One of the most interesting aspects of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation into the SpaceShipTwo crash was how it pulled back the curtain on what was actually going on in the program being undertaken in Mojave. Over the years, the rhetoric has been frequently at odds with reality.
The National Test Pilot School recently unveiled two plaques honoring four lost pilots on the memorial wall in Mojave Air and Space Port’s Legacy Park. One honors NTPS test pilot instructor Mike Hill and flight test engineer student Ilam Zigante, who were killed on a training flight on Oct. 24, 2014.
The other plaque honors NTPS test pilot instructor Ron Bradley and test pilot student Maj. Kim Cheongon, who died in a training accident in 2003.
The new memorials are near a plaque honoring three Scaled Composites engineers — Eric Blackwell, Todd Ivens and Glen May — who died in a SpaceShipTwo test stand accident in July 2007. This memorial was placed on the wall in July 2008 to mark the anniversary of the accident.
A space has been left between the old memorial plaque and the new ones. My guess this is the likely location for a plaque to honor Mike Alsbury, who was killed in the crash of SpaceShipTwo last Oct. 31.