David Kerzie, Lt. Col. (Ret.), USAF
Kerzie graduated from USAF Pilot Training in 1960 and the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School (Test Pilot/Space Pilot School) in 1968. His 20 year Air Force career included operational tours in both multi-engine and fighter aircraft, as well as eleven years of experience flying within the USAF test and evaluation community. He also completed a 186 mission combat tour in Southeast Asia flying the F-4 Phantom as a 480TFS Flight Commander.
Employed by the Lockheed Company in 1979, Kerzie was initially assigned as a test pilot on the high technology L-1011 commercial transport program. He transferred to Skunk Works in May of 1983 as a U-2 test pilot, and remained on the U-2 program for 14 years, retiring as Lockheed’s U-2 Chief Test Pilot in 1997.
Dave Kerzie was the 1986 recipient of the Iven C. Kinchloe Award as the industry’s Test Pilot of the Year for his work in performing extremely high-altitude flutter investigations. Among his other contributions to the U-2 program, of note were numerous test flights for the successful integration of the GE-118 engine and the digital autopilot development. Kerzie was also honored as a recipient of the USAF Test Pilot School Distinguished Alumni Award and was elected by his peers as a Fellow and President of the prestigious Society of Experimental Test Pilots.
Kerzie has logged 12,000 hours of pilot time, with almost 4000 hours in the U-2, and the remainder in more than fifty different aircraft types and sailplanes. He built an RV-6 experimental aircraft in his garage and has been flying it around the country since 1998