Member Spotlight – Jesús Javier Fernández Orío, SFTE-Europe

This article first appeared in the April 2015 Flight Test News.

Jesús Javier Fernández Orío currently serves as the Vice President of the European Chapter of the SFTE,  and he works in Spain’s Military Transport Aircraft Airworthiness Unit (INTA, Unidad de Aeronaves de Transporte Militar-Aeronavegabilidad). Spain will also be the location for the upcoming European SFTE Symposium. View the SFTE-EC call for papers here.

FTN: What flight test projects are you working now?
JJ: In recent years my career has evolved to the Certification business. Right now I am working the certification of the A400M. What is a critical issue and goes beyond this program is the future of common military airworthiness in Europe. (See his paper on this topic in the SFTE tech paper database.)

FTN: If you could ask your 80 year-old self for flight test advice, what would it be? 
JJ: I would like to ask the following, “How do you know when you are pushing too hard in a flight test schedule, and balance that with how to avoid letting people ease things too much by giving appropriate time slots and assuming enough delays?”

FTN: If you could give younger FTEs advice based on what you know right now, what would it be?  
JJ: One thing I have noticed in my experience is that nobody wants to be the first one to abort a flight test. Once somebody says stop, though, you will find that many other systems were about to claim for stop too.

FTN: What significant lessons learned have you learned that could benefit other members?
JJ: No matter how humble you think your work is there will be people in other places that could benefit from your flight test experience and knowledge.

FTN: What unusual factors you have encountered for key test decisions? What decisions did they support?
JJ: There are always things “not very technical” but constraining from a safety point of view: airspace availability, chase aircraft readiness, test ranges, etc.

FTN: If you had to eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
JJ: Definitely my mother’s tuna fish in tomato sauce.

FTN: If money was no object, where would you travel?
JJ: My dream travel is an around-the-world cruise.

FTN: If you could spend one hour with any flight test person past or present, who would it be? 
JJ: I would like to meet Werner Von Braun.

FTN: What flight test project would you work on if time, money, and difficulty were not constraints? 
JJ: I would have worked on the X-15 or XB-70. You will have many stories for your grandsons.

FTN: What question do you wish people asked you in an interview?  
JJ: It would be this: “What do you think should be the next great discovery or advance in aviation?”(So what do you think? Submit your answer on twitter: @flighttestfact.)

This article first appeared in the April 2015 Flight Test News.

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