After a life committed to service to his communities and distinguished technical achievement in aeronautical engineering, Flash Parlini passed at home in Issaquah, WA on July 12, 2017. Oral cancer ended his productive, impactful, and rich life at age 61.
Flash was born and raised on Long Island, NY where he developed a love of the outdoors as a sailor, water skier, small plane pilot, and Eagle Scout. He graduated with honors from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a degree in aeronautical engineering and was awarded a fellowship to Stanford University where he earned an MS in Aerodynamics & Astronautics Engineering. Upon graduation, Flash began his career in aviation at NASA Langley Research Center in Virginia and then moved west to begin a distinguished career with Boeing.
During his 35 years at Boeing Flight Test, Flash became a technical leader critical to the successful flight testing of commercial aircraft flight controls and Autoland systems, and flight test data systems. He was made an Associate Technical Fellow of the Boeing Company in 1998 and was recently designated a Technical Fellow for enabling flight test technical infrastructure. His work is documented both inside and outside Boeing, including nine publications and one U.S. patent. Colleagues remember him best as a mentor who was eager to share his vast knowledge, and many credit him with the development of their own careers.
Flash spent most of his time away from Boeing involved in local community service, and volunteer work at Mt. Rainier National Park. His community service includes City of Issaquah Emergency Communication Radio Officer, member and mentor at the Issaquah Community Response Team, and longtime member of the Issaquah Amateur Radio Club. He also mentored aspiring students at the Raisbeck Aviation High School.
Most weekends during the last 26 years Flash could be found at Mt. Rainier serving as a volunteer backcountry Ranger. He logged 16,060 volunteer hours on search and rescue operations, training and mentoring fellow Rangers, maintaining trails & manning the Tolmie Fire Lookout. His vast knowledge of the Carbon River & Mowich area terrain and secrets helped visitors and fellow Rangers in the park. He also provided radio help during RAMROD.
He is survived by his brother and sister-in-law Rich & Perri and nephew Nicholas, stepmother Judy, as well as other family scattered throughout the United States, and his partner Shawn Marie Duntz, whom he met along the course of many hikes at Mt. Rainier and shared his deep love of the mountains.