James ”J.B.” Brown had just taken off in an F-22 Raptor on a routine test flight when 730 oC air escaping from a loose connection in one engine began melting wires and hydraulic and fuel lines. Protocol dictated that he shut down the ailing engine and fly on the healthy one, but he remembered that an F-117 had been lost by just such an action--the aircraft tumbled out of control while the pilot ejected to safety. Brown's plane was too close to the ground for him to eject. Thinking fast, he idled the bad engine and lowered the landing gear. Then, on final approach, the other engine started to fail. With just seconds to spare before the jet lost power, he landed the aircraft, shut it down, and ran from it in case there was a fire. Happily, there wasn't.

”Had I followed the emergency procedures verbatim, I could have ended up in a world of hurt,” he says in a jovial Alabama twang. ”But, hey, I get to fly one of the most powerful airplanes in the world. I'm a 53-year-old guy doing stuff teens dream about.”

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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