Oneida (o-nigh-da) “Jay” Rollins was born and raised on the south side of Chicago, except that he finished high school in Houston, Texas. Jay’s aviation career took off after US Navy recruiters visited the campus of The University of Texas at Austin.
He was only a college sophomore at the time, but the meeting proved so successful that within four years, Jay had finished the university with a BS in Aerospace Engineering; earned the title of “Ensign Rollins,” and wore the coveted Naval Aviator wings of gold insignia on his chest!
During his six-year tour with the Navy, he mastered the finer points of acrobatic, instrument, and formation flying. He engaged in aerial “dogfights,” practiced bombing, strafing, and also learned the proper technique for firing aerial rockets.
He even landed on aircraft carriers.
With the possible exception of skimming the mountainous terrain to land Boeing-757s at Tegucigalpa, Honduras (TGU), Jay says “trapping” T-2 and A-4 tactical jets aboard an aircraft carrier-at-sea proved to be the most gratifying, exacting, and thrilling flying exercise he ever experienced across his long flying career!
Aside from those extremes, Jay greatly enjoyed flying Navy T-39 Sabreliners (a small business jet) across Southeast Asia and then the continental USA.
Jay also attended the Navy’s “SERE” school near San Diego. It was during this training regimen, where he was actually water boarded!
Following his stint in the Navy, Jay embarked upon a flying career with American Airlines. He began first as a flight engineer on the Boeing 727 then the DC-10. Later, he moved up to the position of first officer on both aircraft, and eventually he earned captain’s wings flying the MD-80, then the B-757, and B-767.
Throughout this process, Jay visited every major city across the USA including Hawaii; South America; the Caribbean; Europe; even Cuba. He was domiciled in Chicago, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and after the birth of his son, based himself in the Miami area where he retired from American after 25 years of service.
Jay also earned an MA in TV Broadcast Journalism from the University of Miami, and now he appears as an on-air aviation consultant and hosts this blog on the World Wide Web.
In his spare time, Jay enjoys playing piano, water sports, snow skiing, weight lifting, and especially roller coasters! But he also loves putzing around his Hollywood, Florida home, and spending time with his 17-year-old son, Orion (named for the constellation).
“Twitter” Jay at http://www.twitter.com/jayrollinstv