Win an airplane ride! As a then 12 year-old small-town newspaper boy in central Missouri, this was a great motivator for young Jim Dockins to sell more subscriptions. The grand-prize not only consisted of a “trip around the patch” in a four-seat Piper at the Columbia Airport, but also a ticket on an Ozark Airlines airplane to the Kansas City Downtown Airport. The determination to win was unbending, and it certainly paid off.
This “first day of aviation” sparked what is now a 27-year passion for flying small airplanes. Today, it is even more astonishing for Jim to grasp the concept that he now teaches others to fly at this same historic downtown Kansas City airport where he stood wide-eyed and amazed 40 years ago as he walked down the stairs from that Ozark flight.
While Jim enjoyed a successful career in hospital administration that spanned 25 years, he maintained his private pilot’s license and was a consistent member of various flying clubs and airplane partnerships. After several intense years of international healthcare experiences, which included building hospitals in India and the Middle East, he moved into his new position as a professor of healthcare leadership at Rockhurst University. He simulataneously fulfills his lifelong dream of being a flight instructor here at ATD Flight Systems.
Jim also serves as an officer in the Charles R. Long Civil Air Patrol Squadron, also based at the downtown airport, and is a member of the Mitchell Flying Club in Lee’s Summit. His most recent flying accomplishment was receiving his tailwheel endorsement. He is a member of the National Association of Flight Instructors, the Experimental Aircraft Association, and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. He has been actively involved in teaching aviation safety and crew resource management techniques to healthcare teams for the past decade. Jim brings a high degree of enthusiasm to his students here at ATD while sharing his love for flying.