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This website is supported by a gift in honor of Ed Lynch

Site maintained by
Club 1 Member Steve Beste

Jim Willess

Jim started taking flying lessons after his tour in the Army. He first soloed in a Piper J3 cub, and got his pilot's license in 1957. A short time later he bought his first airplane, a Taylorcraft BC-12D for $900. Later he would find his way to Texas A&M, and was introduced to marriage, the air force, and flight instruction, not necessarily in that order. From there Jim went on to a lifetime of military, commercial and private flying, accumulating over 26,000 hours in the air, and still finding time to be a husband, father, friend, and small business owner.

Jim served in the Air Force as a transport pilot in the Vietnam area. Upon leaving the service, he Joined United Airlines. That was not so exciting, but he still enjoyed it because it was flying. After retiring, he set up a shop here at the Warrenton Air Park teaching young and not so young folks the joy of flight and how to survive. He served as the President of Club 1 and as our Safety Officer for many years. He was famous for retrieving folks who had made forced landings in open fields and sometimes not so open fields. He could bring home about anything that had once flown. He also was very active as a ferry pilot, bringing airplanes from most anywhere to wherever. He had some great stories about old planes that he had nursed home - not all enjoyable trips, but still it was flying. He could make most engines and airplanes purr like kittens. He was a certified A&P, Commercial Pilot, Instrument Rated, with over 25 thousand hours flying. He is irreplaceable is our hearts and greatly missed.

Tail Winds West, Jim

Picture of Jim Willess