Captain James V. Weatherill. In high school, Jim chopped firewood and washed airplanes to pay for flight instructions. He had a flying license before a driver’s license. While in the military Jim flew the Boeing tandem rotor CH-47 helicopter in service in the Republic of Vietnam. He flew in the Central Highlands and the coastal region of Vietnam and along the Cambodia-Laos frontier moving firebases, troops, medivacs and supplies from November 1967 to November 1968. Stateside he taught helicopter instrument flight and helicopter transition in the Bell UH-1D and H model Huey helicopter and the Boeing CH-47A and B Chinook tandem rotor helicopter.
After the military, Jim was a project manager and heavy lift pilot for logging operations on timber sales from California to Alaska, flying the Boeing Vertol 107 tandem rotor helicopter. The Boeing Vertol 107 is the civilian version of the U.S. Marine Corps Boeing CH-46 helicopter. Managing crews of up to 150 people, he supervised operations in remote locations, which mandated building and maintaining self-sufficient camps, including self supplied water, sewer and electricity. He helped prove the viability of night logging, which reduced down time and maintained production schedules when forests were closed during daylight hours due to high fire danger.
Jim placed concrete in dam construction, flying 8,600-pound loads up to men safety roped to structural forms. He worked on power line structure erection, placing double telephone pole structures through residential areas and hilly, steeply sloped terrain. He placed concrete and lift poles for ski lift erection. He flew on numerous forest fire operations dropping water and retardant from 800-gallon buckets onto live fire lines. Flying the Boeing Vertol 107 tandem rotor helicopter, he has flown more than 50,000 precision heavy lift external operations with long line length from 50 to 300 feet.
After helicopter flying, Jim flew as first officer and captain in regional flight operations on the turboprop Beechcraft B-99, Beechcraft 1900 and the Sweringen Metroliner 3 airliner throughout the Pacific Northwest. Jim served as the Air Line Pilots Association union contract negotiator for the regional airline. At a major airline, Jim flew as a first officer on the McDonald Douglas DC-9-30 and the McDonald Douglas MD-80 series turbojet airliners. He flew as captain on the Boeing 737-300, 500, 700, 800, and 900 airliners.
When not flying in the USA and Canada, his flight choices were south of the American border, i.e. Mexico, Central America, northern South America and the Caribbean, with qualifications for numerous special airports. He has been involved in short haul shuttle operations, transcontinental and international flying. Flight summary in hours: Airplane 19,500; Helicopter 6,300; Multi Engine 25,500; Electronic Flight Instrument Systems 6,000; Turboprop 5,000; Turboshaft 6,000; Turbojet 14,500; Combat 1,341. Jim holds a Bachelor of Science, Geography, from the University of California, Riverside, California. He is married, has two daughters and enjoys playing his guitars.