Tuesday, April 12, 2011
John Fornasero was born March 5, 1904 at Tulare, CA. He attended the National Automotive Engineering School, Los Angeles, CA from 1922-23, and the Ryan School of Aeronautics from 1928-29. He was Chief Pilot and Instructor at the Ryan School of Aeronautics from 1929 to 1937, having also served as aircraft mechanic from 1929-30. He took on the role of engineering flight testing for Ryan from 1934-37. From 1937 to 1943, Fornasero worked for the Department of Commerce as Aeronautical Instructor and Flight Engineering Instructor. He was responsible for examination of airmen and aircraft for certification, and for examination and flight testing of aircraft, components and accessories for Type Certification. From 1941-43 he was Chief, Flight Test and Factory Inspection Branch, CAA Region 1, La Guardia Field, NY. From May 1943 to March 1944 he worked for Fairchild Aircraft, Burlington, NC where he was Director of Flight Test and Delivery. He was responsible for testing military aircraft and preparation of these aircraft for delivery to the Armed Services. In March 1944 he went to work for Boeing Aircraft Co., Seattle, WA as a Project Test Pilot on the B-17G. He became Chief Test Pilot and performed engineering flight testing of Boeing’s aircraft, including the B-47 and B-52. He was with Boeing until 1955.