Virgin Galactic names new pilot for world's first commercial space line
Virgin Galactic, owned by Abu Dhabi's Aabar Group and Richard Branon's Virgin Group, has named Nicola Pecile as the world's first commercial spacecraft's new pilot.
Pecil joins Virgin Galactic after four years at the National Test Pilot School (NTPS) in Mojave, with 20 years spent in the Italian Air Force prior to this. He served as a fighter pilot and later as an experimental test pilot.
Virgin Galactic’s Senior vice president of operations Mike Moses said, “Nicola is a great representative of the cutting edge aerospace development that exists in Mojave and the Antelope Valley. His extensive experience with high performance vehicles, excellent engineering skills, and career as a test pilot instructor, in addition to his teamwork abilities and passion for our mission, make him a natural fit for Virgin Galactic.”
Pecil is an award winning graduate of the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot School, as well as an Associate Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots (SETP) and serves as Treasurer of SETP Board of Directors.
He exhibits his interest in astronautics through being a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the National Space Society (NSS) and the Planetary Society.