George Marrett

Human Factors, Safety

   George Marrett has aviation experiences other pilots only can dream of. He has 50 years of military and civilian cockpit time beginning as a rookie Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) college graduate and attending the United States Air Force pilot training program. After flight school, he flew for four years as a fighter-interceptor pilot in the McDonnell F-101B Voodoo defending the Golden Gate during the Cuban Missile crisis. Colonel Chuck Yeager selected Marrett for training at the elite Aerospace Research Pilot School (ARPS), now called the test pilot school at Edwards Air Force Base in the heydays of the 1960s. His Air Force career culminated with a year of flying 188 combat missions and the rescue of downed aircrew members in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.
   His second career, as a test pilot for Hughes Aircraft Company in Los Angeles for 20 years, saw him helping the US military compete for weapon dominance in the electronic age, flying both modified Air Force and Navy fighters. This dominance resulted in the winning of the Cold War, through the weapons and radar systems he tested--weapons that were ultimately fielded on US military fighters and bombers.
   His third career, believe it or not, began at retirement, when he has written and published his aviation thoughts and experiences in four books: Cheating Death: Combat Air Rescues in Vietnam and Laos, Howard Hughes: Aviator, Testing Death: Hughes Test Pilots and Cold War Weaponry and Contrails over the Mojave and seventeen stories published in aviation magazines. Those publications led to interviews on the History Channel, PBS and the Miramax Productions release of The Aviator on DVD. He has also given talks to all of the major US aviation museums in the country. His flying days are not over, however. He currently is the chief pilot for D P Industries (a company that makes hangar doors) flying a King Air C-90 turboprop based in Central California, where he lives. He is also one of the founders of the Estrella Warbird Museum at the Paso Robles, California airport where he keeps his 1945 Stinson L-5E Sentinel tail-wheel prop flying machine. Hear Marrett’s unique perspective on aviation human factors that are critical for aircraft safety and survival, how his test pilot experiences prepared him to fly with competence and longevity, and his understanding of civilian aviation and its vulnerability to the terrorist threat. Hear him spin tales of flying, stories about Howard Hughes and Chuck Yeager, as well as the acquired wisdom of his half a century in the cockpit.

  • Howard Hughes: Crazy Like a Fox

  • Aviation Safety

Program Topics

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