Team Graphic

VF-51 Team

Andy Foster is the VF-51 Team Leader on the VF-51 Project Team. Andy provides overall coordination of the VF-51 team schedule, coordinates efforts and information with the US Space and Rocket Center (USSRC) staff and volunteers, and provides resources and manual labor as necessary and able to complete the project. Andy was a F-14A and VF-51 Radar Intercept Officer from August 1980 to January 1984, completing aWestPac (1981) cruise on the USS Kitty Hawk and the initial around-the-world cruise aboard the USS Carl Vinson (1983). At the end of his service, Andy had 1100 + hours in the F-14A including twenty-eight flights in the project aircraft (Bu No 160661), two of which were in VF-124 and the remainder in VF-51. Andy's career in the Navy started in 1972 when he enlisted to become a jet engine mechanic (ADJ). He currently lives in Friendswood, Texas and is a Commercial/Instrument pilot, a Light Sport Certified Flight Instructor, and an aerospace engineer working part time for SAIC as a safety analyst for the JSC Flight Safety Office support team.

James Morgan served as the VF-51 Technical Lead responsible for setting the overall direction of the team's work efforts. James was in VF-51from 1989 to 1992 and served as an AMS3, a Corrosion Control CDI, and a Supervisor.  He had been personally responsible for the paint scheme the squadron used during the 1990 WestPac and had painted and repaired the birds, which makes him a natural for helping to keep the team on track. James lives in Fayetteville, TN.



Sam Herrera is a VF-51 Project Team member who served with VF-51 from 1983 to 1987 (joining the squadron during the latter part of the same around-the-world cruise Andy was on) as a Plane Captain (PC) responsible for the everyday care (including the preflight preparation, assisting the aircrew getting aboard and with aircraft start, and breaking down and chaining down the aircraft). Sam was a PC on the project aircraft and a jet engine mechanic (AD) by training. He lives in Houston, Texas.






Bill Green is a VF-51 Project Team Member who served in VF-51 from 1990 to 1995 as an Aviation Electrician (AE) and served as a Troubleshooter responsible for last minute troubleshooting of aircraft problems during launch and recovery. He lives in Madison, AL. His expertise was invaluable in helping us get the Tomcat's canopy open which allowed us to refurbush the cockpits for later public display.

David Simmons is a VF-51 Project Team Member who served in VF-51 from 1975 to 1979 as an airframes and structures mechnaic with a specialty in hydraulic systems (AMH2) as a Second Class Petty Officer. David lives in Byron, GA. His expertise was invaluable in helping us get the Tomcat's canopy open which allowed us to refurbush the coickpits for later public display.




Ed Stewart is the Director of Exhibits at the US Space and Rocket Center. Ed provides overall direction of the project and is the interface between the aircraft and the Naval Aviation Museum that actually owns the aircraft.








Chris Key is a volunteer at the center and is the coordinator of the Aviation Challenge Alumni Volunteer Team. Chris is an Aviation Challenge alumni and an enthusiastic supporter of the program and its aircraft, including the F-14. In his day job, Chris is a Director at Pricewaterhouse Coopers. He is a Board Member of Aviation Challenge (AC), has unbounded dedication to restoring the aircraft at AC, and is a Private Pilot.








Dan Gibson is a part time employee of the USSRC who retired from the US Army with over 20 years of aircraft maintenance and Army Aviation experience. Dan is known for his enthusiasm and his tireless work ethic when it comes to supporting the Center's aircraft. He provides the technical direction for the project and supplies the team with whatever logistical support is necessary.









Clarrisa Flores is a volunteer from Arkansas, an Aviation Challenge alumni, and a self-declared "Tomcat lover". She has impressed all of us with her willigness to support the project and is a Program Manager at Ducommun International. She can usually be found prowling around airplanes wherever she can find them...











Adam Lamson is an employee of Yalista Aviation who is an aircraft maintenance technician and a former US Navy AME (Aircraft Structural Mechanic- Equipment) who worked on F-14 crew systems while in the fleet. His expertise was invaluable in helping us get the Tomcat's canopy open which allowed us to refurbush the coickpits for later public display. Thanks Adam and Yulista!!







Ian Maddox

Ian Maddox is a volunteer living in the Huntsville area who is a Systems Analyst Engineer with Jacobs Engineering Group. He has a Masters Degree from the University of Alabama at Huntsville in aerospace engineering.









Matt Zwack

Matt Zwack is another Volunteer from the Huntsville area who's a Systems Engineer at Jacobs Engineering Group. Matt has a PH.D in aerospace engineering from Georgia Tech and is also a Private Pilot.










Rebecca McWhirter is a Spacecamp alumni who currently lives in Nashville TN and claims to have been to the Jedi Training Academy. We haven't seen her with any light sabres, but shes does wield a mean sander!!













Manny Diaz was lost to us too soon; after only two sessions on the grinder he fled back to Georgia Tech to continue working on his PhD in aerospace engineering . Manny is also a Private Pilot.