State of Readiness | Alan Cruce; NASA Research Pilot – SOFIA
In this conversation, Alan shares his life’s journey as a pilot. From earning his pilot’s license before most people earn their driver’s license all the way to becoming a research pilot for NASA and it’s SOFIA program.
I met Alan while I was on assignment in Denver. He and his team from NASA were also on assignment in Denver, separate assignments, of course. And we met as people who are on assignments, far away from home or app to meet in the hotel bar.
They started sharing with me what their program was at NASA, which was SOFIA. I became completely infatuated. You see, when I was younger, I wanted to be a pilot, I wanted to be an astronaut. And I was fascinated with NASA. This was the time of the Apollo program and the Skylab program. I wrote to NASA and IBM Federal Systems many times and each time I was gifted a package of goodies; pictures, pamphlets, mission patches, the works.
We all got along wonderfully. And as the night went on, they asked me if I wanted to join them to the next day for simulator training in a classic 747 (the model that was all analog). Of course, I said, Yes, and messaged my client that I was going to be late.
Alan’s story is a great one; earning his pilot’s license before most people earn their driver’s license. From then his life was one confluence of circumstances and events after another – which he shares some (but not all) – until he got his chance to fly missions for NASA as a pilot in the SOFIA program, a fascinating program that was recently terminated.