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NASA Armstrong Pilot Biography: Dana D. Purifoy
May 14, 2014
 

Dana PurifoyDana D. Purifoy

Dana D. Purifoy is the Director of Safety and Mission Assurance at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA. He is responsible for flight and range safety, aviation and institutional safety at Armstrong, including planning, directing and coordinating all activities necessary to ensure that proper safety policies, objectives, processes, and standards are established and maintained. He provides independent assessment, risk management, and airworthiness oversight that assure the early integration of safety, reliability, and quality into programs and facilities.

Purifoy also serves on Armstrong's Airworthiness and Flight Safety Review Board, which provides independent assessment of each flight project's readiness to proceed to flight.

A former Air Force test pilot, Purifoy initially came to NASA as a research test pilot in 1994. During 11 years with NASA, he flew a number of significant research projects, among them the F/-18 Active Aeroelastic Wing, the Advanced Control Technology for Integrated Vehicles project on a highly modified NF-15B, research experiments on NASA F-15B aeronautics test bed and the Supersonic Laminar Flow Control project on a modified F-16XL. He also flew the NB-52 mothership during launches of the X-38 prototype crew return vehicle and the X-43 hypersonic scramjet vehicles, experiments on the F/A-18 Systems Research Aircraft, the Convair 990 space shuttle tire tests, and worked on the X-36 tailless fighter agility project.

Purifoy left NASA in 2005 to become Calspan Corporation's chief pilot. During five years with Calspan, he completed several unique test efforts related to operation of unmanned aircraft in the national air space, the F-16 Autoland, Automated Air Refueling and Automated Multiple Intruder Avoidance projects. He also was an instructor test pilot in Calspan's variable stability Learjet, the VISTA NF-16D, and F-16D aircraft for all major test pilot schools.

Purifoy returned to NASA in 2010, and remains on flight duty, piloting the G-III, T-34C, and TG-14 aircraft. He has accumulated more than 5,000 hours of flight time in more than 100 different aircraft.

Purifoy completed Air Force pilot training in 1978. Prior to becoming a test pilot, he flew F-111 and F-16 aircraft in Great Britain and Germany. Purifoy served as a project pilot in the joint NASA/Air Force X-29 Forward Swept Wing research project and also served as project pilot and joint test force director with the Advanced Fighter Technology Integration/F-16 project, both located at Dryden (now Armstrong). Prior to those assignments, Purifoy was Chief of the Systems Evaluation Branch at the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards, where he also served as an instructor on the T-38, F-16, and A-37. His last assignment in the Air Force was test flying U-2 aircraft.

Purifoy earned a Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude, and a Master of Science in aerospace engineering with honors from the University of Michigan. Purifoy is a 1987 distinguished graduate of the French Test Pilot School, which he attended as an Air Force exchange pilot.

May 2014

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Page Last Updated: May 14th, 2014
Page Editor: Yvonne Gibbs