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Q-talk 102 - Runway 27L - David Robert Thompson

David Robert Thompson of Tehachapi, CA passed away at the age of 38 on July 20, 2003 during the first take off of his homebuilt experimental airplane, a Quickie Q2, at the Tehachapi Mountain Valley Airport. Dave was born in Idaho Falls, ID on November 16, 1964 to John Robert and Selma Frazer Thompson of Idaho Falls, ID and was the youngest of four children.

Dave grew up in Idaho Falls, ID and spent his summer months working on his father's cattle ranch in Aberdeen, ID.

Dave attended Montana State University in Bozeman, MT for his first four years of engineering. He transferred to the University of Idaho in Moscow, ID to complete his Mechanical Engineering Degree. He was actively involved in the Sigma Chi Fraternity while attending college.

After college, Dave was hired in 1989 by The Boeing Company in Seattle, WA. Shortly after beginning his new career, he met and married his wife, Katharine Boyd Thompson of Seattle, WA, in June of 1990. They enjoyed 13 years of wedded bliss and two beautiful children, Jocelyn (10) and Turner (8).

Dave spent five years with Boeing working on the 777 program before taking a new position at Raytheon Aircraft in Wichita, KS in 1994. He was immediately promoted to lead engineer and then to a first level manager. His dream job came along in 1996 and he began working as a design engineer for Scaled Composites in Mojave, CA. Dave was a very intelligent and talented engineer and thrived on the challenges that Scaled Composites provided. Some of the programs he worked on included: the Bixby program, Pressure, Budgie, CAI, Proteus, Adam, Burlesque, and MR-RTIP. He was particularly excited about the current program he was working on and was heading up the propulsion development for the SpaceShipOne. He always dreamed that someday he would be able to go into space himself. The SpaceShipOne is currently on the July 2003 cover of Popular Science.

He obtained his pilots license in 1990. He was a very good and experienced pilot. His love of flying began as a small child as his father always owned an airplane and his family flew regularly. His father, J.R. Thompson, was a WWII B24 bomber pilot who flew 300 hours over enemy territory. Dave spent the last six years flying his 1947 Stinson Voyager out of the Mountain Valley Airport in Tehachapi, CA. He was an active member of the International Stinson Club and was currently serving as Treasurer of the club. He and his family enjoyed going to club fly-ins. His favorite pastime by far was flying and taking his family to fun destinations. He was also a member of the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) and the AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association).

Dave began building his experimental Quickie Q2 in September of 1992. It was a labor of love for him and he was a perfectionist in its assembly. It was truly a beautiful plane when completed and he was very proud of this accomplishment.

Dave was both a wonderful husband and a wonderful father to his two children. He was a true family man. He enjoyed playing with his children as much as possible, camping, four wheeling in his Jeep Wrangler, riding the family's three-wheeler, biking, and hiking. Dave was always on the go and lived life to its fullest. He had a wonderful quick wit and a terrific sense of humor. He is greatly missed by his family and friends.

He is survived by his wife, Katharine Thompson, his daughter, Jocelyn Thompson, and his son, Turner Thompson, all of Tehachapi, CA. He is also survived by his mother, Selma Thompson of Idaho Falls, ID. a sister, Jane Robertson of Post Falls, ID, a sister, Katherine Paul of Meridian, ID, and a brother, James Thompson of San Diego, CA.

You can order a printed copy of Q-talk #102 by using the Q-talk Back Issue Order Page.