The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Cathy Hansen
contributing writer 

New directors installed at Mojave Air & Spaceport

Short Flights

 

January 30, 2021

Photo provided

MASP Director Jim Balentine, Installing Officer; and newly installed directors: Chuck Coleman; Diane Barney and Bob Morgan.

On December 4, 2020, Mojave Air & Spaceport Director Jim Balentine presided over the swearing-in ceremony for three new directors who were elected in the November election.

Robert "Bob" Morgan; Charles "Chuck" Coleman and Diane Barney were the three top vote receivers. All three are General Aviation, Commercial rated pilots.

Morgan is an aerospace engineer and manager with 30 years of experience in the aerospace industry. His career has involved the design and management of over 33 cutting-edge prototype flight vehicles. Robert's engineering project leadership has spanned over 20 aircraft development programs with significant engineering participation and leadership in 10 "cleansheet" to first flight new aircraft designs.

He served as project engineer at Scaled Composites for the Virgin Galactic White Knight Two and the SpaceShipTwo rocket propulsion development. He led a team of 24 design engineers and managed a 70-person rapid prototyping team.

Morgan owns a Grumman Tiger and is presently building a Rutan Long-EZ.

He wanted to be a part of the Mojave Air & Spaceport Board of Directors to give back to the community that he had been a part of for 24 years.

"It's a unique place with a lot of opportunities and I want to help sustain that," he said.

Chuck Coleman is an engineer, airshow pilot, test pilot and flight instructor with over 10,000 hours. Chuck has an Aerospace/Mechanical Degree from the University of Michigan. Chuck is also an FAA licensed Airframe and Power Plant (A&P) Mechanic with Inspection Authorization (IA).

Chuck gives instruction in unusual attitudes and International Aerobatic maneuvers. He flew for a movie that allowed him membership in the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). Chuck provided aerial support and help to win the Peabody award for the documentary "Black Sky."

"I have lived here for a couple of decades and I am impressed with what I have seen," Coleman said. "History has been made at Mojave Air & Spaceport with great astronautics, the flight around the world and I want us to keep going on like that."

Coleman worked with Scaled Composites as chase pilot on some of the most unique and inspiring air and spacecraft projects ever designed, including: Proteus, twin-turbofan, high-altitude, multi-mission, high-endurance aircraft; White Knight and SpaceShipOne, winner of the $10-million Ansari X-Prize in 2004; the round-the-world Global Flyer, an aircraft similar to the Voyager design, only jet-powered and pressurized for high altitude and he flew chase for White Knight Two and SpaceShip Two for The Spaceship Company.

Diane Barney owns two aircraft, A J-3 Cub and a Grumman Tiger and she is the co-owner of a Boeing Stearman with Dustin Mosher.

Last year Diane and Dustin flew their PT-17 Stearman during a Legacy of Peace Aerial Parade, along with many other World War II aircraft, over the USS Missouri (BB-63) moored at Pearl Harbor to commemorate the 75th anniversary of V-J Day.

The formal surrender signing took place in Tokyo Bay on the deck of the USS Missouri battleship (Mighty Mo) on September 2, 1945. The Japanese delegation surrendered to the Supreme Allied Commander, Douglas MacArthur. 

The Stearman was transported to Hawaii and back again aboard the USS Essex (LHD-2).

The aircraft was lifted onto and off of the ship by a crane.

Barney had the exceptional opportunity of sailing back to the mainland aboard the Essex along with her Stearman.

Barney served in the U.S. Air Force for six years, and graduated Perdue University with an Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering degree.

She worked at Scaled Composites as a Liaison Engineer and as a Flight Test Analyst Engineer and Consultant/Independent Contractor at The Spaceship Company.

Presently, she is a Senior Flight Systems Engineer with ClancyJG International at NASA Armstrong Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base.

When asked why she wanted to serve on the MASP Board, she said, "When I moved here five years ago I wasn't expecting the incredible community that I found."

"It's easy to spot from afar that this place is a landmark in pioneering aerospace, just on the leading edge," said Barney. "But there is an additional layer that is equally beautiful; the people who are here and what they are doing and how they do it behind the scenes and I am honored to be a part of this."

 
 

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