STEVEN A. HAZELRIGG, CDR, USN
Steven Hazelrigg '70
Date of birth: February 20, 1948
Date of death: August 15, 1990
From the 1970 Lucky Bag:
Steve was piloting an A-6E Intruder on August 15, 1990 when the aircraft suffered a catastrophic failure of the longitudinal flight control system during a test flight. He was the Chief Test Pilot of the Naval Strike Aircraft Test Squadron at the time of the crash. His co-pilot ejected and survived despite being severely injured.
From the Class of 1970 40th Reunion Book:
Steve’s goal throughout his time at the Naval Academy was to be a Navy carrier pilot. His mastery of A-6 tactics and shipboard operations was legendary and led to his selection for Navy Test Pilot School from which he graduated in 1976. In recognition of his skills as a test pilot, Steve, or “Axel” as he was known, was chosen to perform high-risk testing of shipboard takeoff techniques using a new “ski jump” design, a forerunner to ramp launches currently in use by the Royal Navy. Steve continued his career with several deployments in the A-6 and assumed command of VA-145 in 1987. During this very successful tour he became a member of the highly select “Grand Club,” having achieved 1000 carrier landings.
After his command tour, Steve returned to Pax River as Chief Test Pilot for Strike Aircraft test directorate. Tragically, Steve lost his life performing high-risk weapons carriage flight testing in an A-6. During a test maneuver which called for rapid control inputs at maximum speed, his aircraft suffered a severe mechanical malfunction from which he was not able to recover.
In a tribute to Steve’s outstanding contribution to Naval aviation and flight test, a major new test facility was named in his honor: The Captain Steven A. Hazelrigg Flight Test Facility. Additionally, the Steven A. Hazelrigg Memorial Award is presented during each Strike test squadron commander’s tour to “those whose qualities of professionalism, leadership and team spirit best commemorate the levels of positive leadership, professional achievement and selfless devotion to duty, which Capt Hazelrigg possessed.”
He is survived by two lovely daughters, Cecily and Stephanie.
An A-6 Intruder bears Steve's name; as of 2006 it was parked outside of Hazelrigg Hangar (Bldg 2133) on the south side of Naval Air Station Patuxent River.
The Captain Steven A. Hazelrigg Memorial Award is given to those whose qualities of professionalism, leadership and team spirit best commemorate the levels of positive leadership, professional achievement and selfless devotion to duty, which Captain Hazelrigg possessed. The officer/engineer team spirit that underlies the many successes of the Naval Strike Aircraft Test Squadron was fueled by the warm, charismatic personality of Captain Hazelrigg. This award is to recognize the officer and engineer team that demonstrates the qualities of Captain Hazelrigg during each each tenure of the Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two Three (VX-23) commanding officer’s tenure.
Memorial Hall Error
Steve is listed in Memorial Hall as a CDR; he should be listed as Captain.