Jan 27 2015

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Virgin Galactic names new test pilot

Congrats to Mark Stucky, who starts working for Virgin Galactic on 2 Feb.

Here is his CV:

An accomplished military and government test pilot, Stucky has flown flight tests for the US Marine Corp, US Navy, US Air Force, NASA and international partners. He has logged over 9,000 flight hours in over 170 different models of aircraft ranging from the light and slow (blimps and paragliders) to the heavy (C-5M Super Galaxy) to the high and fast (SR-71 Blackbird). He also brings commercial aviation experience as a former United Airlines pilot.

Stucky has received numerous flight test awards including the Society of Experimental Pilot’s prestigious Iven C. Kincheloe award, awarded annually to the Society’s test pilot of the year, and its Ray E. Tenhoff Award, which recognizes the most outstanding technical paper presented at its annual symposium. He was named the US Air Force Test Pilot of the year in 2006.

Stucky is currently the President of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. Last year he was inducted as a Fellow, an honor bestowed annually to those who have served with distinction in flight test.

Stucky began his aviation career at age 15 by teaching himself to hang glide in the flint hills of Kansas. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physical science from Kansas State University and a master’s degree in aviation systems from the University of Tennessee. He is the co-author of the book “Paragliding – a Pilot’s Training Manual.”

This is significant because

  • Stucky is a replacement for Michael Alsbury, killed in the SpaceShipTwo crash, and
  • The article identifies Virgin Galactic’s Chief Pilot: Dave Mackay, no doubt a distant cousin of mine. (Yeah, his name is spelled differently, but my family changed its name from Mackay to McKay when it moved to the Protestant South in the 1890s.)

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/01/27/virgin-galactic-names-new-test-pilot/

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