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Jim Upton 
Canyon Country, CA
Tuesday, 31. August 2004 14:00 Host: Write a comment Send E-mail

Hi to all. The website Josh has put together with Ralph’s support has brought back many fond memories of the fun times in the Air Explorers. I was a member of the Kittyhawk Squadron from 1953 to 1959. Aviation has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I soloed in the Squadron when I turned 16 and got my drivers license a week later so you know where my priorities were. I obtained my private license in the Champ (1759E) at 17 and was the first Air Explorer in Squadron 3 to get a private license.

My career has been in aviation as a Flight Test Engineer and Test Director for Lockheed for 35 years. I worked on 18 different aircraft and helicopter flight test programs from the Mach 3+ A-12 through the P-3, S-3 and U-2. I flew as a crew member and in chase aircraft on most of the programs, which I really enjoyed.

I retired from Lockheed in 1997, and my wife Carol, put on a surprise retirement party at our home in Canyon Country CA that included Ralph Truglio and many of the Squadron 3 Air Explorers from the 1950s. Some had come from as far away as Oregon and Alaska. The fact that Squadron 3 friends from over 40 years earlier would travel long distances for this surprise party is a real tribute to lasting friendships. (see photos in Scrapbook 2)

I am still active as a private pilot, and I have written four aviation books. I have done articles for a number of aviation publications and also work part time as a photographer for Aviation International News. A passion for aviation, that got a huge boost in Squadron 3, continues today.

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