James C. “Jim” Good, who represented Wyoming at the prestigious National Championship Air Races in Reno for decades, is the 2016 inductee into the Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame.
Good, who served as an ambassador for aviation in the state for half a century, died in Casper on April 24 at the age of 83.
An induction ceremony in his honor is scheduled June 14 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Casper-Natrona County International Airport hangar that houses hisGood-WAHF.jpg Good Warbirds Museum, where he gave tours to school groups and other organizations interested in the vintage aircraft he gathered there, including a Korean War-era Russian MiG-15 jetfighter.
Good began racing in the National Championship Air Races in the early 1980s, piloting a North American T-6, a World War II-era advanced trainer he christened “Wyoming Wildcatter.”
He used his understanding of flight and airframes to make numerous modifications to the T-6 to increase speed and efficiency. He also developed numerous race standards that were adopted to ensure a safer racing environment, and he advised and assisted other racers with specialized aircraft modifications and repairs.
The Fremont, Neb., native came to Wyoming in 1952 following his discharge from the Army after a four-year tour in which he served in Germany during the Berlin Airlift.
He settled in Thermopolis, where he worked in the oil fields, learned the blacksmith trade, and became an auto mechanic. At the same time, he pursued his fascination with aeronautics and began taking flight instruction, earning his private pilot’s license in 1965.
His natural inclination toward innovation and design and the mechanical abilities he developed in his previous trades led him to join Christler Flying Service in Greybull in the mid-1960s, where he earned certifications in airframe and power plant mechanics and multiple engines.
He assisted in the design and installation of spraying systems for the company’s Lockheed Constellations and Douglas DC-3s. He served as flight engineer on the four-engine Constellations, and piloted the DC-3s on aerial spraying, firefighting, and disaster relief flights.
After earning his airline transport pilot license in 1972, Good became a full-time pipeline patrol pilot for Amoco Oil Corp. in Casper, logging more than 34,000 hours flying various types of aircraft at low levels and often under extreme conditions. He retired in 1995.
Good’s passion for bringing aviation to the public was evident in his ongoing efforts to organize fly-ins of vintage aircraft. He was a major organizer of the 1989 Flying Cowboy Air Show & Air Races in Casper.
A highly respected airframe inspector, Federal Aviation Administration written test examiner, and flight instructor, Good was in great demand around the area for many years, even assisting a local Boy Scout with a project to preserve Casper’s airport history through installation of interpretive signs.
The Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame is a nonprofit organization operating under the auspices of the Wyoming Aeronautics Commission. It honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the establishment, development, and/or advancement of aviation in Wyoming