RFT 452: Airline Pilot Jim Allen
Jim attended the University of Kansas and enrolled in Navy ROTC. Although he was promised an assignment as a pilot, he was initially assigned as a Naval Flight Officer (back seater). He flew the EA-6B Prowler out of Whidbey Island, WA. In the EA-6B, he flew combat missions in Bosnia.
After his assignment, he finally got his slot to pilot training. As a pilot, he flew the EC-3, and electronic version of the P-3. He followed that assignment as a T-34 instructor in the Naval Training Command at Corpus Christi, TX. He flew 700 hours per year. He loved being an instructor, and decided that would be his future. He flew as an instructor for 15 years, amassing 3600 hours in the aircraft.
After the Navy, Jim worked for an aerospace engineering company in Corpus Christi and flew for the Reserves. He enjoyed the environment at the engineering company, but missed full-time flying. For a short time he flew for JetBlue Airlines, but after a short time he had to leave for a family emergency.
After JetBlue, he went to Iraq as a volunteer Individual Augmentee in the reserves. He was embedded with the army looking for Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
After Iraq, he flew 10 2-month tours in Afghanistan as a contractor flying King Air aircraft. He became an instructor almost immediately.
Finally, Jim was hired by a legacy airline, where he now flies.
Jim has written his autobiography, Plans That Make God Laugh.