Any resemblance to Howard Tobin's egg timer is coincidental.* FIVE MINUTES WITH…

James McLennan

CJP Member Since: 2015
Occupation: Real Estate Developer, retired
Spouse: Barbara
Current Aircraft: Citation Mustang
Home base: Chicago Executive Airport (KPWK)
Number of years flying: 62
Total time: 1,500+
Dream aircraft: Citation Mustang

Jim McLennan1) You have been flying for over 60 years. Can you describe your introduction to aviation?

My original inspiration for flying came when I was just seven years old as a result of two hero uncles who were bomber pilots in WWII. Fast-forward to 1955, I began instruction at a college flying club at a rate of $4 an hour wet plus $4 for an instructor. My first instructor’s mantra is forever imprinted in my memory: “If you can’t recover from a spin before one-and-a-half turns, you don’t belong in an airplane.” I later took my private check ride in a brand-new Cessna 150 with 41 hours logged (15 dual, 26 solo).

2) What led to your purchase of a Citation Mustang? Your typical mission?

Prior to the Mustang, I flew an AeroStar for eight years, which was a great travel experience. But when the airplane became an “orphan” for parts and repair, I was motivated to move on and found a great candidate for an owner-partner who also wanted to explore the jet world. Well into retirement, we typically take four to five one-day trips yearly, four two-day excursions and two “grand tours” that last one to two weeks each.

3) What is the most memorable trip you have made in your Citation?

In September of 2017, we launched a 15-day tour of Vancouver, B.C. and the Pacific Northwest. With a carefully crafted schedule, including 15 landings, we were able to visit 35 close friends and family. Not to mention, experience some of the most spectacular country in North America.

4) What is the most valuable part of being a part of CJP?

The cadre of fine people I meet through CJP affords fascinating and inspiring firsthand aviation stories. The bond of same and similar equipment hones my appetite for adventure. Also, I can glean money-saving tips for repairs, resources and innovative uses and improvements for the airplane.

5) In 2017, you were JMclennan and Awardawarded the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award. What did this honorable recognition mean to you?

Receiving this prestigious award gave me pause to think through the many chapters of my flying experience, which started with tail-draggers, dot-dash radios, hand-propping, spin training and dirt runways. Then came sorting through the tensions of high wing versus low wing, tricycle gear versus retractable gear, single versus twin, pressurization, glass panels, on up to now, with my first jet. Flying, while loaded with adventure has distinct, harsh margins. If you honor them and stay within them, you can do it safely for a lifetime.


* Any resemblance to Howard Tobin’s egg timer is purely coincidental.