David Ellis McCollum

Published 5:30 pm Friday, April 8, 2011

David Ellis McCollum, 47, of Savannah, Ga., a flight test engineer at Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, died in a test flight on April 2 in Roswell, N.M. A native of Highland, Md., David attended Atholton High School in Columbia, Md. and graduated Marion Military Institute High School in 1981 and junior college in 1983.

He earned his B.S. degree in Engineering Science and Mechanics from Georgia Tech in 1988.

David was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army reserves in 1983. During the Gulf War, he trained as a helicopter pilot at Fort Rucker, finishing first in his class.

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he flew Chinooks while on active duty, reaching the rank of Major. He worked as a flight test engineer for Lockheed Martin in Marietta, Ga. and Douglas Aircraft at Patuxent Naval Station, Md. and at Long Beach, Calif., before pursuing his dream of becoming a professional pilot.

He flew as a pilot for Atlantic Southeast Airline for seven years before joining Gulfstream in Dallas, Texas as a test pilot.

David was an avid pilot and had volunteered for years at the Army Aviation Heritage Museum in Hampton, Ga. He was an enthusiastic collector and restorer of classic cars and enjoyed hang gliding, sailing, playing guitar and woodworking.

Survivors include his parents, Offa “Mac” Shivers and Nancy McCollum of Highland, Md., his siblings, Offa Shivers (June) McCollum III of Marietta, Ga., Eugene W. (Kathy) McCollum of Millersville, Md. and N. Carolyn McCollum of Annapolis, Md. and his nephews Will and Christopher McCollum.

A funeral service will be held in the Marion Military Instituted Chapel at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 9. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to either the MMI Foundation or the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation. Kirk Funeral Homes Marion will be directing.