How Airline Pilot Jim Allen Got His Aviation Start In The Navy
Tell us how you got your start in aviation a pay I grew up as an air. Force brat flu beef forty seven feet fifty twos in a one So i was always excited about aviation from that. My dad passed away when i was a teenager so I think that kind of cemented the hero worship for for my dad. You know in those days. And i just you know as always we we moved from you know we were on the air force base for a while we lived in iowa and then kansas after my dad passed away to live where my mom's parents were in a big open skies. And you're always looking up to see what was going on up there because you know. I was just kind of bored in small town. Kansas and My uncle taught me how to fly. When i was nineteen years old Down in rockport texas. What kind of airplane of piper warrior and I just you know even though it was a little stressful because he was kind of a screamer why it was it was i love going flying solo but when he was in the airplane i was just a little bit stressed out but i still have his His voice in the site you know in in my ear every time i'm not lined up for the centerline of it in even in a seven thirty seven. Now it's get get lined up with. What's wrong with you that just use a spring but it was i'm just curious You have a relative teaching to fly when you're not in the airplane. What was your relationship with him like. Yeah so i was staying in his In his house and that was it was just. It was a little stressful. But i in there were. There were times where he was like these. You really want to do this one. She just leave and things like that but when it was all said and done he was really proud. And i was proud and But i was his first and last student because nobody else wanted to deal with them. I guess but he. He came to my winging ceremony when i became a pilot And he was just proud a you know it is just the way life is. Sometimes you know it's not always good. It's not always bad. There's just getting bad mixed in but But i learned a lot. You know and i and i got the i got the license in like fifty five hours. I was there for two months from from zero to two private pilot just in the summer of nineteen eighty five. So that's the way to do a t to go. Full bore fly every day. If you can and get it out of the way right. Yeah and i saw that with the students that i flew with later so a way You go to college. I went to college at the university. Kansas and i was living in kansas can think. And why. why am i here in the first place. That's my mom's hometown. But i found out that the university of kansas was ranked in the top ten for aerospace engineering. And i was like well. That's pretty cool. You know so. That's that's what i wanted to learn. It was a tough program. But i got through it Actually with honors But i decided to join nato. otc The air force at the time was They weren't offering pilot slots Two people who were getting scholarships Be an engineer for the air force. And then you would compete for a scholarship later in a it just seemed a little too much ambiguity. Matt's of navy was saying we'll we'll give scholarship. You can figure out if you're gonna be a pilot toward the end of the program in You know it's needs of the navy. And all that kind of stuff so so turned out. When i got selected if i they told me i was going to be a pilot and then like they. You know four weeks later. I haven't graduated yet. They said well. We're sorry that we were badly in the back sears. Nfo's nfl stance from naval flight. Officer so i you know. Tail between my legs went down to pensacola tried to figure out a way to become a pilot and they said no dice Were just short on. Nfo's and that's in. You have a minute refractory error in your left dive. It's keeping you from minnesota. But i was twenty twenty in gotten in like six months before six months after they probably would let me go to the pilot program but at the time they just they were starving for back. Seniors in that may have been a blessing in disguise. Because like a year after. I got down there. They cut the bottom third out of pilot training navy wide because of the cold war drawdown and there were guys get sent home. We're getting cintas supply or know. They were surface warfare. That kinda thing and so it was. It was kind of an ugly time in the navy late eighties early nineties.