Brian's Open Road


Test Pilot

“It's really all about perseverance. I just had this attitude where failure was just not an option.”


Engineering Armed Services


Goals Hard Work Perseverance Success Experience Values Confidence Courage Pride Opportunity Passion Failure Determination Pressure Risk Struggle Chance


Being Physically Active


  • When he was a kid, he'd play with toy rockets and gliders; clearly his great passion from day one.
  • Had to apply to naval test pilot school three times before he was finally accepted; flying was much harder than he'd expected.
  • Final test came down to him landing an old jet on an aircraft carrier at night in a storm; says "you live your life for moments like that."
  • Was in the Navy for 20 years; wanted to keep flying rather than work a desk job, went to Mojave to keep flight testing.
  • Jumped into flight testing private spaceships, started pursuing Ansari X prize (flying a private aircraft into space on two occasions).
  • They hit failure after failure, finally got something right: spaceships kept successfully flying higher and higher.
  • After making it into space once, he was chosen for do-or-die second flight; it was successful, set winged aircraft altitude record.
  • Even after flying into space, felt more out of his comfort zone later that week doing Late Show with David Letterman.

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