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James E. Ellis is a retired Air Force Reserve lieutenant colonel and systems engineering manager who formerly supported Air Force programs at Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts. With over 2,800 flying hours logged, he holds a single-engine commercial land and sea license with an instrument rating plus a commercial hot air balloon rating. He has flown nearly 300 different aircraft including the Piper Cub, most of the Piper Cherokee series and most Cessna single-engine aircraft, as well as new types including the Lancair Columbia, the Cirrus SR20 and SR22, the Diamond DA-40, and more than a dozen different Light Sport Aircraft. He has owned and flown a Cherokee 180 for 38 years. He conducts EAA Young Eagles flights to inspire a new generation of pilots. Now retired from hot air ballooning after flying balloons for more than 25 years, he has flown hot air balloons at festivals in the U.S., Canada, France and New Zealand. He also lectures, writes for a monthly aviation newspaper, and serves on the Aero Club of New England Cabot Award selection committee.

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