory Very Light Jet. Luc has in depth knowledge of jet aircraft design, performance and data analysis. He has taught on ITPS courses since 2007.
John W. Armbrust
John Armbrust retired from the US Army after more than 21 years of service. John has over 30 years experience as an aviator, with more than 20 years as an engineering test pilot. More than 6,000 hours total flight time on over 37 different aircraft types. John was the Chief Army Test Pilot for Comanche Test Team, representing the US Army technical and developmental test communities. John flew the eighth flight in prototype number one. John’s overall responsibility was as team leader, organizing the Army’s test assets on this program. Previously John was an Engineering Test Pilot/Instructor Pilot, USA Airworthiness Qual. Test Dir. at Edwards AFB, CA where he planned and conducted engineering and development flight test in production and prototype aircraft. He was a project pilot for numerous AH-64A engine control programs, and jettison envelope expansion and Aeronautical Design Standard (ADS) –33 certification programs. John represented the US Army at professional forums and served as Engineering Test Pilot/Instructor Pilot, US Army Aviation Technical Test Center at Ft Rucker, Al, where he planned and conducted engineering and development flight test in fielded aircraft. He was the project director for many AH-64 Programs including; Hellfire Air to Air Employment Test, Advanced Night Vision Sensor Program, AH-64A Lead the fleet Supportability Program, Handling Qualities and Jettison Evaluation of the AH64A with the Firedrake Pod, and the AH-64A Cold Weather Qualification Test. John was also project director on many other programs including the New Training Helicopter (NTH) fly-off competition. In all, John has extensive experience in managing programs and budget assets. He has provided direct testimony at official GAO hearings in Washington D.C. John was a member of the American Helicopter Society Crew Stations and Human Factors Technical Committee. He provided direct testimony as a Comanche subject matter expert to the US House of Representatives.
Civil Education and Military Training
Bachelor of Science, Mathematics, Cal Southern University
Associate of Science, Mathematics and Engineering, Enterprise State Junior College
Basic Combat Training
Armored Cavalry Reconnaissance Specialist Advance Individual Training
US Army Platoon Leader’s Course
US Army Flight School
US Army Aeroscout Instructor Pilot Course
Warrant Officer Advanced Course
Fixed Wing Multi-engine Qualification Course
US Naval Test Pilot School
AH-64 Aviator Qualification Course
US Army Instrument Examiner’s Course
Warrant Officer Staff Course
Awards and Decorations
George S. Patton Leadership Award- Association of the US Army
Distinguished Graduate- US Army Flight School
Dean’s List- Enterprise State Junior College for Mathematics
Most Outstanding Student, Mathematics- Enterprise State Junior College
US Army Research and Development Achievement Award
American Helicopter Society Pilot of the Year (Feinberg Award)
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal
Helicopter Test Pilot
Geoff has 40 years flying experience. A RAF operational helicopter pilot before becoming a flying instructor and then eventually going to the Empire Test Pilots School, graduating as a test pilot in 1986. On graduation from ETPS, worked as military test pilot and trials officer on diverse projects, covering all helicopters in service with British forces, and including certification of icing and night vision systems, embarked trials, performance and handling. Geoff also qualified as Training Officer and MoD (PE) Instrument Rating Examiner and Unit Flight Safety Officer. Following several years as a military test pilot, Geoff joined an international helicopter company, working initially as an aeroplane and helicopter instructor teaching student commercial pilots. He then returned to an active test flying role, progressing to become the company’s Head of Flight Test. Geoff has more than 10,000 hours flying experience gained on over 60 types of helicopters and aeroplanes. He holds UK professional pilots licences and training qualifications for helicopters and light aircraft. He is a CAA authorised Flight Examiner and Type Rating Examiner for Helicopters and an authorised Ground Examiner for the Private Pilots Licence (Helicopters). He is accredited to the UK CAA and MoD as a test pilot in connection with UK civil and military certification. These qualifications are also acceptable to non-UK authorities. Geoff is a ‘Pre-Selected’ expert advisor to the European Aviation Safety Agency, for matters relating to Certification, Airworthiness, Test Flying, Flight Operations and Training. Geoff is an elected Member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society
Aerobatics and Spinning Instructor
Larry learned to fly in 1974 and almost immediately started building and working on airplanes. He graduated from Seneca College’s Aviation and Flight Technology program in 1978 winning awards from The Canadian Aviation and Space Institute, Air Canada, and Seneca College. After instructing and doing some charter flying, he was hired by Air Canada in 1979. Almost one third of his career has been assignments as supervisory pilot and/or instructor. He has flown the DC-9, B-727, L-1011, B-747, and is currently a Toronto based check pilot on his favorite large aircraft – the B-767. His favorite small plane is an open cockpit, aerobatic biplane – a Bucker Jungmann replica he built and maintains. He has been active in aerobatic competition since 1986 (Pitts S1) and has won a few national titles as well as some regional competitions; has flown for several local airshows; has had advanced spin training on both the Pitts S2 and Extra 300; has taught basic and advanced aerobatics; has flown over 70 different types of aircraft; has performed aerobatics for the film industry; has done spin evaluation for ITPS; and is presently competing in Sportsman with the Jungmann and Intermediate with a Pitts S1.
Denis has close on forty years experience in civil aviation. He started flying at Chicoutimi flying School College in 1970 on the Beech baron and Beech 1900. He subsequently worked in aerial firefighting serving as first officer on a PBY5A (Canso) and later the Canadair Cl-215. Since 1973 he has been with Air Canada where he was rated as Captain on the A-320, A-330-340 and B-777. He has flown a variety of other civil airliners at various times being rated on the DC-9, Boeing 727, Boeing 767. Denis’ brings his considerable operational experience in fly-by-wire heavy transport aircraft to ITPS, providing lectures on airliner fly-by-wire flight control, flight control laws and the operational pilot’s perspective of flying modern fly-by-wire airliners.
Astronaut, Academics Instructor, Aerobatic Pilot
Bjarni Tryggvason is one of the original six Canadian astronauts. On August 7, 1997, Mr. Tryggvason flew as a payload specialist aboard Space Shuttle Discovery on Mission STS-85. He is an Airline Transport rated pilot with more than 4,500 hours of flight experience, and 1,800 hours as a flight instructor. Mr. Tryggvason is active in aerobatic flight and is also a visiting professor at the University of Western Ontario. He has written more than 50 published papers and holds three patents. Bjarni teaches airplane performance, stabil ity and control, data acquisition and instructs aerobatics at ITPS.
Fixed Wing Test Pilot
As the Joint Strike Fighter Lead STOVL test pilot, Graham Tomlinson recently piloted the F-35B during its maiden hover and vertical landing. After his first flight, at the age of 17, in an Auster Autocrat, Graham joined Bristol UAS in 1968 whilst studying Aeronautical Engineering. On graduation he joined the RAF and was posted to the Harrier Force in Germany for his first assignment. In 1975, he was awarded the first of three Queen’s Commendations for Valuable Service in the Air when he recovered a stricken Harrier following a serious hydraulic system failure. Thirty one years of outstanding contribution to military test flying started in 1979, graduating from ETPS at Boscombe Down where he received the coveted McKenna Trophy and the Hawker Hunter and Sir Alan Cobham Awards. He participated in Tornado, Jaguar, Hawk, Buccaneer, Hunter and Harrier projects. A highlight of this tour was his lead test pilot role during the Sea Harrier FRS1 First of Class Flight Trials onboard HMS Invincible. After a posting to the USA at NAS Patuxent River as the UK Harrier GR5 project test pilot, followed by a Harrier flight commander tour in Belize, he joined British Aerospace in 1986. He was duly promoted to Chief Test Pilot in 1994, accumulating over 2800 hours in Harriers alone. Graham was invited to apply his vast experience to the F-35 JSF programme during the System Design & Development Phase as the lead STOVL test pilot. Graham was instrumental in shaping the aircraft’s flight control system and contributed numerous innovative ideas to the design of the aircraft. His played a pivotal role in the flight test planning and safe execution which culminated in a faultless performance as the pilot of the maiden hover and vertical landing of the world’s first stealthy STOVL fighter.
Fixed Wing Test Pilot
John Turner is a graduate of the Empire Test Pilots School and holds a degree in Physics from the University of York. His RAF service included postings flying Phantom F4s, flying instructor training and Flight Commander at No 4 Flying Training School. On graduation from ETPS, he was posted to the Royal Aerospace Establishment Farnborough where he commanded the Experimental Flying Squadron. This involved flying a wide range of aircraft including the Andover, BAC 1-11, Buccaneer, Comet, Jaguar, Hawk, Hunter and Varsity. Trials included simulator and airborne development of helmet- mounted targeting systems and also the development of advanced weapon aiming systems and of night vision techniques. In 1990 John retired from the RAF to become Tornado ADV Project pilot in BAE Systems. In 1992, John became the Eurofighter Project pilot, flying the aircraft at every phase of development until 2000, including many ‘first’ flights as the aircraft envelope was expanded to include carefree handling. John subsequently moved onto the Nimrod MRA4 programme on 1 April 2000 as Project Pilot before becoming Chief Test Pilot Nimrod & Strategic Aircraft in 2003. He went on to become Director of Flight Operations for BAE increasing his responsibilities beyond Nimrod MRA4 to include the flight test of large aircraft ranging from BAe146/RJ, through the turbo-prop ATP to RAF aircraft such as the Canberra and VC10, and oversight of UAV trials. In recognition of his unique test flying achievements he was awarded the Derry & Richards Medal for outstanding contribution to the art and science of aviation in 2005 by the Guild of Air Pilots and Navigators (GAPAN).