Dana Marcotte Kilanowski retired in December after serving on the Flight Test Historical Foundation (FTHF) Board for over 25 years (Elected in 1991). She has been a steadfast member of the Board, supporting all of our activities and serving as 1st Vice Chairwoman for several years.
Dana is the Historian of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots (SETP). Dana and her husband, retired Lt Col Samuel J. Kilanowski, USAF and a former test pilot, have 2 daughters and 5 grandchildren. Dana has a B.A. in Anthropology/Archaeology and in History plus Post Graduate studies in History from University of North Dakota. She completed a course in Oral History from Columbia University. Dana is an award winning historian, author, documentary filmmaker and archaeologist with over 25 years experience writing and producing documentaries and books about test pilots and the history of flight testing. The SETP honored her as a “Friend of the Society”. Dana was the Principal Investigator and Oral Historian for the DOD Legacy Oral History Project at Edwards AFB. Her oral history program for Edwards AFB was used as a model for the DOD worldwide.
Dana is a leading authority on aviation pioneer Florence Lowe “Pancho” Barnes and was on The History Channel as a Guest Historian during the airing of the Pancho Barnes movie on “Movies in Time.” She also co-produced “Mach One, The Times, The Team, The Sound Barrier” for The History Channel. She co-authored and co-edited the companion book, “The Quest for Mach One, A First Person Account of Breaking the Sound Barrier.” The Quest for Mach One book was a PBS, The American Experience Series recommended book for further reading for The American Experience Series film “Space Men,” March 2016, and recommended for middle and high school science and technology (STEM) teachers by Scholastic books in 2016. Dana was named a “Key Research Historian for the Cold War Era” by the DOD Center for Environmental Excellence. She was a contributor and consultant for Time-Life Books, “Our American Century: A Century of Flight.” Dana was selected to set up a filmed oral history program for the SETP to conduct interviews of the most famous test pilots and astronauts of the century for SETP’s historical archives and to preserve the history of flight-testing. She is also a co-producer of Legends of Flight and co-author and co-editor of two histories of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB. She was Consultant and Contributor to “Sonic Wind” The Story of John Paul Stapp and How a Renegade Doctor Became the Fastest Man On Earth, by Craig Ryan, Liveright Publishing Corporation, A Division of W.W. Norton & Company, New York, NY, 2015. She was also an On Camera Aerospace Historian for PBS, The American Experience Series film “Space Men,” March 2016.
Dana is a Director for the Antelope Valley National Alliance on Mental Illness. Dana is a classroom volunteer at the Gregg Anderson STEM Academy. She is a Life Member of the Oral History Association and the Southwest Oral History Association. Dana is a Life Patron of the Flight Test Historical Foundation. She will be missed. Thank you Dana for your contributions to the FTHF.