Dave Mackay - Virgin Galactic - STEMFest in Space 2021
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Dave Mackay

Chief Pilot at Virgin Galactic

More about Dave Mackay:

Dave Mackay joined Virgin Galactic in 2009 and is the company’s Chief Pilot. In addition to leading the Virgin Galactic pilot corps and planning for commercial flight operations, Dave plays a key role in the test flight programme, regularly flying both mothership, VMS Eve and spaceship VSS Unity.

Dave became the first Scottish astronaut during Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity flight on February 22, 2019 and became a three-time astronaut as a pilot on VSS Unity’s first flight from New Mexico on May 22nd, and Sir Richard Branson’s flight on July 11th.

Dave has over 40 years of experience as a pilot, first learning to fly while studying Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Glasgow in 1977. He has clocked over 14,000 piloting hours in more than 140 types of aircraft.

Dave spent 16 years as a pilot in Britain’s Royal Air Force, becoming Officer Commanding the Fast Jet Test Flight in 1992. He was awarded the Air Force Cross by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for services to test flying in the same year. After retiring from the RAF and before joining Virgin Galactic, Dave spent time as a captain for Virgin Atlantic flying both the Boeing 747 and Airbus 340.

Suitable for: 

All ages