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Episode 182 [Full] Tombo Jones – Veteran, U.S. Army and U.S. Coast Guard pilot and Director of Virginia Tech FAA designated drone test site

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Episode Description

In this episode of The Real ResQ, guest Tombo Jones chats with host Jason Quinn. Jones is a former United States Army pilot and Coast Guard pilot, currently director of the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership.

Jones shares his journey from the U.S. Army to the U.S.Coast Guard. His first duty station in the Coast Guard was Savannah, Georgia. He shares his first call out experience, a challenging and nerve-racking mission in heavy fog. At one point, he and his crew had to divert to make an emergency landing at Charleston International Airport due to low fuel and a reported fire on the initial runway. Jones then shares another humorous story out of Savannah about finding two boaters whose boat sank and having to leave them with a radio, then returning hours later for the rescue.

He speaks briefly about Mobile, Alabama, and then his twilight tour in Humboldt Bay, California. There, he recounts a specific medevac rescue mission on Feb. 6, 2015, which earned him a Letter of Commendation. He had to navigate severe weather and low visibility to save a patient’s life. Jones reflects on the lessons learned from this mission and the importance of considering magnetic variation in flight planning. He also shares about a second rescue out of Humboldt Bay that earned him an Achievement Medal. Here, a distressed sailor was injured and needed an immediate medevac off the fishing vessel.

Jones discusses an embarrassing mistake that he made as a crew member and emphasizes the importance of sharing experiences and learning from mistakes. He also talks about the challenges of flying in difficult conditions and the differences between Federal Aviation Administration regulations and Coast Guard operations. Jones concludes by offering advice on making wise decisions in high-pressure situations. Enjoy!

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