David C. Shields

Profile Updated: June 6, 2010
David C. Shields
Residing In: Swannanoa, NC USA
Spouse/Partner: Rhonda
Occupation: Chief Instructor/FAA Pilot Examiner
Children: None
Military Service: USAF  
Yes! Attending Reunion

Well a lot has gone on since the days at the old P-school. Enjoying the website and the chance to see where some of us have arrived and a bit about how we got there. The P-school was a sort of second chance for me after not getting into USAFA straight out of High School and then flunking/dropping out of college. There were a lot of times that I felt like I was hanging on by my fingernails, especially during the 4 years up the hill. Not an unusual feeling probably, but as the years have passed I have come to realize that hanging on, even by my fingernails, with all of you equipped me for things at a level that a lot of folks just don't have the opportunity for.

I have come full circle in a way. After enlisting in Asheville, NC, the first step toward the prep school, I survived those 5 years in Colorado. Rhonda and I got married the day after graduation and after UPT at Williams I ended up flying KC's at Barksdale. Left USAF there in 1981 to go into missionary aviation. One of our prep school classmates passed through at Barksdale and asked me "Don't you have to be a really good pilot to do that?" I really had no great delusions about any super-pilot abilities but by God's grace and strength those doors did open, although they did take a bit of pushing. So, after spending a couple of years down in Lake Charles, LA getting my mechanic certificate, all the while flight instructing and building a good core of general aviation experience, in 1984 I joined Jungle Aviation and Radio Service (JAARS) which is the technical support arm of Wycliffe Bible Translators.

Technical orientation was completed in 1985, during which time I became a passably good STOL pilot of both the Cessna 206 and the Helio Courier, survived anyway, and then in '86 it was off to France for language school with an assignment to Africa. We spent Jan 87-Mar 97 with furlough breaks in Africa, mostly working out of Cameroon but with about 6 months flying with Africa Inland Mission out of Nairobi, Kenya. We left Africa and came back to work at the JAARS Center in Waxhaw, NC. During my time in Lake Charles I had discovered that I enjoyed training and during one of our furloughs I had worked in the aviation training dept at JAARS. It had worked out well so I was able to go back into that job. In '89 I became training manager which took me a bit away from "hands-on" training but not too far and I got more involved in evaluation of applicants.

I worked with a tremendous group of people during my time in JAARS so the decision to leave in '05 was not an easy one. We travelled as far as Texas looking for a training job that fit. Rhonda was born in Asheville and while we were here visiting my folks asked if there was possibly something available here. I checked the phone book for possibilities, made a phone call and the rest is the proverbial history. I became chief instructor at WNC Aviation in Nov '05 and became a designated pilot examiner in Nov 07. Rhonda is back working at the hospital where she worked summers going to college and we are enjoying being "back home" in the NC mountains. Work responsibilities keep us both fairly busy. During the rather scarce free time, I try to ride my bicycle enough to survive my annual century ride, the Assault on Mount Mitchell. I have survived it the last 10 years now, with 2009 the only year that I wimped out and didn't make the top. Still trying to break 8 hours but have been making retrograde progress recently.

God has been good to us over the years and we are truly grateful for His salvation and the many blessings that he has brought us.

If you'd like to take a look at my portion of the WNC Aviation website and a picture with less and migrated hair here's the address http://www.wncaviation.com/WNC_Aviation/Meet_the_Chief.html

School Story:

Has the statute of limitations run out on who piled the snow in front of all or most of the doors of B sqadron? Seem to recall there was a Texan CC who had never seen snow involved. Don't remember who else:-)


Bicycles: Buying, selling, in pieces or otherwise trying to find the magic formula so I can make it faster up Mt. Mitchell. Maybe I should just ride more.

David C.'s Latest Interactions

It's David C. Shields' birthday today.
Oct 16, 2017 at 4:33 AM
It's David C. Shields' birthday today.
Oct 16, 2015 at 4:33 AM
It's David C. Shields' birthday today.
Oct 16, 2014 at 4:33 AM