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James W. (Pete) Campbell - He never met a pilot he didn't like

"The military was anxious to train glider pilots in 1942 and Campbell was designated to become one. Gliders were in short supply, so Campbell and others in his class simulated glider flying by learning to 'dead-stick' J-3 Cubs to a 'spot' landing on the turf of Gill-Dove Field" near the town Martin in west Tennessee.

Pete's main contribution to aviation safety was the introduction of the "Flight Instructor Refresher Courses." While at the FAA Academy in 1964 the program was begun. "Flight instructors around the country had a dismal safety record at the time," recalls Campbell. "They lacked basic knowledge in aerodynamics and flight maneuvers and we were seeing high accident rates traceable to CFIs." From 1964 to 1971 Campbell conducted more than 200 of the courses with over 16,000 flight instructors attending. During this period the accident rate among flight instructors was reduced by over 50 percent. Later estimates credit this program with a 75% reduction in the accident rate.

Pete Campbell was a mamber of the St. Louis soaring group in the late 50s and early 60s. He kept a Schweizer 2-33 and Citabria towplane at his home in Union City, TN after he retired from the FAA. He has written two books under the title of "The Radical Rebel." while accumulating 22,000 flight hours with 10,000 as instruction. "Pete's pilot certificate shows his stature. He has one of only six ever issued that states: "ATP - all priviledges authorized.'" Pete was the first instructor inducted into the EAA's Flight Indstructor Hall of Fame in 1997. He continued to entertain at aviation events all over the country.

He never met a pilot he didn't like; Pete was a friend to all that fly.

Bob Davis, SSA State Governor for TN

Posted: 9/1/2000


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