Jim Stark Blog

The Palomares B-52 Crash

On January 17, 1966, a B-52 of the Strategic Air Command flying a Cold War mission called Operation Chrome Dome collided with a KC-135 refueling aircraft. The B-52 was carrying four hydrogen bombs. All four of the KC-135 crew members plus three of the seven on the bomber were killed. Three of the H-bombs landed […]

My Friend Nathaniel

I had volunteered in the library’s VITAL program (Volunteers In Tutoring Adult Learners). I held no altruistic motivations for this project. It would only be an hour each week and I thought it might be interesting. The assignment of “learners” was random. Your student might be a foreigner wanting to read English, or a school […]

Good Evening, Ladies and Gentlemen…

A couple years ago when invited to speak to a military officer’s association (MOAA) in Florida about my Navy flying experiences, an attractive lady (about my age) had been introduced before the meeting as the widow of an Air Force General. She was sitting in the front row during my presentation and I could see […]

Mom’s Car

My mother loved her Buick. It was her magic carpet and although she couldn’t read a map, and never understood the directions North, South, East, or West, she would fearlessly jump into her car and drive from her home in Indiana to visit friends in Connecticut or off to her condo in Florida. There must […]


Instrument flying instruction during my pilot training taught me that without visual contact with the horizon or the ground, your inner ear can send totally inaccurate orientation information. The inner ear contains fluid-filled semicircular canals. As the body leans or turns the fluids move causing tiny hairs in the canals to send signals to the […]