Tom's Flight Dreams
I've topped the winds-swept heights where never Lark or even Eagle flew...
came to the 787 program in an unusual way, but I am glad that I came, whatever
the path. My first involvement was as a consultant to one of Boeing’s
suppliers, THALES. After a year with THALES, I switched over to consult to
Boeing’s Flight Deck Crew operations team on their development of the
engineering Cab, a fixed-based simulator that is used for systems integration,
procedure development, and initial pilot training.
the next 5 years, I worked in a variety of positions that helped ultimately lead to the
certification and delivery of the plane. Although the program may be most
commonly remembered for being 3+ years late, I will always remember it for the
challenges it provided as we tried to drive one of the most complex integrated
airplanes ever envisioned to completion. I had the chance to work with some
brilliant people, have good times and bad, work brutally long hours, all while
doing what I loved: working with planes and solving problems.
the Dreamliner take off on its first flight on December 15, 2009 was a defining
moment in my life. I had been a part of an enormous team that had used multiple
forms of cutting-edge technology to create an amazing machine.
official 787 Flight Deck publicity shot, taken in my Cab at Boeing Field
Dreamliner Flight Deck publicity shot with fashion models filling in for the
with ZA001 as it taxies past just prior to First Flight on December 15, 2009
with Mike Carriker and Randy Neville at the controls, taxiing for takeoff
before First Flight
Dreamliner lifts off on its first flight
view from the mission control room during First Flight. In this room were some
of the brightest engineers I have ever met. If anyone could solve a problem, it
was these men and women.
from inside ZA004 before flight – those are the various flight test stations
where engineers observe data
flight deck of ZA004 before we took it on a test flight
Me in the observer's seat on my first 787 flight
Ross, captain for my flight in ZA004, and I pose afterwards
of my favorite types of planes in formation: the Supermarine Spitfire and
Boeing 787 Dreamliner
token of another formation flight of two of my favorite planes: me in the Long-EZ in very
loose form with ZA002, flown that day by Randy Neville
youngest 787 pilot ever – 5 year-old Alex prepares to fly the Dreamliner
My family and I in the 787
Cab – they sacrificed not having me around for much of 3 years as we built it
and ran tests on airplane systems. - June 25, 2009