David G. Mitchell, Mitchell Aerospace Research

Phone: 562-256-7056

Email: dave(at)hqresearch.com

Dave founded Mitchell Aerospace Research in March 2011

In his professional career of nearly forty years, Mr. Mitchell has been a contributor to the development of flying and handling qualities requirements for every type of air vehicle. He is a co-author of the report that became the Air Force’s Military Standard for Flying Qualities of Piloted Aircraft (MIL-STD-1797A), of the Army’s Military Standard for Rotorcraft Flying Qualities (ADS-33E-PRF), and of a proposed revision for the V/STOL Flying Qualities specification (MIL-F-83300).

Academic Background

Bachelor of Science in Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles, 1977

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering, Northrop University, 1987

Employment History

February 2011 – Present:  Mitchell Aerospace Research.  Mr. Mitchell is an academic instructor in the Flying Qualities Phase at the USAF Test Pilot School, Edwards AFB, California. Currently, TPS students go through an 11-month program, with four months dedicated to the FQ Phase. This Phase is constantly undergoing modernization, with the introduction of advanced flight control methods, new analytical capabilities, and applications for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

He is a Subject Matter Expert for the US Navy for handling qualities and flight control systems evaluations of the V-22 and CH-53K aircraft.

Mr. Mitchell is working with Systems Technology, Inc., to develop flying qualities requirements for UAVs, and new head-up display (HUD) guidance for US Navy F-18s.

December 2012 – Present: International Test Pilot School Canada (http://www.itpscanada.com/). Mr. Mitchell is on the academic staff at ITPS, teaching advanced flight control systems and handling qualities.

September 1993 – February 2011:  Technical Director, Hoh Aeronautics, Inc.  Mr. Mitchell was the Principal Investigator for a Phase II.5 SBIR with NAVAIR to develop an application package for ADS-33E-PRF.  ASAP, the ADS-33 Specification Application Package, assists the user in determining the necessary data and processing the data for the application of ADS-33E-PRF.  A significant portion of the SBIR effort has been dedicated to development of handling qualities requirements for maritime and cargo rotorcraft.

In addition, Mr. Mitchell was the Principal Investigator on a Phase III SBIR from NASA Dryden Flight Research Center to apply a PIO detection method to impaired aircraft.  This research program included flight research performed by students and staff at the Air Force Test Pilot School, requiring Mr. Mitchell’s active participation in all aspects of planning, conduct, and analysis.  He was Principal Investigator on a NASA Research Announcement sponsored by Ames Research Center to define acceptable levels of time-varying high-order dynamics in rotorcraft.

Since 1999, Mr. Mitchell has been actively supporting NAVAIR on flying qualities and flight control development for the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.  He has participated in numerous simulations and flight test programs to investigate susceptibility to pilot-induced oscillations, to expand the Osprey’s flight envelope, and to determine the flying qualities of the aircraft following flight control system failures.  In 2002 he presented a four-day short course on “Highly Augmented Airplane Flying Qualities” at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.  Since 2007 Mr. Mitchell has also been supporting NAVAIR’s acquisition process for the new Sikorsky CH-53K helicopter, reviewing the flight controls and flying qualities portions of the acquisition.

Mr. Mitchell has developed pilot-induced oscillation (PIO) criteria and handling qualities demonstration maneuvers for the Air Force and NASA.  A report for the U.S. Air Force, Development of Methods and Devices to Predict and Prevent Pilot-Induced Oscillations, is considered by engineers of the Federal Aviation Administration to be a “must-read” on the subject.  He has also contributed to the development of flight director laws for a head-up display for a private company, and criteria for rotorcraft handling qualities under Army sponsorship.  Through a series of contracts from Boeing Phantom Works, he has made technical contributions to the definition of handling qualities requirements for the NASA-sponsored High Speed Research aircraft.  He has also assisted in the analysis of research data from flight and ground simulation studies of the flying qualities of large subsonic transports.  He has been a contributor to numerous technical management programs conducted by the US Air Force Test Pilot School, including HAVE CAP, HAVE LIMITS, HAVE GAS II, HAVE RECKON, HAVE OLOP, HAVE ROVER, and Project Icarus.

1987 – 2008: Lecturer, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.  Mr. Mitchell taught undergraduate and graduate courses in aircraft stability, feedback, and flying qualities.

April 1977 – September 1993: Principal Specialist, Systems Technology, Inc. Mr. Mitchell was Project Engineer on Government-sponsored contracts to support research and development of military flying qualities requirements for helicopters and fixed-wing airplanes, and on a contract with a major airframe manufacturer to evaluate the susceptibility of a modern military transport to pilot-induced oscillations. Other assignments included duties as Project Engineer on a NASA-sponsored evaluation of the impact of cockpit feel system characteristics on flying qualities and pilot dynamics; on an Air Force study investigating the effects of simultaneous degradations of aircraft handling qualities in multiple axes; and on a NASA project defining the requirements for a task-tailored flight control system for the approach and landing of advanced transport aircraft.


July 1973 – April 1976:  Engineering Trainee, Co-Op Work-Study Program, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center.  During his undergraduate years, Mr. Mitchell was employed six months per year by NASA Flight Research Center (later Hugh L. Dryden Flight Research Center) in a work-study program.

Short Course Instructor:

May 2002 – Highly Augmented Airplane Flying Qualities (NAS Patuxent River, MD)


Pilot-Induced Oscillations (co-instructor with Dave Klyde, STI):


April 2003 – Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, Long Beach, CA

February 2004 – Naval Air Systems Command, NAS Patuxent River, MD

March 2004 – Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, Philadelphia, PA

December 2004 – Edwards AFB, CA

July 2005 – Edwards AFB, CA

August 2005 – Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., Arlington, TX

September 2005 – Sikorsky Aircraft Co., Stratford, CT

December 2009 – NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA

May 2011 – Naval Air Systems Command, NAS Patuxent River, MD

October 2014 – Embraer, São José dos Campos, Brazil


November – December 2009:  Advances in Flying Qualities (Northrop Grumman, El Segundo, CA)


Associate Fellow and 40-Year Member, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)

Past member (1987-1990, 1999-2009) and Chair (2007-2009), AIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Technical Committee; Chair of Subcommittees on Handling Qualities (1988-1990, 2002-2006) and Education (2003-2006)

Technical Chair, 1990 AIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference

Member, AIAA Professional Member Education Committee (2005-2014); Chair (2012-2014)

Member, Aerospace Industry Action Council, Cal Poly Pomona (1994- ); Chair (1994-1998)

Member of Planning Advisory Board, Aerospace Control & Guidance Systems Committee

Member of Society of Automotive Engineers, American Helicopter Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science


Assistant Scoutmaster, Past Troop Committee Chair and Scoutmaster, Boy Scouts of America Troop 65, Long Beach, CA; served on National Jamboree Staff in 2010; inducted Honorary Tribesman, Tribe of Tahquitz, Long Beach, CA, 2010; Polaris District Commissioner (2012-2014) and District Chair (2014- ), Long Beach Area Council


Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award, 2014

AIAA Sustained Service Award, 2011

AIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Technical Committee Certificate of Merit, Most Influential Paper of the 1980’s, 2013

AIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference Certificate of Recognition, Outstanding Paper, 2006

NASA Group Achievement Award, High Alpha Technology Program ANSER Project Team, 1997

McDonnell Douglas Employee Recognition Program Achievement Award, HSR Aerodynamic Performance, 1997

The Technical Cooperation Program Achievement Award, Development of Aeronautical Design Standard, 1995

NASA Flight Research Center Group Achievement Award, Lightweight Fighter Fly-Off Evaluation, 1975