When asked to share a moment during his career that stood out most to him, Steve Richmond, Falcon 2000 Instructor Pilot at CAE Dallas, took a pause. Steve has been in a lot of interesting parts of the world during important moments in history, like Saudi Arabia in the late 1970’s, and Berlin in November 1989. He’s trained NASA pilots, flown world-famous rock bands and was type-rated and instructor-rated on the Gulfstream 1 (the “Father of the Family”).
When answering the question, he shared a story about a woman training for her private pilot license in 1978 who hated when he would pull the engine on her during her training. But about a month after she earned her license, she came up to Steve at the FBO and gave him the most wonderful hug. Turns out, she had just been rescued when her engine quit during a practice ride. She landed without a scratch on her or the airplane thanks to Steve’s training. It’s these moments that matter to Steve.
“I like that I can hopefully pass along more than just the technical aspects that we have to share from the OEMs with our clients, but that they can take advantage of my experience. I’ve been teaching for 46 years, flew for 42.”
Steve has been at CAE for almost five years, where he’s been instructing on the Hawker and Falcon programs in Dallas. But he’s been teaching in the aviation world since he received his Certified Flight Instructor Certificates and Airline Transport Pilot Rating in 1976. In 1978, Steve was trained on the Gulfstream 1 – which he flew until 2014. When no company provided training for the Gulfstream 1 after 2009, Steve travelled the world to provide initial and recurrent ground school and flight training in the aircraft for pilots who needed to maintain their type-rating.
Another unique story Steve shared, was while living in Houston, Steve trained NASA pilots and instructors on a modified version of the Gulfstream 1 for them to be able to train astronauts on the Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA). The STA mimics the cockpit configuration and flight characteristics of the Space Shuttle and is used by NASA as a training airplane for practice shuttle approaches for their astronauts. They would train on re-entry, so it was the only aircraft (at the time) ever approved to go full reverse! In fact, it needed to descend at 30,000 feet per minute to mimic a shuttle re-entry.
Steve would be the first to tell you that he’s lived an interesting life. But teaching and training is in Steve’s core. He has a desire to “pass along experience that you can’t buy, but that might keep you alive”.
Whether it’s teaching or flying, “I feel proud of what I’ve accomplished and fortunate to have had my life” Steve says. We agree Steve, we agree.
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