A Personal History of RHV
Page 6 of 10
85 h.p. Globe Swift
After finishing up A&P training at CSM, I finally started flying seriously in order to obtain my Commercial Pilots license. I passed the flight test for this by the time I was 21 years old. I then started working on the flight instructor ticket. This took another 6 months or so. I then did some flight instructing for time building during my days at San Jose State.
Around 1981 I began helping Bobby Reid announce at the Watsonville Fly-In. I had gotten my first experience doing this at the old Hollister Fly-In that was put on by EAA 62. Looking out over the crowds at Watsonville compared to the Hollister show made me feel like I had made the "big time" chatting at flying events. If I recall, John Winter was the person that helped pave the way for this. I had a number of very satisfying years on that stand, which always gave the opportunity to meet aviation personalities and stay in touch with long lost friends.
The 'rocket ranch'
After discovering my red/green color deficiency was going to keep me away from any major airline, I then had to rethink my career direction. I did end up in the aerospace industry but in an unexpected way. I ended up working about 12 years for United Technologies Inc at the "rocket ranch" located about 5 miles south of Reid Hillview. I started there working in the solid fuel test range, and ended my career in Quality Assurance, visiting supplier's facilities all over the country.
In May of 1999 I started work with Santa Clara County at the Palo Alto airport. After a year at Palo Alto I transferred to Reid Hillview, where I'm currently employed. (Editor note: Jim retired from Reid Hillview January 2011)