Tuesday, February 10, 2009

James R. Martinez 1935-2008

James R. Martinez, Cdr. USNR (Ret.) was born in Ashland, Pa. He was a former naval and civilian pilot and a graduate of the United States Naval Academy with a bachelor of science degree in engineering. James attended naval flight training in Pensacola, Fla and was designated a naval aviator in July 1961. In October 1965, James graduated from the United States Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Md.

Following his discharge from the United States Navy in 1968, he went to work as a pilot with Pan American World Airways for a one-year period. From 1970 to 1987, James was employed at Fairchild Industries in Hagerstown, Md. During his tenure at Fairchild, he served as chief test pilot and director of flight operations. He made the maiden flight of the Fairchild T-46 on the 15th October 1985.

James returned to work for Pan American World Airways in 1987. In 1991, he went to work with Delta Airlines, flying as lead check airman, retiring from the company in 2004.

During his extensive career in flight testing, he flew many varieties of aircraft ranging from rotary wing to supersonic fighters. He amassed more than 20,000 flight hours during his aviation career.