Carl McLelland – KF7GJO
From ‘day one’ I’ve been interested in military aviation. My Dad was a Marine Corps fighter pilot in WWII and Korea, so I had a goal of flying when I went in the service. I enlisted in the Army for the Warrant Officer, rotary wing program, only to fail my class one flight physical. I passed a second class for air traffic control, so that’s where I went… Keesler AFB for ATC school in August 1967. The Army issued MOS 93J20, Air Traffic Control Ground Controlled Approach Specialist (radar).
I worked Skipperville GCA at Ft. Rucker, AL for six months before heading across the pond to Vietnam. I spent most of my tour with the 366th Airfield Support Detachment at DakTo in the central highlands, and then over to Qui Nhon where I was GCA chief. I went back to Rucker afterward, worked Skipperville a few weeks and then took over as Chief of the Brantley Radar facility until I got out in 1970.
In 1972 I went to work for the FAA, three years at Oxnard Tower, two years at Ontario TRACON, two years at Las Vegas McCarran Tower/TRACON, and then into a staff position, Automation Specialist, for my last seven years at McClellan RAPCON/Sacramento TRACON. In ‘86 I succumbed to burnout and changed career fields. I became a deputy Sheriff in Reno, Nevada, and retired in 2004.
I’ve been a commercial pilot and flight instructor since 1969. Also flew as a captain for Sierra West Airlines and Casino Air (Part 135 operations). I retired from flying a decade ago when the Cessna Citation I flew was sold.
Several friends tried to get me into amateur radio over the decades but it was another friend (retired Army Colonel) who pushed the right button in 2009, when he gave me a complete Drake ‘C’ line system to work with.
1 January 2010, with the ink barely dry on my General license I answered a call for check-in’s from W0BUW for the Flyer’s net, and the rest is history.
I’m not a contester and really enjoy a quality DX ragchew with someone far away. I’ve also formed a bond with a great bunch of guys and gal on the Flyer’s net. If you’re a visitor to the net and qualify for membership, I recommend joining… and participating. It’s become something I truly enjoy.
73 – Carl McLeland, KF7GJO, AFFC #503