British United
Services Club
of Los Angeles
JULY 3, 2019
Friday, JULY 19, 2019
RSVP Cut-Off date:  JULY 15, 2019

President's Remarks
for the
2019 Annual Past President's Night
Captain Stuart R. Bird-Wilson, TD

Past Presidents Night – Virgin Galactic Astronaut David William Donald MacKay is the Chief Pilot of Virgin Galactic and the first native born Scot to visit space.

Born into a Police Officer’s family in Scotland he grew up in Helmsdale, Highland, where the low-flying aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth caught his attention. David studied Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Glasgow. He first piloted an aircraft in 1977 and joined the RAF in 1979 to fly the Harrier GR3 in Germany and the Falklands.

From 1986 to 1988, through an exchange with the RAF's Empire Test Pilots' School, David completed the French Test Pilot School (École du personnel navigant d'essais et de réception – EPNER). In 1992 he served as Commanding Officer of the RAF's Fast Jet Test Flight at RAF Boscombe Down. He has conducted trials on the Harrier GR7, the Sea Harrier FA.2 and the Tucano and flew with the Fixed Wing Test Squadron. In 1992 he was awarded the Air Force Cross.

Dave joined Virgin Atlantic in 1995, flying Boeing 747s as a Captain from 1999; he also flew the Airbus A340 from 2002. He has over 11,000 hours flying from the RAF and Virgin Atlantic.

Dave joined Virgin Galactic in 2009 and is now the Chief Pilot. On February 22, 2019 the suborbital spacecraft SpaceShipTwo (SS2) - VSS Enterpriser reached Mach 3.5 and an altitude of 360,000 feet. On that day Mackay became the 569th person to visit space.

This is an incredible opportunity to hear a first hand account of a true space explorer.

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