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Maj. Simon Beattie, an experimental test pilot from the United Kingdom serving at the Redstone Test Center as part of the Military Personnel Exchange Program, is the 2020 Robert N. Turk Award recipient.

The Robert N. Turk Award is presented to the individual within the Aviation Flight Test Directorate who has made the most significant contribution to Army engineering flight testing during the last year.

It is awarded in memory of Robert N. Turk who died on May 26, 1964, near Delano, California, during a test flight in a Hiller LOH-5.

Beattie provided exemplary service to Redstone Test Center and the entire Army aviation acquisition community while serving as the test director and senior experimental test pilot for the AH-64E 30mm Gun Accuracy Improvement Test Program. Beattie was presented the award by AFTD Commander Lt. Col. Joe Minor and Deputy Commander Justin Powell during an awards ceremony at the directorate.

Over the last year, Beattie has participated in more than six weeks of gun accuracy flight testing at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. He accumulated more than 100 flight hours and fired more than 44,000 rounds of 30mm.

Beattie’s efforts were significant in that he successfully applied his engineering flight test techniques in conjunction with his extensive background of operational aviation service to expose the root cause of accuracy issues reported from the field. His efforts culminated in the development of a white paper and aviator training package that was published to AH-64E units and taught as an essential element of standardization procedures.

“Maj. Beattie commands respect as one of the most knowledgeable (XPs) in the organization, and his outstanding creativity, operational acumen and exceptional performance of duty is in keeping with the finest traditions of the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command, the Aviation Flight Test Directorate and RTC,” Minor said.

While Beattie serves at Redstone Test Center, Chief Warrant Office 4 Nate Woelke is the ATEC exchange pilot in the United Kingdom on the MPEP program serving as an experimental test pilot for the UK Rotary Wing Test Squadron at Boscome Down, United Kingdom. He is on a three-year exchange tour to work as an experimental test pilot and officer for the UK Army.

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