Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Davison of Foxboro recently attended the 75th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in Kern County in Southern California.
Davison graduated in 1991 and went to the reunion with some of his close friends who are also test pilot school graduates.
Davison said it was pretty special to be in a room full of men and women who pretty much invented modern aviation and space travel.
“I was with the man who broke the sound barrier, men who piloted the Apollo capsule, shuttle pilots, and people who developed and tested pretty much every aircraft you see flying, which was pretty special,” said Davison, adding, “It was also really nice to see people I’ve flown with in the past and catch up with them.”
Davison is a flight test engineer who works for the Federal Aviation Administration. He is currently working on the AW609 Civilian Tiltrotor as well as installing an auto throttle system in the Beech King Air aircraft.
Davison has lived in Foxboro for the past 18 years and lives with his wife Amy and their son Harry. The house they live in was his grandparents’ Frank and Agnes VanDenBerghe’s house which has been in the family since 1943.
He has had a long and storied career, both in the Air Force for two decades and the FAA.
Graduating test pilot school, and leading a team to the former Soviet Republic of Moldova to disassemble 21 nuclear-capable MiG-29 aircraft and ship them back to the United States were two of his air force highlights, and restoring a Lockheed L-1649 Super Star Constellation and certifying the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter for civilian use were his FAA highlights.
“By far, the thing I’m most proud of is my actions in Uzbekistan after 9/11. There was a lot of confusion after 9/11, and without being told, I took the initiative and started to figure out what needed to be done to base U.S. troops there. Those actions allowed us to establish a base to strike back from in three weeks,” Davison said.
Davison said the flip side to what happened is that he was under tremendous pressure and they had been essentially surprised by the enemy (Al-Qaeda and the Taliban) and it was imperative to act quickly and decisively.
“Needless to say, there wasn’t a lot of sleep going on. Also, there were times I had to make a spot and life and death decisions. These carry some weight, even to this day,” said Davison, as he nears the end of his aviation career.
“My goals are to continue to improve in my craft of woodworking, with the idea that will become my third career.”
Davison recently crafted a special edition town seal entirely made out of cherry wood for the new Foxboro Town Hall meeting room.