March 25, a group from the 411th Flight Test Squadron and F-22 Combined Test Force drove out to the crash site of F-22 S/N 4008, which crashed March 25, 2009, taking the life of Lockheed Martin test pilot David P. “Cools” Cooley.
The group dedicated a memorial in Cooley’s honor.
The memorial is a radar reflector aligned to the run-in heading of Cooley’s final test point. The cutouts are the primary aircraft he flew as a test pilot. The plaque reads, “Historical Landmark in Memory of: David P. ‘Cools’ Cooley, F-22 S/N 4008 Crashed on this site 25 March 2009 in Pursuit of Improving America’s Defense.”
“I didn’t know Cools, but I do know what he meant to the team and what his sacrifice has meant to the Raptor community,” said Lt. Col. Devin Traynor, F-22 CTF director and 411th FLTS commander. “If you are ever in the neighborhood with the capability, throw your A/G radar down at N 35-09.49, W 117-22.2 on a 073 heading and you’ll see the spirit of Cools’ legacy shining back at you.”
Cooley was a former Air Force pilot with significant flight experience, including in the F-22.