Dr. James Baughn

Professor James Baughn

Position Title
Chief Pilot


Professor Baughn is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, Davis and has served four assignments as a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Aeronautics at the USAF Academy. After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, he spent 8 years in the Aerospace industry before returning to complete his PhD at Stanford University.

He holds an Airline Transport Pilot rating, single and multiengine, and is a gold-seal Certified Flight Instructor (CFIAI, SE and ME). He has flown more than seventy different types of airplanes and has taught single and multi engine, private and commercial, instrument, aerobatics, and seaplanes. He has flown a range of Citation jet aircraft; having initially trained at American Airlines.  He completed a Boeing 757 type course at the Boeing Flight Academy. He has taught Flight Test Engineering at UC Davis and at the USAF Academy

He is a recipient of numerous awards including the UC Davis Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award and the USAF Academy Aeronautics Department Daly/Orlofsky award; given for his outstanding contributions and his "Spirit of Love, love of God and country, love of life, love of the pursuit of wisdom and love for his fellow man".  His volunteer work includes mentoring young people in STEM and aviation using flight simulation and serving as an Advocate for MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship).

He has done seminal work in the field of Liquid Crystal Thermography and has published 120 papers in diverse fields such as Nuclear Engineering, Flight Performance, Aerodynamics, Advanced Energy Systems, Solar Energy, and Turbulent Heat Transfer.

He loves time with his wife, JoJeanne, of 60 years, time with his family, reading (especially C. S. Lewis and Dietrich Bonhoeffer) and biking; having biked many parts of the Western United States and throughout Europe.