Headshot of Scott Osler wearing a stripped suit and tie.

The Scott Osler Story

The short life of a 1941 Aero alum and his impact on aviation

It was a quick yes. We don’t know how the Osler family knew who to connect with at the University of Michigan, but when the email made its way to the Aerospace department, we wholeheartedly said yes to their offer.

And their offer was pretty thrilling. In determining what to do with the historical documentation about their family member, Scott Osler, they were quick to decide that they wanted his story to be a part of the University of Michigan aerospace engineering legacy.

We couldn’t agree more.

Honoring the history of our program and the amazing alumni who have come before and contributed to aeronautics and astronautics is a privilege for us. It’s wonderful to see how inspiring our current students find the lives of alumni who lived decades before them. It is a source of pride for all of us.

 So when we received the original photos and the extremely well told story of Scott Osler, (‘41), we were in awe of the painstaking effort the Osler family went to preserve the memory of one of our own Wolverines.

Scott’s niece Tandy wrote his story. It is here for you to read and is a beautifully written compilation of Osler’s love of aviation and how they made an impact in our field. 

Osler’s life was cut short in a tragic accident testing the Boeing aircraft that he loved, and his family, including renowned aviation expert Bill Cook, who became his brother-in-law, are a big part of this story.

So here’s the legacy of University of Michigan aerospace engineering alumnus Scott Osler and his impact on the Aerospace community and the people in his life. Now we can tell the story and share it with Michigan alumni and current students so his story lives on and serves to inspire the next generation who are as enraptured with our field as he was. 

His story in pictures is below, and his story in written form can be found here.

Scott and his mother, 1919
1920: Scott Osler at 18 months
Scott Osler sitting in the grass as a child playing with a model airplane.
1927: Scott Osler developed an early interest in airplanes
Scott Osler with his parents and their dog standing outside.
With his parents, Janette and Harold Osler and their dog
University of Michigan graduate,
Aeronautical Engineering
With his parents,
Janette and Harold Osler, in
Ann Arbor, 1941
1943: Pan Am pilot, Seattle
Boeing-XB flying through the air
1942: Scott Osler, pilot
Left, circa 1947: A brief moment of joy – Marge McMicken Hill and Scott Osler; sailing near Seattle, Washington 
July, 1944: Boeing Field, Seattle, Boeing Flight Test; Scott Osler is standing at far right
1940s: Scott Osler instructing his sister, Priscilla, in an Aeronica Chief
circa 1945:
Priscilla Osler, private pilot and charter member of Michigan State’s flying club, the Winged Spartans, standing by the club plane, a Taylorcraft. Her brother Scott had helped her learn how to fly.

A Boeing XB-47 Stratojet taking off
1947 (L-R): pilots Scott Osler & Bob Robbins; N. D. Showalter, Assistant Chief Engineer
1948: Scott Osler, standing in front of the Boeing XB-47 prototype, 
Moses Lake Air Base, Washington 

An article in The Saturday Evening Post for February 14, 1948, featured a short story about the XB-47 program and included a large photograph of the prototype in flight plus a smaller photo of Bob Robbins and Scott Osler on the ground, standing on a ladder beside the nose section. A headline read, “You’re looking at tomorrow!

1948: Scott Osler and Jim Fraser flying the XB-47 out of Moses Lake 
Close up side view of two men flying a plane

December 1947: Boeing corporate photograph of test pilots examining the undercarriage of the XB-47, (the date and identifications were handwritten on the back of the photograph by Priscilla Osler Cook). 


(1) Jack Ridley 

(2) Chuck Yeager 

(3) Guy Townsend* 

(4) Bob Robbins 

(5) Scott Osler 

1990 Priscilla Osler-Cook seaplane pilot
E. Scott Osler’s son, Scott McMicken Osler, in front of a B-47; The Museum of Flight, Seattle, Washington, July 4, 2006 
Acacia Memorial Park, Seattle; plot G2-84D-2 Laurel Garden