image of plane at night on runway

Peter B. Field

Educational and Professional Background

  • 1962 — B.S. Mathematics, The Citadel, Charleston, S.C.
  • 1963 to 1989 — Commissioned Officer, United States Marine Corps
  • 1963 — Designated Naval Aviator
  • 1971 — Graduate, U.S. Naval Test Pilot School
  • 1984 — Permanent Promotion to Colonel, United States Marine Corps
  • 1986 — Graduate, Industrial College of the Armed Forces
  • 1989-2005 — Research Program Manager, Phantom Works, Mc Donnell Douglas/Boeing
  • 2003-Present — Aviation Consulting, Expert Witness Practice

Areas of Expertise

Accident reconstruction, aeronautical judgment, aircraft system subsystem failure analysis, avionics, aircraft maintenance and product liability, control flight into terrain, flight dynamics, cockpit display automation, airmanship, airworthiness, aviation codes and standards, flight-testing, digital and mechanical flight controls, electronic (glass) cockpits, pilot or crew training, pilot or crew performance, FAA regulations, flight plan reconstruction, air traffic control procedures, general aviation airport development, homebuilt (experimental) aircraft flight-testing and test plans, human factors engineering, military and civil aircraft accidents and mishaps, piloted spacecraft engineering, test engineering, weather factors.

Associated Areas of Expertise

Economic evaluation of the loss of life, helicopter accidents or mishaps, rotary wing flight test

Related Aviation Experience

  • Aircraft Maintenance Officer
  • Carrier Qualifications Flight Instructor
  • Director, U.S. Naval Test Pilot School
  • Experimental Test Pilot
  • Flight Instructor
  • Flight Test Program Manager
  • Landing Signal Officer
  • Marine Air / Ground Task Force Commanding Officer
  • Manager / Engineer Research Programs - Boeing
  • Nuclear Weapons Delivery Pilot
  • Out of Control Recovery (Spins) Flight Instructor
  • Squadron Commanding Officer
  • Corporate Commercial Pilot
  • Experimental Aircraft Builder and Pilot

Aircraft Accident and Mishap Investigation Experience

During three tours at the Naval Air Test Center as member of the Center’s Safety Panel, investigated numerous accidents / incidents involving Naval aircraft testing programs during 1971 through 1975, 1978 through 1982, and 1983 through 1986. Assisted in developing the initial version of the Naval Air Test Center’s “Flight Testing Lessons Learned” document. In 1993 I was a member of the NASA convened "Quality Assurance Board" which evaluated Space Shuttle operational problems and methods of correction to prevent reoccurence of the Columbia accident. Over the past 13 years investigated 45 accident cases involving general aviation and military aircraft as either expert witness or consultant. These cases involved detailed accident reconstruction and cause determination. Several of these cases involved pilot error determination as related to the pilot's experience and training.

Aviation Program Management

Served as senior military test pilot and military test program manager for the F/A-18 Full Scale Development (FSD) Program. Supervised employment of six test pilots and 35 engineers and technicians operating a 20 million dollar annual budget. Responsible for all aspects of the government and contractor flight test program. Constructively worked with the contractor to resolve approximately 1000 aircraft deficiencies of all varieties over the course of the development program. Developed post-production flight test procedures for new F/A-18 aircraft, still in use. Guided resolution of all F/A-18 development program deficiencies with NAVAIR and the Contractor to field one of the most successful fighter aircraft, exceeding all previous Navy records for performance, reliability, maintainability, and safety in a carrier based aircraft. In over 4000 flight test hours sustained an accident free record for all 10 FSD aircraft. Commanded the first operational F/A-18 squadron (selected assignment), accident free. Led squadron to first training air combat engagements against USAF F-15 and F-16 squadrons, fully demonstrating the F/A-18 in Air-to-Air (A/A) and Air-to-Ground (A/G) operational scenarios. Conducted first F/A-18 live missile shoot and first squadron carrier qualifications. As U.S. Navy Test Pilot School Director, supervised 60 military flight and civilian academic instructors plus administrative personnel and a contractor maintenance staff of over 300, operating on an annual budget of 18 million dollars. Responsible for the execution of daily flight scheduling of 35 aircraft of 13 different types (helicopters to supersonic jets). Acquired and introduced F/A-18B and UH-60A aircraft to the Test Pilot School syllabus. Monitored the progress of an average of 50 student test pilots and flight test engineers through the one-year course. Served as a test pilot flight instructor in all aspects of flight syllabus with specialization in Out of Control (spin recovery) flight, advanced weapons systems, and digital flight controls evaluations.

Professional Flight Experience

Over 7,000 total flight hours, Special Instrument Rating, Experimental Test Pilot Rating, Qualified Shipboard Landing Signal Officer, FAA Commercial/Instrument Airplane Single Engine / Multi Engine Land Ratings, Transport Aircraft Commander Rating (US-2 / C-1A), Air Combat Tactics Instructor, Marine Air Group Strike Leader, Mission Commander, Instrument Check Pilot, Design NATOPS Instructor (A-4, F-4, F-9, T-38, F/A-18), Functional Check Pilot (A-4, F-4, F-9, F/A-18). 225 Combat Missions, Republic of Viet Nam. 300 carrier landings. Currently flying part time corporate aircraft for Drury Inns, Inc. Part owner in a Bonanza G-36 airplane. Served as a Civil Air Patrol, Search and Rescue Mission Commander 1997 through 2005. Have completed construction of and now fly my Lancair 360 Experimental Aircraft, for which I hold an FAA Repairman’s Certificate.

Flight Test, Engineering, and Engineering Design Management

Flight evaluated classified foreign military aircraft during project "Have Idea." Flight tested the High Resolution Multi Application Radar (HIMAR) on a specially modified A-6A airplane equipped with an optical tracker. Flight evaluated the engineering model Heads Up Display (HUD) for the A-4 aircraft, later approved for production. Flight evaluated engineering changes to convert the F-4B airframe to the F-4N model. Evaluated and recommended changes to the "glass cockpit" concepts in development as advanced by the contractor, McDonnell Douglas, for the F/A-18, which later became the genesis of electronic display of information in many military and commercial aircraft. Introduced the F/A-18 into the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School curriculum and revised standard hydro-mechanical flight control testing techniques to incorporate test techniques for highly augmented electronic flight controlled aircraft. At McDonnell Douglas, following the Sioux City DC-10 crash, worked on propulsion control concepts for use as back-up flight controls for airliners and tested the concept in simulation. Worked on other propulsion control concepts for the C-17 as both primary and back-up flight controls. Managed and assisted in the development of a series of digital flight control computers for use in safe experimentation on electronic flight control systems called the Production Support Flight Control Computer (PSFCC). Managed the Active Aeroelastic Wing (AAW) program, essentially a leading edge aileron control surface concept designed to capture the flexibility of high aspect ratio wings for enhanced lateral control purposes. Managed the Space Shuttle Avionics Upgrade Program, an initiative that conceptually updated Orbiter avionics in order to improve cockpit displays, lower operating costs, reduce vehicle turn-around times, and mitigate existing obsolescence.

Congressional Testimony

Sworn testimony before the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) on two occasions during 1980 regarding the performance of the F/A-18A aircraft and whether the aircraft would meet performance specifications. Testimony further elaborated on progress of the flight test program and estimates of the general value of the new aircraft to the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Sworn testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) during 1981 for the follow on progress of the F/A-18A. Committee recommendations in the appearances before the HASC and SASC resulted in recommendations to appropriate funds for full rate production of the aircraft.

Aviation Education

Graduate, U.S. Navy Pilot Training. Graduate, U.S. Marine Corps Nuclear Weapons Delivery Training. Graduate, U.S. Navy Landing Signal Officer Training. Graduate, U.S. Navy Test Pilot School. Graduate, U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School. Graduate, U.S. Navy Post Graduate School Aviation Safety Course for Commanding Officers. Graduate, Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Flight Safety Wichita, Bonanza Course.

Awards and Honors

  • Fellow, The Society of Experimental Test Pilots
  • Distinguished Flying Cross
  • 15 Strike Flight Air Medals
  • Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat “V”
  • 2 Meritorious Service Medals


  • P. B. Field and C .L. Field, PowerPoint™ presentation to the Greater St Louis Business Aviation Association, "Father and Son Experiences on Ejecting from Jet Aircraft," 14 May 2016.
  • P. B. Field, PowerPoint presentation to the Missouri Pilots Association, “Aviation Expert Witness Experiences and Lesson Learned”, 1 October 2013.
  • P. B. Field, PowerPoint presentation to the Missouri Flight Instructors Association, Techniques For Performance Testing Your Homebuilt Airplane, 20 January 2007.
  • P. B. Field, et al., Active Aeroelastic Wing (AAW) Research Program Final Report; Boeing-STL 2005P0054, 31 October 2005.
  • P. B. Field, et al., Active Aeroelastic Wing Flight Research Program: Technical Program & Model Development, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 37, No. 4, p. 544, July-August 2000.
  • P. B. Field, Navy Assessment of the Roll Performance and Handling Qualities of the F/A-18 Airplane with Differential Leading Edge Flaps Incorporated (Roll Mod II), Naval Air Test Center Report SA-69R-81, February 2, 1982.
  • P. B. Field, NATOPS Flight Manual F/A18 A/B Aircraft, Section 4, Flight Characteristics, December 1, 1981.
  • P. B. Field, Navy Preliminary Evaluation (NPE-IVB) of the F/A-18 Airplane (U), Naval Air Test Center Report SA-C1R-81, January 27, 1981.
  • P. B. Field, Navy Preliminary Evaluation (NPE-IIIB) of the F/A-18 Airplane (U), Naval Air Test Center Report SA-C5R-80, August 14, 1980.
  • P. B. Field, Navy Preliminary Evaluation (NPE-IIB) of the F/A-18 Airplane (U), Naval Air Test Center Report SA-C1R-80, February 29, 1980.
  • P. B. Field, Phase II Final Report, Navy Preliminary Assessment of the AN/APG-65 Radar and F/A-18 Avionics in the T-39 Airplane (U), Naval Air Test Center Report SA-C17R-79, September 13, 1979.
  • P. B. Field, Navy Technical Evaluation of the Elliot Type 546 Head Up Display in the TA-4J Airplane (U), Naval Air Test Center Report WST-69R-74, July 25, 1974.
  • P. B. Field, Phase Two Navy Technical Evaluation of the High Resolution Multiple Application Radar (HIMAR), Final Report (U), Naval Air Test Center Report WST-C41R-73, October 12, 1973.
  • P. B. Field, Phase One Navy Technical Evaluation of the High Resolution Multiple Application Radar (HIMAR), Final Report (U), Naval Air Test Center Report WST-02R-81, January 27, 1973.

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Peter Field Aviation

Peter B. Field
Aviation Consultant

17619 Bridgeway Circle Dr.
Chesterfiled, MO 63005


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