January 17, 2012

Good News Tuesday: Kelly Jones (Performance Cockpit)

Kelly Jones
Kelly Jones began his career in the Air Force. He spent five years (1991-96) in the Far East as a fighter jet pilot. He also taught new pilots to fly F-16s and other jets. Kelly served as a pilot for an international airline after leaving the Air Force. A few years ago Kelly suffered a horrific collision that threw him from his motorcycle. He suffered a compound fracture of his left leg and a severe injury to his arm. He had several surgeries. Kelly never complained ... even as he learned that his flying career was over.

During his rehabilitation Kelly began to spend time on computerized race-car simulations. He wasn't satisfied with the experience on a normal computer and began to build a more life-sized simulator. His tinkering and imagination eventually led to the creation of a business, Performance Cockpit. His idea has grown into a professional simulation experience for aviation and motorsports.






Kelly moved his business to Indianapolis in order to be closer to a larger number of current and future race car driver. Turns out that there is a gym that many of the Indy race car drivers use to stay in shape. Kelly put a couple of his simulators in the gym and began to offer hands-on workshops that used the simulators.

Two weeks ago Space Shuttle Astronaut Col. Jim Dutton flew a Performance Cockpit Aviation Simulator as part of a VIP meet-and-greet evening at the Arizona Challenger Space Center. Astronaut Dutton remarked that he has flown numerous different simulators and the Performance Cockpits simulator realism and fidelity were among the best he had seen.

It is truly wonderful to see Kuumba ('creativity) and Kujichagulia ('self-determination) in action!  I look forward to seeing where the creativity of Kelly's business will take him in the months and years to come.

This blog will continue to seek out Good News stories about people of African descent and share them with you each Tuesday. We need to tell the positive and upbeat information about OURstory. We can't depend on others to do it for us. Please pass along any Good News story that comes your way. In the case of bloggers ... we want you to join our Good News parade every Tuesday.

3 comments:

Iya said...

So proud of my nephew! I predict he will do well!!

jyjackson said...

Way to go cousin. I too am so proud of you. You are a model of conviction to hard work, self discipline and intelligence. Continued blessings...

Villager said...

Iya / Joanie - AMEN to both of you! It should be fun to see how far Kelly's dream takes him over the coming months and years...