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John Barron McKay Status: Deceased. Trained as: Test Pilot. Profession: Pilot. Sex: Male. Marital Status: Married. Children: Eight. Birth Date: 08 December 1922. Birth City: Portsmouth. Birth State: Virginia. Birth Country: USA. Nationality: American. Date of Death: 15 April 1975. Cause of Death: Cancer stemming from X-15 crash injuries. Group: Test Pilot (NASA). Date Selected: 01 January 1960. Departed: 1966. Number of Flights: 1. Total Time: 0.01 days.

Born in Portsmouth, Virginia; married with eight children. US Navy pilot in World War II. Received a BS from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1950. He joined NACA in 1951 as a D-558 and X-1 test pilot. Project pilot on F-100, F-102, F-104, F-107 NACA test programs before being assigned as third NASA X-15 pilot on October 25, 1961. Made 29 X-15 flights, reaching an altitude of 90 km and obtaining astronaut wings, before being seriously injured in the 1962 X-15 crash near Lancaster, California. Died of cancer stemming from his crash injuries at the age of 52.

NASA Official Biography

John B. McKay was one of the first pilots assigned to the X-15 flight research program at NASA's Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif. As a civilian research pilot and aeronautical engineer, he made 30 flights in X-15s from October 28, 1960, until September 8, 1966. His peak altitude was 295,600 feet, and his highest speed was 3863 mph (Mach 5.64).

McKay was with the NACA and NASA from February 8,1951 until October 5, 1971 and specialized in high-speed flight research programs. He began as an NACA intern, but assumed pilot status on July 11, 1952. In addition to the X-l5, he flew such experimental aircraft as the D-558-1, D-558-2, X-lB, and the X-lE. He has also served as a research pilot on flight programs involving the F-100, F-102, F-104, and the F-107.

Born on December 8, 1922, in Portsmouth, Va., McKay graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 195O with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering. During World War II he served as a Navy pilot in the Pacific Theater, earning the Air Medal and Two Clusters, and a Presidential Unit Citation.

McKay wrote several technical papers, and was a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, as well as the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.

He died on April 27, 1975.

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