Joins Three Others In Ceremony At Lancaster, California
The City of Lancaster, CA, inducted former NASA research pilot
Edward T. Schneider into its Aerospace Walk of Honor Sept. 24. The
Walk of Honor consists of a series of sidewalk monuments displaying
on brass plaques a brief summary of the careers of military and
civilian pilots who contributed to the evolution of aviation at
nearby Edwards Air Force Base, CA.
The annual ceremony honored Schneider and four other pilots,
including a past commander of the Air Force Flight Test Center at
Edwards AFB, Maj. Gen. Wilbert D. "Doug" Pearson. The other three
honorees included Lt. Col. John Allavie (USAF-Ret.), Richard Thomas
and the late Maj. Wallace Lien. The event and a companion aviation
fair at a plaza in downtown Lancaster featured aerospace exhibits
and vendors, and concluded with a flyover of an Air Force F-117
Nighthawk at noon.
Schneider called his induction a "huge honor," easily the
biggest in his life.
"I know a lot of the people who are members of the Walk of Honor
already," he said. "These are people I have flown with like Fitz
Fulton, Bill Dana, Tom McMurtry, Don Mallick and people who are
some of my heroes -- Scott Crossfield, Jimmy Doolittle, folks like
It's amazing that someone would think my accomplishments would
allow me to be included with them."
Becoming the 19th NASA pilot to receive this recognition,
Schneider, or "Fast Eddie" as Dryden co-workers called him, was a
prolific Navy pilot earlier in his career. After retiring from the
Navy in 1983, he joined NASA as a research pilot. He piloted five
first flights and flew many modified planes used for research such
as the SR-71, F-15B, F-18 High-Alpha Research Vehicle, F-8, B-52B
and a Learjet. Overall, he has flown more than 87 different
His career at NASA Dryden included three years as chief pilot.
He wound up his time in the Mojave Desert as Dryden's Deputy
Director of Flight Operations in 2000. He then transferred to
NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, to be a WB-57F
research pilot and a T-38 instructor pilot.
"I think the biggest highlight for me (in my NASA career) was
not only the constant variety of the work but the fact that it was
cutting edge technology that was exciting to be around and
participate in, especially as a research pilot," Schneider
reflected. "The fact that I was backed up with such a great team of
people -- engineers, mechanics and technicians -- is what really
made it go. Without those people there is no way we could be
successful. This is really an award for them as much as it is an
award for me. I just get to carry it for them."
Schneider retired from NASA in 2004 and moved to San Diego, CA,
where "Fast Eddie" still flies, but on his own time. He now joins
the ranks of the other 79 test pilots to be immortalized for their
exceptional expertise in expanding the boundaries of flight
research and testing.