Virgin Galactic’s David Mackay to Give Talk in Mojave

Chief Pilot David Mackay celebrates a successful flight with champagne. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

Virgin Galactic Chief Pilot David Mackay will give a talk about the history of flight at the monthly Plain Crazy Saturday event in Mojave on Sept. 21. The talk will begin at 11 a.m. in the the Mojave Air and Space Port administration building’s board room.

The title of the talk is, “100 Years of Flying Machines: From a Bleriot to a Ballistic Space Flight….With a Few Others in Between.” Seating is limited: please RSVP to info@mojavemuseum.org.

Admission is free to Planet Crazy Saturday, which includes the display of historic aircraft. A donation to the Mojave Transportation Museum Foundation is requested for the talk.

Originally from Helmsdale, Scotland, Mackay has been Virgin Galactic’s chief pilot since 2011 and was on board SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity as it made its ascent into space on its fifth test flight. He is the first native-born Scot to go into space.

Mackay learned 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.

He spent 16 years as a pilot in Britain’s Royal Air Force, becoming the officer commanding the fast jet test flight in 1992. Mackay was awarded the Air Force Cross by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for services to testing flying the same year.

After retiring from the RAF and before joining Virgin Galactic, he spent time as a captain for Virgin Atlantic flying both the Boeing 747 and the Airbus A340.