Capt Gary Klien, USMC
Gary is the son of a career Marine who knew he wanted to be part of aviation
since grade school. He built airplane models, but especially ones that flew
and enjoyed trying to make them fly better. He was good at science and math
so to combine the scientist in him and the desire to make things fly, he had
aspirations of becoming an astronaut. He learned in high school that the
school that produced the most astronauts was the US Naval Academy in
Annapolis, MD. He was accepted into Annapolis where he studied aerospace
engineering and got to fly (at the controls) for the first time a T-34C, a
TH-1 Huey and a T-2 Buckeye during the third summer training trip to
To fulfill his dream of being an astronaut, he applied for and was selected to be a NASA engineering intern at Ellington Field, TX, where he participated in 4 KC-135 (aka, the “Vomit Comet”) Zero-G training flights and flew supersonic with an astronaut in a T-38 training flight. 2ndLt Klein wanted to fly jets out of Navy flight school but the needs of the Marine Corps said differently and assigned him to California to fly CH-46 transport helicopters. In hindsight, it couldn’t have been a better choice for him with his technical mind, considering the complexity of tandem rotor helicopters flight controls. After training in HMT-301, he was assigned to HMM-166 in MCAS, Tustin, CA, the last CH-46 squadron to be commissioned in the Marine Corps. While in HMM-166 Capt Klein made two WestPac deployments accumulating more than 400 deployed days at sea. He finished his Marine Corps flying career as a CH-46 instructor pilot in Tustin, CA.
After getting a couple of Masters Degrees in engineering, he joined Boeing as a Flight Controls/Handling Qualities Engineer working on many different vehicles including the V-22 and AH-64. While living in Arizona, he served as a CWO-2 in the 1-285th Aviation Battalion where he flew the AH-64D. While serving in military, Gary accumulated over 1700 hours of flight time in addition to his 50 or so hours of private time in single engine commercial aviation. He has flown 5 different types of helicopters and 5 different fixed wing including a couple of jet flights.
Gary has worked for Boeing for over 22 years and is currently an Associate Technical Fellow there in the area of flight control system design, test and handling qualities. Gary enjoys golf and sings in a classic rock band.