Retired Navy Capt. James A. Haley, 72, a pilot and aeronautics authority, died of an aneurism Monday at his home in Belle Haven.

Born in Falls River, Mass., he graduated from Annapolis in 1927, and received his wings at Pensacola, Fla, in 1930.

Before World War II, Capt. Haley served on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Ranger and saw duty with the Navy Department's Bureau of Aeronautics in Washington.

In 1944, he was assigned to Pearl Harbor until the end of the war, when he returned to the Bureau of Aeronautics as a contract officer.

His last assignment before he retired in 1956 was that of commanding officer of the Naval Air Development Center at Johnsville, Pa.

Capt. Haley then was a consultant to the Glenn L. Martin Co. in Baltimore and to the Boeing Co. in Seattle from 1959 until 1964, when he returned here to live.

He was a member of the Elks, the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Army Navy Country Club and the Belle Haven Country Club.

He is survived by his wife, Margery, of the home; a daughter, Margaret Riche, of Alexandria; a son, Robert Michael, of Staunton, Va., and two grandchildren.