James McMillan

by James McMillan on August 10, 2020

SAFE #: S0005708

Hometown: Abilene TX, United States

Home Airport: KABI

Occupation: C-130J Simulator Instructor Pilot and GA CFII

Pilot Certificates: ASEL, AMEL, CFII

Q & A

What drew you to aviation?: I have wanted to fly since I was in elementary school. My first real experience was going on a field trip to Pope AFB, NC and sitting in the C-130E sim. I just remember thinking how cool it would be to flip all those knobs and switches.

How long have you been involved in aviation education?: I have been a military IP since 2003 and I got my civilian ratings in 2019.

What's your favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: I love introducing people to aviation and helping them make their goals. People think you have to be super smart to be a pilot. I like showing them that with some work, determination, and dedication anyone can become a pilot.

What's your least favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: Telling people that they didn't have a good ride. I understand that constructive feedback is necessary and in this day and age some folks don't deal with things well. However, I alway try to make them see how they can improve and go forward.

Do you have a memorable aviation experience you'd like to share?: I was the Pope C-130E Mission Commander for the 60th Anniversary D-Day airdrop in France. I got to take a 2 ship of C-130s, pick up a bunch of 101st Airborne Division troopers, and drop them, along with other players from various units, into the same area their forefathers had jumped into on the morning of D-Day.

Why did you join SAFE?: To become a better IP.

What would you like to see change in aviation?: I would like to see the cost come down. It is getting to the point that you have to be fairly wealthy to fly.

Any accomplishments in, or noteworthy contributions to aviation and/or aviation education you'd like to mention?: I was the Instructor Pilot of the Year for my squadron teaching brand new pilots to the C-130. That set me up to get a chance to switch to the J model as a senior Major.

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