FLASH STAFF REPORT
STEPHENVILLE (August 26, 2016) — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) honored longtime Stephenville resident William (Bill) Wallace Jones for 50 years of service in the aviation industry Friday at Stephenville Clark Regional Airport.
Jones, a pilot and mechanic, has flown for Texas International, Texas Continental, local attorney and former Texas State Senator Bob Glasgow and the Birdsong family that is rich in local history and the namesake for the Birdsong Amphitheater at Stephenville City Park.
Jones is one of approximately 25 people nationwide who are eligible for both the Charles Taylor Award and the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award. To earn the latter, a pilot must have 50 years of flying experience with no incidents or violations on their record. The Taylor Award is named for the inventor of the engine that powered the Wright Brothers’ historic flight.
Jones’ first solo flight was September 13, 1947 in an Aerionica Model c65 at old Stephenville Airport. He has been a licensed instructor since August, 1963 and flew for Trans Airway Texas shortly after in a DC3 Convair 240. He was also a captain for Continental Airway in a DC9, and flew for Glasgow during his Senate tenure after leaving Continental. From 1991-2001, Jones flew for the Birdsong family.
In all, Jones has logged more than 21,500 hours. That’s almost 900 days worth of time spent in the sky.
Jones received airframe and power plant mechanic licenses on February 14, 1956 and worked with Trans Texas as a mechanic before becoming a pilot.
TheFlashToday.com photos by DAVID SWEARINGEN