Guest Speaker- Desmond Brophy

Taken at Edwards AFB, California
Taken at Edwards AFB, California

Lieutenant-Colonel (Ret’d) Desmond C. Brophy, B.Eng, M.Eng, MDS, CD, MSM (USAF)

Desmond Brophy was born in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1970. Upon completion of high school in 1988, he studied chemical engineering at McGill University in Montreal, finishing his undergraduate degree in 1992.  During this time he completed commercial, multi-engine, and instrument flight ratings from the Regina Flying Club and was a glider pilot instructor and tow pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Cadets.  In 1992 he joined the Canadian Forces as a pilot and completed primary flight training on the T-67C Firefly in 1994.  Prior to jet training, he completed a Master of Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Calgary, in 1996.  His research was published in the Journal of Wind Engineering. He completed basic and advanced jet training on the CT-114 Tutor Jet in 1997, earning the coveted Canadian Forces pilot wings.  Upon graduation, he was selected as a jet instructor pilot on the CT-114 Tutor.  During this time he became the Aerodynamics Instructor and Senior Academic Instructor at 2 Canadian Forces Flight Training School, earned an A category flight instructor rating, and was selected as a Snowbird jet recovery pilot.  He was selected for CF-18 Hornet fighter training in 2000 and completed this gruelling course in 2001. As a combat-ready CF-18 pilot he earned qualification as a tactical four ship lead specializing in the air to ground attack role.  He frequently held alert duties over the cities of western Canada and the Arctic. In 2005 he was selected for training as an experimental test pilot and graduated from the prestigious US Naval Test Pilot School in 2006.  During his time at test pilot school, Desmond flew test projects on over 20 aircraft types including the MiG-15, Saab Gripen, Lear Jet, T-38 Talon, T-2 Buckeye, T-6 Texan, Grumman Albatross, and DeHavilland Beaver.  Following test pilot school, he was selected as an exchange officer with the US Air Force as an experimental test pilot on the F-16 Falcon.  As an F-16 test pilot, he flew various medium and high risk test programs on projects related to the aircraft’s avionics, weapons, engine, and flight control systems.  As an F-16 high-angle-of-attack flight instructor, he was a guest instructor at the US Air Force Test Pilot School.  He left exchange service with the US Air Force in 2009, having been awarded a Meritorious Service Medal for leadership and dedication during experimental flight test operations.  In 2009, he was selected from a pool of over 5,300 applicants as one of sixteen finalists in the Canadian Space Agency’s astronaut selection competition.  After serving as 4 Wing Cold Lake’s deputy Wing Operations Officer between 2009 and 2010, he moved to the Canadian Forces College in Toronto, where he attended the Joint Command and Staff Programme, earning a Master of Defence Studies degree in the field of international relations.  In 2011 he assumed duties as the Commanding Officer of 440 Squadron in Yellowknife on the Twin Otter.  As a Twin Otter pilot, Desmond was qualified as an aircraft captain in the austere (off-strip) and ski missions and as a Twin Otter instructor pilot.  After leaving the Royal Canadian Air Force in 2013, Desmond took a position with WestJet Airlines flying the Boeing 737NG.  In 2016 he was selected for a position as an experimental test pilot at the Bombardier Flight Test Centre in Wichita, Kansas where he specializes in Global Express jet aircraft development.  Desmond holds Canadian airline transport pilot, aerobatic instructor, and glider pilot licenses and has accumulated over 6,500 hours of flight time, 3,000 of which on high performance jet aircraft. In his spare time he enjoys skiing, SCUBA diving, aerobatic flying, motorcycling, running, and hiking.  Desmond is married to Janice Brophy and they have a daughter, Kathleen Anne.

His Ties to Regina RCAC include:

  • 41 Hercules Sqn
  • Basic 1984
  • Junior Leaders Course 1985 (Top Graduate)
  • Senior Leaders Course 1986 (Top Saskatchewan Graduate)
  • Gliding Scholarship 1987 (Top Saskatchewan Graduate)
  • Power Scholarship 1988 (Top Graduate in Canada)
  • Left 41 Sqn as a WO1
  • Gliding instructor and tow pilot, Prairie Regional Gliding School 1989-1994

Full Resume Here