Bob Hume was appointed to fill the vacant seat on the Fallbrook Airpark Advisory Committee board.
A 5-0 San Diego County Board of Supervisors vote April 15 placed Hume on Seat No. 3, which was vacated by the resignation of Jeff Holstein. The seat has an official four-year term which expires on January 5, 2015, although Hume can be appointed for an additional four-year term.
“I do think it’s important for the community to have input,” Hume said.
Hume was approached with a request to volunteer for the advisory board. “I’ve been going to the meetings somewhat regularly,” he said.
The other advisory board members suggested his nomination at the board’s November meeting. County Airports, which is part of the county’s Department of Public Works, has staff at the advisory board meetings.
“We’re happy that he’s volunteered his services,” said County Airports director Pete Drinkwater.
Supervisor Bill Horn forwarded the recommendation to his colleagues, who provided the official support for the appointment.
“As someone who has flown and piloted aircraft, I know the importance of air safety and maintaining strategic County Airports,” Horn said.
Hume has been a pilot for 52 years, including 23 years as an airline pilot. “These credentials, along with the Department of Public Works’ recommendation, make Captain Hume a great fit for the Fallbrook Airpark Advisory Committee,” Horn said.
Hume has also been a corporate pilot and a flight instructor. “I have a lifelong career in aviation doing everything with every airplane,” he said.
“I was always fascinated by airplanes,” Hume said. “I’ve flown all my life, starting flying with I was 15, rode my bicycle to the airport to take flying lessons because I wasn’t old enough to drive.”
Hume bicycled to Montgomery Field in the Clairemont Mesa area of San Diego for flying lessons. He lived just east of what was then San Diego State College.
At the time the Alvarado Estates neighborhood west of San Diego State College had an airstrip. Hume also rode his bicycle to that airstrip to watch the planes take off and land, although he never flew out of Alvarado Estates.
Hume followed his 1963 Crawford High School graduation with studies at San Diego State. He worked as a flight instructor while in college. His first job lasted less than a month through no fault of his own – the business was sold. “That was just the first of many,” he said. “In the world of aviation I’ve worked for everybody once.”
Hume actually held the same position as an airline pilot for 23 years, although it was with three different airlines. What was Air California when he started became Air Cal, which was subsequently purchased by American Airlines.
Hume has also worked as a pilot for three corporations, including flying cancelled checks in the middle of the night for seven years, and he had subsequent work as a flight instructor after his first job. He also painted houses to pay for his pilot’s license.
Hume moved to the Bay Area after graduating from San Diego State College. He lived in Orange County before moving to the Fallbrook/Bonsall border 12 years ago. “You’ve got to be a vagabond to be an airline pilot,” he said.
His current residence is his first in northern San Diego County. “I absolutely love Fallbrook. I love the weather. I love the views,” he said. “It’s a lovely little spot.”
When Hume first moved to Greater Fallbrook he was a member of a flying club out of Montgomery Field. He has flown out of Fallbrook Community Airpark for the last seven years. Hume currently owns a 1961 vintage Twin Bonanza. “We both started flying that same year, me and that airplane,” he said.
Other than this year, when the airpark open house coinciding with the Avocado Festival was cancelled due to parking and traffic circulation concerns, Hume has displayed his plane at the open house. Hume has also been active with Friends of the Fallbrook Community Air Park.
Hume has more than 11,000 hours of flying light aircraft. “I’m a great promoter of aviation,” he said. “Anybody who has the least interest should learn how to fly.”
Although obtaining a pilot’s license is more expensive, Hume noted that learning how to fly can cost less than $2,000. He also noted that physical skill isn’t necessarily the most important factor in flying safely and successfully. “Flying is really more about good judgment,” he said.