Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Herman H 'Knick' Knickerbocker 1928-2015

Knick Knickerbocker completed his Navy Test Pilot training and put his skills to work flying carrier-suitability demonstrations of the U. S. Navy’s new TA-4 aircraft. That was the beginning of his career in commercial aviation, working on the development testing and FAA certification of the highly-successful DC9 and DC10 passenger planes that are still carrying passengers well into the 21st Century.
As a result of his military service, Knick Knickerbocker was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for the 100 very hazardous missions he flew during the Korean War. He became a charter member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots after he was assigned to Edwards Air Force Base as an experimental test pilot for McDonnell Douglas, flying many test flights and FAA certification flights. In 1978 he was promoted to chief test pilot of all military and commercial test programs and to Director of Flight Operations in 1982, in charge of all test flying, production flights, test flying, and flight training. In 1990, he retired, after 38 years with McDonald Douglas.
In spite of the many years he spent flying military and command aircraft, on thousands of FAA certification flights, as a test pilot for the U. S. Navy and major aircraft builders and designers, Knick emerged from all the years he spent flying experimental aircraft unscathed. His last assignment was testing the MD 80 aircraft in its certification for the FFA.  As a finale to his long and rewarding career, Knick was honored to be given the opportunity to debut the MD 80 at the Paris Air Show and to fly VIP scenic flights with some of the historical legends of American aviation and the U. S. Air Force.