Paul Dye has over forty years of aviation experience as an engineer, builder and pilot. His scope has ranged from restoring old light aircraft to planning and leading manned spaceflights. His love of flying machines dates back to early childhood, and he became involved with full-sized aircraft as a teenager, rebuilding J-3 Cubs with an FBO in Minnesota. He earned his degree in Aeronautical Engineering with a specialization in aircraft design and flight testing from the University of Minnesota in 1982. He is a Commercial pilot with single and multiengine ratings as well as jet experience. He has flown over 5000 hours in more than 120 different types of aircraft and routinely test new types as a consultant and evaluator.
For thirty-three years, he worked in increasingly responsible roles within the US (NASA) Manned Space Program, both as a technical expert in spacecraft systems and, eventually, as the overall lead of many missions to space. He retired from NASA in 2013 as the longest-serving Flight Director in U.S. history. His Flight Director career spanned both the space shuttle and International Space Station programs. The winner of many prestigious awards including the Johnson Space Center Director’s Commendation, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, and four NASA Exceptional Service Medals, Dye delights in bringing the lessons learned from the most advanced flight operations back to the next generation of space operation professionals and to general aviation pilots and builders. He is well-known as a risk-management specialist, and advises designers and builders–as well as pilots–on ways to build and operate aircraft with greater margins of safety. He is a Leadership Consultant and speaker available to corporations and groups who wish to better their organizations and people.
Always a prolific writer, he has been a frequent contributor to type-club newsletters and web sites for many years. After retiring from NASA as a Lead Flight Director for Human Spaceflight, he became Editor-in-Chief for Kitplanes Magazine, a publication dedicated to supporting the experimental aircraft industry. He attends most of the large aviation meetings and fly-ins around the United States, test flies aircraft for individuals and for magazine evaluations, and enjoys speaking to aviation and civic organizations on a variety of topics related to aviation.