James E Hart
An American original…
Our colleague, pilot and dear friend Jim Hart departed this life on Dec 22, 2014 leaving behind treasured memories in us all of a life well lived.
Jim was born on a small farm in western New York and joined the US Army after graduating from high school. He started life in the Army as a Private and through hard work, commitment and dedication he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He completed two tours of combat operations in South Vietnam flying deHavilland CV-2B Caribou’s and other aircraft in support of military intelligence with a highly classified recon unit. During Jim’s operational career he flew as a test pilot in research and development of Army aircraft such as the OV-1 Mohawks and UH-1 Huey helicopters. After his retirement from the US Army Jim flew many types of aircraft in the civilian corporate world but to our good fortune his love for the Caribou aircraft drew him into our world.
All the flying video sequences of our Turbo Caribou at Cape May on this website are with Jim at the controls, he flew the aircraft as an extension of himself. He could make the Turbo Caribou do things that amazed everyone that witnessed it. Jim took his craft seriously and was a consummate professional aviator.
Jim leaves behind his beloved wife and co-pilot Jinna, children and grand children. Jim rode his Harley at every opportunity, sometimes very long distances. He was the very epitome of the classic action man full of energy and his curiosity had no bounds, there was no book that crossed his path that he did not read.
During a discussion after an evening meal a few years ago, Jim suggested that we all stand on the shoulders of the people who came before us. Our Turbo Caribou design is only possible because of the brilliant engineers and craftsman who built this exceptional airframe at DHC Downsveiw Ontario. Jim’s contribution cannot be understated; he conducted the test flights and helped define the flying qualities of the design. The young men and women who fly the Turbo Caribou now and in the future will be standing on Jim’s strong shoulders.
In the last three years Turbo Caribou 238 flew almost daily missions in Afghanistan in support of the US Army, dropping needed supplies to the brave young soldiers at their posts in remote parts of that rugged country. Jim took great pride in the fact that an aircraft that he helped develop was used to support his beloved Army and no doubt saved many lives and prevented injuries because supplies were brought to the troops so they would not have to drive on dangerous roads to get them.
Jim Hart loved his country above all; he was a true patriot, not in a vain or boastful way but with the dignity of a man who studied and understood his country’s history, a country he served with pride and honor.