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Dick Rutan

By May 6, 2024No Comments

The Loss of an Aerospace Legend and Eagle of the Flight Test Historical Foundation 

We are sad to hear of the passing of our dear friend and aerospace legend, Dick Rutan, on May 3, 2024 at the age of 85. Dick had an incredible life in aerospace and was known for his artful hand at flying. Dick was probably best known for the record-setting non-stop circumnavigation around-the-world without refueling flight in the Rutan-designed Voyager aircraft with co-pilot Jeana Yeager. Dick passed in the early evening at the Kootenai Hospital in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho surrounded by Kris Rutan, his wife of 25 years, friends and family. On the day of his passing, Dick made a point to reach out to fellow well-known pilots to let them know he was pulling the chocks for his final journey. Dick was a husband, father, brother, grandfather and so much more. He was an Air Force pilot serving in the Vietnam War, a test pilot and later served as commander of the 355th Field Maintenance Squadron. Dick was awarded the Silver Star, five Distinguished Flying Crosses, 16 Air Medals, and a Purple Heart. He had an incredible career flying many experimental aircraft as a test pilot including the Xcor EZ-Rocket, Fairchild T-46 and Voyager setting many world records. Dick received the Gold Medal from the Royal Aero Club, the Presidential Citizens Medal from President Ronald Regan and the Collier Trophy for his flight in the Voyager aircraft. Dick was also honored as an Eagle by the Historical Flight Test Foundation. We will miss our friend, Dick Rutan, who will always be respected for his aerospace knowledge, incredible talent in the sky and as a legend who always told it like it was.

Blue skies our friend! We will miss our conversations. 

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