Served the Air Force as a Tactical Air Command fighter pilot in Vietnam where he flew 325 combat missions. 105 of those were with the top-secret MISTY group, a special, forward air control unit that used their two-seat F-100 fighters to mark targets over North Vietnam along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
Earned a number of prestigious accolades including the Silver Star, five Distinguished Flying Crosses, 16 Air Medals, and the Purple Heart.
Served as Rutan Aircraft Factory’s Chief Test Pilot where he set numerous world speed and distance records in the Rutan Long-EZ. His accomplishments in the Long-EZ earned him the 1982 Louis Bleriot Medal, awarded each year to the respective holders of the highest records for speed, altitude, and distance in a straight line.
Commanded the first non-stop flight around the world in the Burt Rutan-designed Voyager. For their efforts, President Ronald Reagan awarded Dick and Burt Rutan the Presidential Citizens Medal, which honors U.S. citizens who have performed exemplary deeds of service for the nation.
Worked with X-COR, LLC, test piloting reusable, rocket-powered aircraft.
Held more than a dozen NAA/FAI aircraft world speed and distance records.
Awarded the Collier Trophy, the History of Flight Award, the Gold Medal Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom, the Paris Aero Club’s Grande Medallion and Medalle de Ville Paris and the National Aviation Hall of Fame’s own Milton Caniff Spirit of Flight Award, for the Voyager odyssey.