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David Ostler joins ITPS as a Rotary Wing Flight Test Instructor

January 29, 2024

ITPS welcomes David Ostler this week as a Rotary Wing Flight Test Instructor! David is an Australian test pilot with over 20 years’ flight test experience in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and civil industry, with over 4000 hours flying experience on over 50 aircraft types. In deciding to join ITPS, David was “impressed with the innovative way ITPS approaches flight test training, always looking toward the future of flight test but not at the expense of past lessons learnt.”

David served 7 years as a fixed wing pilot in the Australian Army flying Pilatus Porter and Nomad before transferring to the RAN to fly helicopters. He served in the RAN as an operational and test pilot for 14 years, flying Seahawk, Sea King, AS350, and Sea Sprite before entering the civil sector. While in the RAN David was involved in First of Class Flight Trials, mission system testing, as well as fundamental performance and handling qualities testing. He served as the project test pilot for the Navy’s Sea Sprite acquisition program and as the Navy’s Chief of Flight Test before retiring in 2008.

David Ostler in orange flight test suit standing with smile and crossed arms in front of helicopter

Following retirement from the RAN David worked for 2 years as a lecturer, human factors researcher, and flight instructor at Swinburne University before returning to the flight test profession. As a civil test pilot and engineer David has worked on multiple programs including chief test pilot at GippsAero for the GA10 certification program, test pilot and flight dynamics engineer for the AMSL Aero eVTOL program, human factors test lead for RAAF air to air refuelling HMI rectification, as well as numerous minor modification programs on Part 23 aircraft and Part 27 and 29 rotorcraft.

David has developed and delivered several short courses on flight testing for the New Zealand aerospace industry. These courses included airborne flight labs and were attended not only by industry but also staff from CAA NZ and the Royal New Zealand Air Force. In addition to flight test David has worked as a production test acceptance engineer at Boeing on the Ghost Bat program, a system safety and seaworthiness engineer for Anduril Industries, and has taught reliability engineering and system safety to the Republic of Singapore Air Force for more than 10 years. David holds flight test and flight analyst delegations (FAA DER equivalent) with the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority and New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority.

David holds several academic qualifications including the ETPS No. 39 Rotary Wing Course (2001), a Master of Science in Flight Dynamics from Cranfield University and a PhD in Mathematics from Swinburne University. In teaching our students, David “wants to prepare students for the challenges that lie ahead in their careers, not only through teaching the technical fundamentals of flight test but also preparing them for the other challenges they will face as flight test professionals in industry.” Welcome David!