Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bilingual NASA Chat: I'm a NASA Pilot (Yo Soy el Piloto por NASA)

Herman Posada sits at the controls and flies his airplane. But he's not in the airplane! He's at a ground station miles away, using a joystick and video monitors to control the vehicle.

Herman is a NASA research pilot who flies unmanned aerial vehicles. These remotely piloted, full-scale aircraft are used more and more for research into advanced aeronautics systems and for capturing images and data in dangerous conditions such as wildfires or hurricanes.

On Thursday, September 23, you can ask Herman questions in both English and Spanish about what it's like to fly these unique, full-scale aircraft.

NASA's Ikhana, an unmanned Predator B modified for non-military missions, carries instruments for environmental Earth science studies and is used for advanced aircraft systems research and technology development. The Global Hawk unmanned aircraft has been very busy this hurricane season, flown by Herman and another pilot into and above hurricanes to collect data.

How did Herman get interested in flying? What's different about flying unmanned aircraft compared to regular aircraft?

Join Herman on Thursday, September 23, at 3:00 p.m. EDT to ask your questions in both English and Spanish about his experiences as a NASA research pilot for unmanned aerial vehicles. To join the chat, simply come back to this page on September 23. The chat window will open at the bottom of this page starting at 2:30 p.m. EDT. You can log in and be ready to ask questions at 3:00 p.m.

See you in chat!

More About Herman Posada

Herman Posada is a research pilot in the Flight Crew Branch at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif. He began his aviation career as a line mechanic and general aviation pilot. He flew a fixed-wing aircraft for Los Angeles traffic and aerial news organizations and piloted a number of other unmanned aerial vehicles, which took him on travel worldwide. He has more than ten years experience flying the Predator A MQ-1 and Predator B MQ-9 aircraft, including 300 hours as an instructor pilot. While Herman's parents are from Colombia, he was born and raised in Los Angeles, Calif.
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