Jim Dees

1975 Lake Highlands High School graduate Jim Dees on the Dreamliner: Associated Press

American Airlines’ first Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which Forbes calls “the world’s most technologically advanced commercial aircraft,” landed at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport last Friday, to much fanfare, and it was piloted by Lake Highlands High School graduate Jim Dees.

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The way I learned this information is as good as the intel itself, because it highlighted a sort of connectedness and love that you will encounter from time-to-time in our neighborhood if you stick around long enough — Dees’ high school teacher from the 1970s, Martha Ann Cates, called to brag on her pupil from 40-plus years ago. “He was an excellent student,” she says, and she was so excited to see him featured all over the news as the pilot of this revolutionary craft.

Cates says she stays in touch with Dees, and many of her other former students, through Facebook.

Dees flew the first leg of the three-hour trip from Washington to Dallas, and Captain Bill Elder took the second.

The Dreamliner reportedly is made of composite materials, is 20-percent more fuel-efficient than previous planes and offers a quieter trip.  “Larger windows … provide a stronger connection to the world outside. And mood lighting can either ease jet lag or turn the plane into a nightclub at 40,000 feet (12,192m),” writes the Associated Press’ Scott Mayerowitz.

“The passengers are going to love it, Dees told the Morning News. “So comfortable inside. It will provide them a great ride. It’s an efficient airplane. It’s going to provide profitability for the airline going forward.”

The public will be able to experience the airplane, perhaps even flown by Captain Dees, beginning in March 2015.

Dees is among the ranks of many an impressive LHHS grad including actors Scoot McNairy, Amy Acker and Mark Salling, musician Annie Clark and astronaut James Reilly, to name a fraction.