Jim Stark Blog

Flight Instructor

After my years as a Navy pilot and a brief stint in the insurance industry, I next found myself in Indiana in a family business started by my father-in-law. I hadn’t flown an airplane in several years but a golfing buddy, a pilot, took me aloft and turned over the controls. Gad, I loved it. […]

Final Chapter – Part Two

Day Three Pulling back the drapes in my Moriarty, N.M. motel room, I was alarmed to see a large buildup of storm clouds to the north. Man, I hoped that wouldn’t lead to the cancellation of my flight test that day. I called Flight Service to get a weather briefing and learned afternoon thunderstorms were […]

Final Chapter – Part One

Day One I had decided to go back to New Mexico to get my glider pilot add-on rating. It would just be a brief return. The Sundance Aviation owner In New Mexico, Rick Kohler, offered to do some refresher flights on one day and the check ride the next. Just in case there might be […]


When my oldest son, Eric, turned 50, Chris, his younger brother told him he was buying the two of them a skydiving experience to celebrate. It would be one of those tandem-jump affairs where the instructor is strapped to your back and controls the freefall, chute opening, and landing. I wasn’t concerned for their safety […]

Glider Flying in Moriarty, New Mexico, Part Three

Day Five This week has not been all fun and games. I’ve felt challenged and tested and that old feeling of college finals week tinged with anxiety returned. First it was getting comfortable and confident with the glider. Then it was getting approved for solo. Next was passing the oral test on systems, technology, and […]