Captain James A. Waits
Captain James A. Waits
My aviation career began as an enlisted man in the U S Navy. I flew in several Tactical jet Fighter and Attack aircraft models during two separate tours of duty at the Premiere Navy Weapons Research, Test, Development and Evaluation, RTD&E projects for various weapons modernization programs at China Lake, Ca. I also flew as special-crew aboard a variety of other fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft. My technical designator for Aviation Ordnance Technician also provided me with hands-on loading, support and maintenance of aircraft armament systems and munitions test, handling, storage and assembly for all of the air launched weapons programs that were active during my six years of total time at the China Lake, CA Facility.
I was assigned as an enlisted air crewman for U S Navy P2 "Neptune" and P3 "Orion" Anti Submarine Warfare units in Washington State, Oahu, Hawaii and Naval Air Station Moffett Field, CA. My career advancement was steady and I was always on the "cutting-edge" of new technology and improved aircraft maintenance procedures. I amassed over 5,000 flight hours in ASW aircraft during these tours. As a result of my superior achievements with Fleet deployed P3 units I was selected as the "Technical Advisor" for the P3 "Orion" armament system U S Pacific Fleet. I served on the Staff of Commander Patrol Wings Pacific Fleet based at NAS Moffett Field/ NASA Ames Research Center Mt View California. I authored several articles for P3 aircraft corrosion prevention, developed improved training and weapons loading techniques for fleet squadron Ordnance Loading procedures for Conventional and Special Weapons involving all of the Pacific Fleet active and reserve P3 units. I was assigned to manage the Contractor, (McDonnell Douglas) P3 Fleet retrofit program for the deployment of the "Harpoon" cruise missile on all U S Navy P3 aircraft.
My education goals were ongoing during my time at NAS Moffett in addition to being on Active Duty. I obtained my FAA Private Pilot License at the Moffet Navy Flying Club and then used the VA GI Bill Flight Training syllabus at the San Jose Airport through Pacific Piper that was a VA Approved flight school. I obtained my Commercial, Instrument, Single and multi-engine and Instrument Flight instructor license' and ratings over a four year period. I was also enrolled with Embry Riddle Aeronautical University "extended" Campus at NAS Moffett. I was further involved as a Flight Instructor for the Moffett Navy Flying Club and also as a Board member holding the positions of Safety Officer, Maintenance, Officer and Vice President before being reassigned to the F14 Fighter Community in Southern California. During my tours at NAS Moffett I several awards and Letters of Appreciation for my contributions to the P3 Fleet readiness and weapons improvement programs. I was selected for a Full Commission as a U S Navy Warrant officer and was assigned to an F14 squadron based at NAS Miramar, CA that deployed aboard USS Enterprise as a component of Carrier Air Wing Eleven. I sold my personal aircraft and Charter Company and moved to the San Diego, CA area.
During my tenure as the Weapons Officer for VF 114 I developed a modification to the aircraft that allowed for increased carriage of certain air to air missile that directly aided the increased fighting posture of the U S Navy F14 aircraft inventory and it was immediately adopted fleet wide. Other achievements included streamlining the treat-response time for Phoenix missile deployment on the F14 which was a "Force-Multiplier" for the F14 units deployed at sea. I received additional awards for my efforts that improved the readiness and war fighting capability of the U S Navy F14 aircraft.
My next assignment at the Naval Air Station Fallon, NV as the Officer in Charge of the F/A 18 Atlantic Fleet raining squadron VF/A 106 Fallon Detachment. Having two hundred combined officer / enlisted personnel and 12 F/A 18 aircraft to support the Fleet Replacement Pilot Training demanded the utmost in safety and efficiency for the upkeep, maintenance and servicing of the aircraft assigned while a cadre of new pilots underwent training. The logistics challenges of supporting an Atlantic based navy unit operating from a Pacific Based shore facility were quickly brought under control and I developed an "Interface" support concept that dew assets from both Pacific and Atlantic sources to support the fleet readiness requirements of keeping the pilot training schedule "On-Time." NAS Fallon is also the U S Navy premiere Live Ordnance training facility for Fleet Pilot and Carrier Based Air wing Training evolutions and Ordnance Safety was another top priority for the unit to adhere to. Under my guidance an F/A 18 aircraft that suffered Inflight structural damage was returned to service having spent over a year out of service awaiting a managed repair plan of action. Working with the factory contractor personnel and the unit maintenance department a thirty two million dollar asset was returned to service in six weeks. I was personally recruited by the NAS Fallon Commanding Officer transfer to his Command to bring the U S Navy's newest and most modern ammunition storage, handling and assembly facility online. The Fallon Weapons Department supported 14 Carrier Air wings, all USMC Fleet aviation units, and a host of other special/units/forces requiring live ammunition that provided realistic "theater" training scenarios to prepare them for action when called upon to deploy. I was assigned as the Ammunition Inventory Control Officer and managed an average of sixty thousand tons of Live ordnance monthly comprised of nineteen hundred line items and over one million units. After placing the Fallon Weapons Department "Online", the Base Commanding Officer hand-selected me to take over the failing Morale Welfare and Recreation Department prior to my impending retirement. I was responsible for five military clubs/dining facilities, a bowling alley, a Grade "A" equestrian center, indoor swimming pool, camp-gear rental, auto hobby shop, a Nationally Certified Go-Kart track, off-site campground rental units, five enlisted berthing units and two officer berthing units, three Day Care centers and a full service gymnasium The berthing facilities housed the completed cadre of enlisted and officer personnel of the ships company air wing personnel combined with carried based air wing, squadrons for their Fallon training cycle prior to their scheduled deployments. The average number of personnel that were berthed was three thousand officer / enlisted combined. My military staff was comprised of approx thirty personnel and I had a combined staff of Civil servants of more than 350 personnel. I retied with Honors from the U S Navy with a Permanent regular Commission after Twenty Five years of Continuous service. I have been awarded several medals and Commendations over the course of my military career for both Combat and Non-Combat actions.
I owned and operated an aircraft charter company in Fallon, NV when I retired and was approved by The Department of The Interior to provide aircraft transport for fire-fighters and VIP personnel. I flew as a line Captain for scheduled Bank mail between Reno and Las Vegas, NV and as a FedEx Captain for Air-Freight between Reno, NV and Oakland, CA. I moved to Wichita, KS and worked for Flight Safety International as an aircraft and Simulator Instructor at the Wichita Citation Learning Center. I conceptualized a "Pilot Enrichment" Training program to reduce a particularly deadly type of crash referred to as: "Controlled Flight Into Terrain." My submission was approved and went system-wide and eventually globally and is offered by every professional pilot training facility in the world. I was also selected as the "Lead" Simulator instructor for the Cessna Aircraft Company "Citation X" business jet and was assigned as a member to the Cessna Aircraft Factory "Product Introduction Team". I trained customers in simulators and their own aircraft and provided pilot services to several corporate customers and individuals and the Cessna Aircraft Company. I was designated as an FAA Pilot Examiner, Check Airman and CAT II ILS Check Airman for Flight Safety Pilot Customers. I trained and Licensed Pilots on a global scale. The U S Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration requested I personally travel, to Washington, DC and give the presentation for Controlled Flight into Terrain Awareness and Prevention to the senior staff of FAA, National Transportation Safety Board and Legal Staff at the FAA headquarters schedule monthly Safety Meeting.
The Chief Pilot of Mobil Oil Flight Operations recruited me to become a member of their newest global operation in The Peoples Republic of China. I was assigned as a Captain flying a Citation 650 series business jet throughout the PRC, Mongolia, Eastern Siberia, Brunei, Bali, Indonesia, Singapore and Australia. I then contracted to fly another Citation 650 series aircraft within Saudi Arabia, The United States, Newfoundland, Iceland, The UK, France and Turkey. Upon my return to the United States I accepted the position of Director of Aircraft Operations for an Internationally recognized Christian Ministry and served in that capacity until their flight department was formally closed in 2011. since that time I have worked as an independent aviation contractor as an "expert Witness", analyst, researcher, flight department evaluator, aircraft sales, delivery and instructor. I also provide aviation consulting services to a variety of clients.