Instructor: Mark Swaney

Mark Swaney
Biography: Mark Swaney is a commercial pilot, test pilot, flight instructor and educator who has spent many years of his career either involved with flight test of military and commercial aviation systems or teaching aircraft and avionics systems flight test. Mark studied aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati and co-op'd in experimental flight test at Gates Learjet Corporation. After completion of commercial pilot training, Mark participated in modification and certification flight test of new and modified Learjet systems. Upon graduation, he volunteered for the US Navy and was designated a Naval Flight Officer. Mark served as a Radar Intercept Officer flying the F-14 Tomcat in operational fighter squadrons. He completed the US Naval Test Pilot School as a Test Naval Flight Officer and served in numerous flight test roles involving tactical avionics systems, weapons systems, advanced flight controls, structures, and engines. He was project officer for the upgrade to the Super Tomcat, was the lead flight test officer for the AN/APG-71 radar system and project RIO for the Infrared Search and Track System. Mark was designated an Aerospace Engineering Duty Officer and a Weapon System Acquisition Manager. His later assignments were Commanding Officer, Naval Air Pacific Repair Activity; Operations Officer, Program Executive Officer for Tactical Aircraft Programs; Commander, Naval Test Wing Pacific; and Vice Commander, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division. He retired from the Navy with 30 years of service and then applied his expertise to educating students about avionics flight test at National Test Pilot School.

Classes by this instructor

This course provides an overview of basic avionics systems flight test to include the understanding of test planning and risk management, as well as the necessity and complexity of flight test instrumentation and data collection. Students will understand the challenges of testing integrated systems, as well as understanding the importance of time, space and position information (TSPI), sources of TSPI and its use for data acquisition, reduction and analysis. They will review causes and methods of testing software and for identifying electromagnetic interference. Students will also receive a basic understanding of aerospace data bus architectures, communications and radio navigation systems, Global Navigation Satellite Systems, RADAR systems and electro-optical and infrared systems to help understand required flight test techniques. Students will also gain understanding in the challenges of human-machine interfaces which require crew station and workload evaluations as part of the aircraft and systems certification process.

Course preview webinar: Will Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Drive Changes to Avionics Systems Flight Testing?

September 16-20, 2024, San Diego Marriott Mission Valley