Loral O'Hara

Daniel Radocaj

F/A-18 and T-45 Test Department Head
Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23, U.S. Navy
BSAAE 2000, MSAAE 2001

"The common thread between every AAE student and alumni is a love of aviation and space, rockets and jet engines, space planes and airplanes. That is what kept me going on late nights in the student lounge, on long deployments aboard an aircraft carrier and through the United States Naval Test Pilot School. When you love what you do, a 20-year career as a Naval Aviator and Test Pilot goes by in a blink. The honor of being an OAE is truly the icing on the cake."

As F/A-18 and T-45 Test Department Head at VX- 23, Daniel Radocaj leads the largest and most dynamic flight test department in the Navy, comprised of 10 test pilots, 132 government civilians executing 70 test programs on 19 F/A- 18A-G and 3 T-45 aircraft. He develops test plans, execute flights, analyzes data and publishes test results.

By Fall 2021, Radocaj had flown 23 high-risk test sorties for noise and vibrations, loads, weapon separation, carrier suitability and flying qualities testing. Radocaj is responsible for the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy Out-of- Control Flight training program.

After his second test pilot tour, Radocaj took an office assignment as the Advance Development Deputy Program Manager for Program Manager Aircraft Two Five Nine (PMA-259) Air-to-Air Missiles. There he led a team of 46 government personnel in managing the cost performance, schedule and scoping the future of the Navy’s Air- to-Air Missile portfolio. He presented capabilities briefs for Foreign Military Sales to Italy, Netherlands, Canada, Turkey, Australia, Norway, Denmark, Japan and Romania. He led the AIM-9X Block II+ missile from RFP to contract award and negotiated down the price of the block II+ by 50 percent. Radocaj was the Integrated Product Team Lead for the AIM-9X Block II missile.

In his first test assignment, he was project officer and test pilot for the developmental test of the EMALS catapult and flew the first EMALS catapult launch. He was the 2011 Naval Test Wing Atlantic Test Pilot of the Year.

At Purdue, Radocaj was the recipient of a four-year Naval Reserve Officer Training Scholarship and earned BS and MS degrees from the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics