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KBR’s Test Pilot John Holder Honored as USNTPS Instructor of the Year

KBR’s Test Pilot John Holder Honored as USNTPS Instructor of the Year


Publish Date:
27 May 2021

U.S. Naval Test Wing Atlantic named KBR’s John Holder the 2020 U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS) Instructor of the Year.

John received the award from USNTPS for his outstanding leadership, exceptional technical skill, and superior instructional insight. He won this annual award for his role in training top pilots, flight officers, and engineers for the U.S. and allied nations at the test pilot school.

A former Royal Navy test pilot whose call sign is “Noddy,” Holder belongs to KBR’s flight test team, which is one of the world's largest independent flight test organizations. He has been a USNTPS instructor since 2012, serving as a flight instructor, aircraft project officer, exercise monitor, and research cell pilot.

“It’s an honor to win the Major Michael J. Ripley Award as USNTPS 2020 Instructor of the Year. The students at USNTPS are amongst the best motivated, enthusiastic and capable people I have ever had the pleasure of teaching. Guiding them through the course, while being part of a team of incredibly talented staff, makes instructing at USNTPS a real privilege,” Holder said.  

An integral pilot on the training team, John accomplished 108 missions throughout the past year in four types of aircraft, representing 175 mishap-free flight hours.

In addition to flying, John works on a variety of critical projects for the school. These include:

  • Leading a system upgrade procurement to enhance rotary wing and airborne and unmanned systems training syllabi
  • Managing an effort to collect hover performance data in confined spaces for three types of rotary wing aircraft to validate computer models
  • Coordinating a quick-turnaround interim flight clearance to employ a trailing device from the UH-72A Lakota helicopter for key training exercises

Throughout the past five years, KBR pilots have won the distinct honor of USNTPS Instructor of the Year twice. KBR's flight operations team has more than 50 years of flight test support experience gained through partnership with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, NASA and other government and commercial customers.

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