Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Dad Retires

This past Monday, my dad retired from his job as a pilot for 16 years. However, it was more significant then that because my dad earned his pilot's license about 50 years ago and has been able to fly for many of those years. At 71 he probably will not have many more opportunities to fly. My dad, Joe France, had his final flight on Monday and afterwards the company gave him a party. Over a dozen family members were in attendance, which made the time even more special. Below is the speech given by his boss Zach Riggs. I asked his permission to post his remarks in my blog. Enjoy and Congratulations to my dad!

Sheryl

A short history of Joe France in aviation:
In 1956 during Joe’s junior year of high school, five missionaries were killed in Ecuador in an effort to reach a dangerous tribe, the Waodani. One of those killed, Nate Saint, piloted a Piper PA-14 Family Cruiser for Missionary Aviation Fellowship. Several articles and books were published about this story and Joe’s initial interest came after reading such book.
After graduating high school, Joe attended Westmont College in Santa Barbara for two years. It was here that he met Helen, Joe’s wife of 50 years on August 6th! He transferred to UC Davis and received a B.S. in Agriculture Education in 1961. They then moved to Chicago where he began missionary studies and aviation the following year. And before graduating in 1965, their family expanded to 4 with the births of two daughters, Sheryl and Sandy.
God led him to Wycliffe Bible Translators in 1966 and they joined their aviation wing, JAARS, in the Philippines until 1974. Here he flew and maintained Helio Couriers and served as the chief pilot and program manager. During a year-long furlough in 1970, Joe instructed at Moody Aviation in Elizabethton, TN. And from ‘74-’75 he stepped out of the cockpit for a year in the Philippines to oversee all non-linguistic partners of Wycliffe Bible Translators in Manila, Philippines. It was also in the Philippines that their family expanded to 6 with the births of two sons, Steve and Scott.
From 1977-82, Joe instructed at the JAARS headquarters in Waxhaw, NC. He performed technical evaluations and flight recurrency training for pilots returning oversees. And after this assignment, Joe and company moved across the ocean again, but this time to Indonesia where they spent the next 4 years.
After this adventure, in 1986 Joe and Helen moved back to California and he began working in the Huntington Beach headquarters for Wycliffe Bible Translators as an administrative assistant. He was able to find some time to reenter the cockpit for 6 months in Indonesia during these years, but that just wasn’t enough.
So from present, rewind to March 1994. A new program had been recently developed and a company known as K&K Aircraft had been awarded a contract to release sterile Mediterranean fruit flies all over the LA Basin in turbine Beech-18’s. Another JAARS pilot, Paul Smith, had returned to the states on furlough from Peru several months before. Joe met him through the WBT headquarters and learned he was flying with CMF. Joe contacted Mike Stolzfus to pursue a part-time position and was hired in Mach 1994. He obtained over 4,600 hrs in the Beech 18’s before Dynamic switched to an all King Air fleet. He has flown with Dynamic all over the U.S. and Nicaragua, Panama, Jamaica, Mexico, and Afghanistan.
All in all, Joe has flown in at least eight different countries, over 14,900 hrs, and holds his A&P, CFII, MEI, Ground Instructor, airplane ATP and helicopter Commercial certificates.


I wish I could tell you what Joe prides himself in, but if there’s one thing Joe doesn’t pride himself in it is in pride itself. He is one of the most humble men I know. For instance, I had no clue he had his ATP until I researched his history for this speech! Joe’s humility speaks volumes about his character. He likes to do things that keep the show running smoothly. He likes to do things to the best of his ability. Not because he wants to be likable or recognized, but because he loves to serve.
And Joe does not let his experience create pride in his service. He has been working at Medfly since I was 9 years old, and he has not once done something without first receiving my approval. Not because I know better, but because he is humble. The first thing I think of when I think of Joe is his humility.
The other thing I think of is his pursuit of excellence. Joe wants to do things well. He wants to fly his line well. He wants to clean the flies well. He wants to land well. He wants to abide by the regs well. He wants to serve well. He is in constant pursuit of doing things well, of excellence. Again, he doesn’t do this to be recognized by his fellow co-workers. He does this because God has given him the ability, talent, and desire to serve and he does not want to use it to any potential other than his best.
Joe also has a high regard for safety. Joe has flown in many dangerous environments—one of the most dangerous being the LA Basin. He takes precautions and learns areas as best he can to maintain a high level of safety in all his operations. For instance, I learned more downtown landmarks from Joe than any other captain.
Lastly, I am a firm believer that Joe France is a key factor and constant for Dynamic Aviation to be re-awarded contracts for this operation contract after contract. His humility and integrity create transparency in his interactions with the CDFA. And his thorough communications have created strong ties with them. Several CDFA employees have mentioned that they will miss not having Joe around.

12 comments:

姿柯瑩柯dgdd憶曾g智曾 said...

哈囉!來拜訪囉~部落格很棒^^~..................................................................

玉苓玉苓 said...

海鷗要高飛,必先遠退。花蜜要香醇,必先久釀。............................................................

長修長修 said...

大肚能容,了卻人間多少事,滿腔歡喜,笑開天下古今愁。..................................................

張家弘v張家弘 said...

成熟,就是有能力適應生活中的模糊。............................................................

江冠筠江冠筠江冠筠 said...

一個人的價值,應該看他貢獻了什麼,而不是他取得了什麼....................................................

韋陳富 said...

take care yourself!! ^^............................................................

琇白林林琇白林林 said...

不要去想沒拿到的東西,多想想自己手裡所擁有的..................................................

家唐銘 said...

文章是唯一不死的東西,時間飛逝,文字記述的心情就是一種傳承!............................................................

46854 said...

看著你的BLOG 好多朋友都回應 真厲害..................................................

桂江江江江宸 said...

人生像一杯茶,若一飲而盡,會提早見到杯底..................................................

王辛江淑萍康 said...

百發百中不是一試就成的。..................................................

璇陳陳陳竹 said...

快樂,是享受工作過程的結果......................................................................