Five Minutes With:

Howard T.Dr. Howard Tobin

  • CJP Member Since: 2010
  • Occupation: Cosmetic Surgeon
  • Spouse: Gail
  • Current Aircraft: Citation 501 Stallion
  • Home Base: Abilene, TX
  • Number of Years Flying: 52 years
  • Total Time: 6,000+ hours
  1. You have been flying for over 52 years. Can you describe your introduction to aviation?

Ultimately, my Dad channeled me into medicine, but in the back of my mind, I always knew I also wanted to fly. I eventually dedicated $10/week for flying lessons – this equated to one hour of training per week in a Cessna 172. Funnily enough, after 20 weeks of training, I earned my license the day my son was born. For my first airplane, I bought a K-model Bonanza. I went on to own a Cessna 310, Cessna 340, a Cheyenne…I kept each airplane roughly five years then would move up. Once I got the jet bug, I bought the 501.

  1. What led to your purchase of a Citation? Your typical mission?

Why would anyone want a jet? The Cheyenne fit my needs perfectly, but I wanted to experience a jet. I originally thought I would keep it five years, but I still have it today (27 years later). I would guess I have the oldest airplane and am the oldest person flying single-pilot within CJP. We have flown it all over the world – Alaska, South America, etc. In the beginning, I largely used it for my business, occasionally flying patients into the clinic. Now, it is primarily used for charity flying like the Veteran’s Airlift.

  1. What is the most memorable trip you have made in your Citation?

Probably the two Air Journey flights. My wife and I completed one to the Galapagos and one to Iceland/Greenland. Both wonderful flying and vacations. And Air Journey does all of the work. They are truly a first-class organization.

  1. What is the most valuable part of being a member of CJP?

The discussion panels by far. You learn a lot by hearing and reading what others are doing. Though I might not always agree with some of what I am reading, it stimulates me to think about my own techniques and operation.

  1. In 2018, you were awarded the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award. What did this honorable recognition mean to you?

I was quite flattered. The FAA came down and gave a nice presentation – even reminding me of some accomplishments of mine that I had forgotten. I really am quite proud of my flying and for going 50 years without ever having an accident or incident. Flying has been very important in my life, and this was a great recognition.