test pilot

Aviation Community Remembers Test Pilot, Humanitarian Joe Dobronski

  

Joseph Francis Dobronski, Sr.
September 10, 1927 – September 5, 2015
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Facts

Born: September 10, 1927
Place of Birth: Patton, Pennsylvania
Death: September 5, 2015
Place of Death: Creve Coeur, Missouri

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Wings of Hope
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Biography

Dobronski, Joseph Francis, Sr., baptized into the hope of Christ’s resurrection, Saturday, September 5, 2015.

Beloved husband of Ginny Dobronski; loving father of Joseph F. (Kelly) Dobronski, Jr., Kati (Ralph) Rosato, David (Laura) Dobronski and Stephen (Cecelia) Dobronski; loving grandfather of 9 and great-grandfather of 5, dear uncle, great-uncle, cousin and friend to many.

J.F. “JOE” DOBRONSKI graduated from high school in western Pennsylvania and entered the Navy V-5 Program in 1945. He attended Worchester Polytechnic Institute and Cornell University prior to preflight. He was designated a Naval Aviator in 1947. Joe flew in VA-1L and VX-3 prior to discharge in 1949 and then the Naval Reserve until 1954. After graduation from Northrop Aeronautical Institute in 1951, he worked as a Flight Test Engineer at McDonnell Aircraft in St Louis, Missouri; became a production test pilot in 1953 flying the F2H Banshee, and was promoted to experimental pilot after graduation from the United States Air Force Test Pilot’s School in 1954. As an experimental test pilot, and later Chief Test Pilot in 1966, he helped develop the Demon, Voodoo, Phantom II, Eagle, Harrier, Hornet and other experimental aircraft and a three jet helicopter.

Joe became Director of Test Operations for McDonnell Douglas in 1972 and Director of Flight Test and Operations in 1976. Following retirement in 1984, he became Chief Pilot for Wings of Hope, a humanitarian organization where he worked for fifteen years. He flew medical missions in Central America, and also delivered aircraft for missions in Belize, Botswana, South Africa, and the Galapagos Islands. With over 1700 hours instructing, he was awarded the FAA Central Region Flight Instructor of the Year 2000 Award. He was recently awarded the James G Byrnes Excellence in Aviation Award for 2015.

He was a Fellow in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and was granted an Honorary Doctorate Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He was actively instructing aerobatics and sailplanes in which he held the Diamond C award. In 1998, he self-published a book titled “A Sky Full of Challenges” (now an E-Book web page www.Smashwords). Joe married Virginia Hausmann in 1957 and lived in Ballwin, MO.

Joe was accomplished in his faith, his family and his passion as an aviator.

Services: Funeral from the SCHRADER Funeral Home and Crematory, 14960 Manchester Road at Holloway, Ballwin, Tuesday, 11:15 a.m. to St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church, Ellisville for 11:30 a.m. Mass. Interment Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made toWings of Hope or Birthright. Visitation Monday 4-6 p.m. Friends may sign the family’s on-line guestbook at Schrader.com.

 

Funeral Mass

Tuesday September 8, 2015, 11:30 AM at Saint Clare of Assisi Catholic Church
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Interment

Tuesday September 8, 2015 at National Cemetery
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Visitation

Monday September 7, 2015, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM at Schrader Funeral Home and Crematory
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