Coworkers discover it's a small world after all

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Despite the realities of the 'digital age,' it seems most people are still surprised to find how interconnected the world can become.

During their time at Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC), the paths of Ed Mickle and Crawford Parrish Sr. had virtually never crossed until they recently transitioned to civil service positions in the plans and programs office in 2009.

Since the 1990s, Mickle had worked as an aerospace engineer in Arnold's wind tunnels and Parrish was an information technology planner for the center's contractor for 10 years. In his earlier life, Crawford had served in the Air Force as a weapons systems officer flying in the F-111 Aardvark aircraft from the early 1980s to early 1990s.

One of Mickle's hobbies is building scale aircraft models and he has spent hours building models of Air Force aircraft, one of which is, yes, the F-111, Aardvark, a medium-range bomber and tactical strike aircraft.

"This is where the story lines converge," Mickle said. "Shortly after arriving in the XP office, I moved my 'favorite' fighter models to the new cubicle.
Parrish saw the new arrivals and zeroed in on the F-111 on my desktop."

Crawford was aware that a model company used the F-111 he had been assigned to as a guide for their scale models and they had photographed his aircraft.

"He wondered if I had built this particular model so he inspected the front landing gear door where the pilot and weapons systems officer's names are typically found," Mickle recalled. "To his surprise, there was his name - Capt. Parrish - affixed to my model."

This strange coincidence provided an enjoyable moment for their office and helped the newest members find common ground. And the similarities don't end there, Mickle added.

"Crawford and I each have a son who works at AEDC (for Aerospace Testing Alliance) and both are named after their father's and yes, e-mailing can get confusing." Mickle is now the senior manager for aerodynamics test facility planning for the capabilities integration division. Crawford is AEDC's acquisition program manager for CARA (Capability Analysis and Risk Assessment).