Monday, March 18, 2013

I Was an Aviation “P.I.”

I was honored to have such interesting work
by Michael L.

My dad, Stan Faltico, now deceased, was a primary designer of a number of aircraft from the 1940s through the L-1011. He passed the aerospace torch to me.

I worked at Lockheed-California Company in Burbank and Van Nuys from January 1960 through June 1970. I was in flight test data processing, and started as a computer technician. I quickly climbed the ranks, and rose to the highest hourly level as a junior engineer data coordinator faster than anyone ever had in that department. I was a project leader on the F-104 Starfighter and AH-56 Cheyenne and became a salaried engineer in 1967.

Our department was one of the first to see a picture of the Blackbird, albeit because of a mistake on a data film (which was promptly confiscated) we were analyzing. Our area analyzed quick-look data on the Cheyenne in Oxnard, California, and we were responsible to look at data to investigate a crash off the coast of California. It was quite an undertaking but we found out why. We generated the data to find out why the Lockheed Electras were crashing in early 1960 (we also determined why) through what we called the "wing-wager program." Our department worked on a variety of projects such as the F-104N, 0 launch, Scramjet and joint with Boeing.

I consider myself very fortunate to have worked for Lockheed Martin in a very interesting area of work. I left the company through no fault of Lockheed. I just wasn't going to raise my kids in California any longer.