United States of America
1932 - 2012
David William Thomas received a B.S. in electrical engineering from Washington State University and a master’s degree in systems management from the University of Southern
California. He served 20 years as an Air Force test pilot in both fixed-wing and rotary aircraft, including a combat tour in Southeast Asia flying the A-1 Skyraider. His flying continued with the FAA, where he helped certify the S-61 Carson composite rotor blades now widely used by the UK Royal Navy and the US Presidential helicopter fleet. He concluded his flying career as a consultant test pilot with over 9,000 flying hours in 76 types of aircraft and across six continents. Thomas joined AHS in October 1965 and was a member of the Gold Circle Club. He was awarded Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots (SETP) in 2008, and was active in the USAF Helicopter Pilot Association and Quiet Birdmen Society.
Mr. Thomas, 80, of Nashua, New Hampshire, passed away on December 13, 2012, at the Community Hospice House in Merrimack after a long illness.
AHS Updates: Vertiflite September/October 2013