James Vreeland - 2016 Inductee
James Vreeland
33,645 Flight Hours, Instructor for 53 Years, Instructor for 984 Pilots, Piedmont Airline Pilot

Mr. Vreeland has logged 33,645 hours of total time, flying 102 different aircraft. He has also given instruction to 984 pilots over 53 years of instructing.

Jim began flying at age 15. He soloed at the Milford airport when he was 16. He then received his private pilot at Laurel Airport age 17, his commercial certificate at age 18, and his flight instructor rating at age 19. He began his flying career during the summer of 1962, when he was only 18
years old. He logged over 200 hours of flying time while working for Cal Hollis, who sold alfalfa-harvesting equipment. Most of Jim’s landings were made in alfalfa fields to make repairs to the harvesting equipment from May to October 1962.

Mr. Vreeland made a major contribution as a flight instructor, both at the Laurel Airport, and later with Piedmont Airlines. While at Laurel from 1963-1970, he worked for John Reed and taught 565 student pilots. The flight students came to Laurel, Delaware from Baltimore, Philadelphia, Richmond, Norfolk, Atlantic City, and Wilmington. From 1970-1983, he crop dusted out of Milford, Delaware, then Greenwood. Working directly with farmers, he provided unique solutions to the challenges of weeds, disease and insects.

In the 1980s Jim also flew a Pitts Special for air shows. He had a special low altitude waver and did precision point rolls, inside and outside loops, and other amazing maneuvers.

Mr. Vreeland flew for Piedmont Airlines from 1983-2003. He went on to become a Captain, instructor, and check airman for the airline. Captain Vreeland was highly regarded with both airline management and line pilots for strict adherence to the safety of flight, his excellent flying skills and
mentoring of new pilots receiving their initial operating experience under him. After retiring from the airline, Mr. Vreeland continued crop dusting from 2008-2014.