Airway Pioneer Member
Paul R. McAfee

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Born and educated in Wichita Falls, Texas. I joined Army Air Corps as Aviation Cadet in 1942. I trained at Santa Ana, CA, King City, CA, Lancaster, CA and Marfa, TX. I flew bombardier cadets at Victorville, CA, trained in B-25s to become a "night fighter" pilot at Douglas Arizona, and when that program was scrapped, I went to Will Rogers Field at OKC for training to become a Photo Recon Pilot in P-38s (F5s). When that training was completed, the war was winding down and our services were no longer in demand. So, we flew long senseless mapping missions over the entire Southwest US to put hours on the aircraft to make the base look good. All Photo Recon aircraft at OKC were moved along with all P-38 pilots to Coffeyville Kansas in July 1945. I continued to fly long photo missions until the war was concluded and I retired from the military in 1945.

I joined the CAA at El Paso ARTCC in 1946 (CAF-6 $3021 per annum), and then I worked as controller at ABQ ARTCC from 1948 to 1954, as Controller and Watch Supervisor at DEN ARTCC from 1954 to 1959, and as Deputy Chief at PHX ARTCC from 1960 to1961. I transferred to the Western Regional Headquarters as SATCS in the Air Traffic Operations Branch in 1961 remaining there until 1965.

I was the Noise Abatement Officer for Western Region from 1965 until 1968 when I became the Chief, SLC Air Traffic Branch (Area Office era). In 1969, I moved back to the Los Angeles Regional Office as Chief, Operations Branch, Air Traffic Division. In 1973, I moved over to be Chief, of the Evaluations Branch. Then, in 1975, I became Deputy Chief, Air Traffic Division, where I served until retirement in December 1976.

Upon retirement, I opened my own consulting business and did consulting for next five years. During this time I also worked as Western Region Editor for General Aviation News, a national aviation publication. I also wrote a column titled ATC Clears for this newspaper for five years. I retired again in 1981 and moved to the Texas Hill Country to play golf and fish. That proved to be too slow a pace for me and I again went to work for General Aviation News now located in Dallas Texas becoming that paper's Publisher (and Chief Pilot) in 1983. I was Publisher of that paper for three years and then retired again and moved back to California in early 1987. I served as a Director on the Board of California Pilots Association for nine years and edited that organization's Newsletter for two years. I resigned that position in 1995 and became So. California Area Director for SOAP. In March 2000, I agreed to serve as interim Executive Director of SOAP until a replacement could be recruited.

I flew most of my life but when I reached the age of 65, I hung up my goggles and headset. I guess I had read too many accident reports during my career. I concluded that age take its toll on one's ability to stay sharp enough to survive the unforeseen.


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