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Man found dead at Duluth apartment complex April 19, 2014

James H. Phillips

James H. Phillips

"JIM" James H. "Jim" Phillips passed away at his home in Snellville, GA on March 7th due to "complications of old age". He was "67 backwards," as he liked to say. He was born in McDonough and lived in Georgia all his life. The man loved the sky, was born to fly, and this August would have marked the 54th anniversary of his solo flight. After earning his private pilot's license he went on to become an instructor himself. He has been called "The World's Greatest Aviator" by many who had the honor and privilege to fly with him or have him as their teacher. An Air Force veteran, he joined in 1953 at the age of 19. He worked as a radio operator on the B-29 Bomber, and completed a tour of duty in Libya. He left active duty in 1957, and went to work for Delta Air Lines that same year. He began as an instrument technician and worked his way up through the years to become a flight instructor, and finally a flight analyst. His dream was to be a jet pilot himself, but was unable to pass the strict company eye test. Therefore he dedicated his life to making other aspiring pilots the best they could be, both commercial and private. Mr. Phillips retired from Delta in 1988, but continued on as a private pilot instructor. He was very gifted in this, and made excellent flying an art form. His teaching method was very strong on accident prevention, and he wrote a book of essays called "Ramblings of a Mad Instructor". This he self-published and gave away freely in an effort to curb pilot-error accidents due to lousy instruction, which made him "mad." He loved people, and delighted in "spreading cheer and b.s." (bright sunshine) and helping out a friend or family member in need. He ate lunch almost every day at his local Golden Corral, where through the years he made many friends and endeared himself to the staff. He loved nature, and enjoyed feeding and watching the birds and other critters that made their home with him. He was a brilliant, funny, giving person who will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. Mr. Phillips is survived by five children, nine grandchildren, a sister and four nieces/nephews. A drop-in memorial will be held at the Briscoe Park clubhouse in Snellville on April 16th from 3-7p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to Mercy Flight Southeast at 850 Airport RD, #8, Lawrenceville, GA, 30045, or online at www.MercyFlightSE.org .