Saturday, March 26, 2011

Steven M. Rainey

Steve Rainey is a 1980 Engineering Mechanics graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and attended UPT at Vance AFB and flew F-4’s at Ramstien AB, GE. He conducted F-16 & F-4 flight test at Eglin AFB from 1988-1990 prior to attending TPS. Tests included safe separation, asymmetric flying qualities, and weapons tests. Steve received his Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Miami in 1990 and graduated from the US Naval Test Pilot School in 1991 (Class 99). From 1991-1994 he was assigned to Edwards AFB as an F-16 CTF Flight Commander & Primary Test Pilot for all F-16 avionics testing, night attack systems, flying qualities with external chin pods, HARM targeting system, High Angle of Attack FAM IP. From 1994-1996 Steve did his time in purgatory at the F-22 Program Office. This paid off because he was then selected to be the first F-22 Operations Officer responsible for setting up initial operations. He was the first USAF pilot to fly the F-22 Raptor; “firsts” include: 1st flight at Edwards AFB, 1st in-flight APU start, 1st in-flight engine shutdown/restart, 1st Air Refueling, 1st Loads test, 1st emergency landing gear extension. He conducted all categories of Raptor flight test and was then selected to be the 411th Flight Test Squadron Commander at the F-22 CTF. Steve retired in 2000 and was an American Airlines pilot for three years. His next position was as a Civil Service F-16 pilot at Edwards conducting test and chase. In 2005, The Boeing Company hired him as their test pilot on the F-22 program and regularly conduct F-22 flight test in all categories. He is currently the only dual-qualified F-22 & F-16 Instructor/Evaluator Pilot. He flew the first F-22 Loads test mission carrying Small Diameter Bombs (SDBs). Steve’s Raptor flight tests include Loads, flying qualities, engine tests, jet wake encounter tests, RVSM qualification testing, weapon safe separation tests, integrated weapon release tests, crosswind landing tests, avionics testing, Integrated Systems Evaluations, and Climatic Lab tests.