FTSA Committee Members 2023

President - Peter Nugent



Vice President - Mr Benjamin Luther

Ben is a Flight Test Engineer with experience in F-18, P-3C, C-130 and RC-135 testing, particularly avionic and mission systems. Ben was the Commonwealth FTE at Airbus for the development of the KC-30 and undertook initial receiver clearance of the B737 type on the Wedgetail program. At Gulfstream, Ben was the corporate safety manager for complex systems and aircraft lead for avionic and systems certification test on #3 for the G500, G600 and G700. He is currently a test engineer at Nova Systems.


Secretary - Ms Jamie Smith

Jamie is a Senior Flight Test Engineer at Nova Systems. Prior to her move to Australia, she worked as a Developmental Test Engineer at Edwards AFB, CA. At Edwards, she was responsible for all DT&E air-to-air refuelling flight test For the USAF and has experience testing on-board the KC-30, C-17, KC-46, KC-135 and KC-10. Prior to Edwards, she worked at Arnold Air Force Base in wind tunnel ground testing and at Hawker Beechcraft and Piper Aircraft in the new product development teams. In her role at Nova Systems, she is contracted to support ARDU in the OT&E effort for F-35 Lightning. She holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering and a Cert IV in T&E.

Treasurer - Mr Andrew Fickling

 Andrew Fickling or 'Flicker', joined the RAAF after finishing school, and completed an Aerospace Engineering degree before going onto pilot training. Operational tours followed on the C-47 at ARDU then P-3 with 92WG. He completed Test Pilot training at NTPS, then returned for multiple flight test postings including serving as Project Test Pilot during the Wedgetail initial military type certification. Flicker left the RAAF for Bombardier in Wichita, Kansas and test flew all Global business jet models for development and certification, becoming a Transport Canada Test Pilot designee. Since 2019 he has been working for Wisk, and is currently the project pilot for development and certification of the Generation 6 autonomous eVTOL air taxi. He is an Associate Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots (SETP), and former treasurer and chair of the Central Section of SETP. 

Membership Officer - SQNLDR Dane Petersen

QNLDR Dane Petersen is a Flight Test Engineer with experience across multiple generations of Air Force capability, with a particular focus supporting the development and certification of external stores and electronic warfare systems. Dane has held senior flight test engineering positions within Aircraft Research and Development Unit, Aerospace System Engineering Squadron and the United States Navy's Project Office for Next Generation Jammer. He is currently employed within the Air Force Ranges Directorate, working to deliver an advanced, all-domain synthetic test and training environment that will enable operationally representative evaluation of Air Force's next generation combat capabilities.


Public Officer -Guy Adams

Guy is a Flight Test Engineer and currently the Director of Unmanned Aerial Systems for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Previously he was employed as a FTE with the RAAF's Aircraft Research and Development Unit (ARDU) and worked on F18 Hornet and Eurocopter Tiger flight test programs. Guy is a past President of FTSA.

SQNDLR Andrew Kerle - General Officer

 Andrew is a Test Pilot and graduate of the National Test Pilot School. Commencing his flying career flying several variants of the P-3C, he gained extensive operational and combat experience with 10SQN and 92WG Headquarters. Following TPS, Andrew performed a variety of roles at ARDU as a Test Pilot on the AP-3C and KC-30A. He remained at ARDU for 14 years, as the Test Pilot Standards Officer, Executive Officer, and as a check and training pilot on the PC/9A and PC-21. Prior to his recent retirement, Andrew was the Air Warfare Centre MAO Chief of Flight Test and Part 21J Compliance Verification Engineer.

Immediate Past President - James Hagen

ames joined the Air Force in 2001 and completed Aeronautical Engineering and Technology degrees at UNSW. He then moved to Canada to complete his flying training, prior to spending 7 glorious years flying on the AP-3C Orion with both 10 and 11 Squadron. James’ interest in flight test was stoked by a posting to conduct OT&E on the AP-3C Orion. In 2012 James completed the US Naval Test Pilot School, and then a follow-on posting to the RAAF Aircraft Research and Development Unit. Upon completion of his ARDU posting, James was the T&E Manager on the P-8A Poseidon acquisition during its successful introduction to service. James first became involved in FTSA as a member during his time at ARDU, and joined the committee in 2015, and became President in 2018.