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Flight Research Pilots
Flight Research Pilots

ECN-3091

Former research pilot Gary E. Krier was later the Director of Flight Operations of the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA. He was the acting Deputy Director effective June 30, 2001 to September 9, 2001. Until that time he was the Chief Engineer and also the Director of the Systems Management Office at Dryden. He had held the position of Chief Engineer since August 1, 1999, and he was appointed Systems Management Office Director in October 1999. Before August 1999, he had been the Director of the Airborne Science Directorate since August 1998. Prior to assuming this position, Krier headed the Aerospace Projects Directorate from March 1997 to August 1998. He had previously been in charge of the Intercenter Aircraft Operations Directorate at Dryden from 1995 to 1997.

From 1992 to 1994, he served as Manager, Operations and Facilities, for the New Launch System at NASA Headquarters, where he developed operational procedures and facilities for the next generation of Expendable Launch Vehicles and participated in policy making for the program.

From 1987 to 1992, he held two different management positions at NASA Headquarters relating to Space Shuttle operations. Among other positions he held before that time were Director of the Commercial Development Division, Office of Commercial Programs, at NASA Headquarters (1984-1987); Director of the Aircraft Management Office at NASA Headquarters (1983-1984); and attorney in the Office of the Chief Counsel at Ames Research Center (1982-1983).

Earlier in his career, Krier was an aerospace research pilot and engineer at Dryden after first going to work for NASA in 1967. He was the first pilot to fly the F-8 Digital Fly-by-Wire aircraft and the Integrated Propulsion Control System F-111 with digital fuel and inlet control. He was also co-project pilot with Thomas C. McMurtry on the F-8 Supercritical Wing project. In addition, he flew the YF-17 research aircraft and has flown more than 30 types of aircraft ranging from light planes to the B-52 and the triple-sonic YF-12.

Before joining NASA, Krier served as an engineer for Pratt & Whitney, Martin Marietta, and Hercules Powder Company. He is the author of 7 technical reports. He earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering at the University of Utah in 1960 and went on to achieve an M.B.A. (with Distinction) from Golden Gate University in 1978 and a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law in 1982. He also completed the Program for Management Development at Harvard University on a NASA Fellowship in 1975. He is a member of the State Bar of California, of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots (for which he served as legal officer in 1989 and continues to serve as legal advisor and scholarship foundation trustee), and the Quiet Birdmen.

June 16, 1972
NASA Photo /

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Page Last Updated: October 21st, 2013
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