Paul A. Johns
This Iola (WI) resident, at 101, has more flying hours, ratings, and hangar flying tales than most of us could accumulate in 10 lifetimes of flying.
Paul soloed in 1929, at age 15, in a glider after three 15 minute flying lessons. He taught navigation and instrument flying for Pan American Airlines, and flew Pan Am Clippers on the San Francisco to Honolulu route. This, of course, was without GPS, VOR, or radar. Celestial navigation was the only reliable means of navigation for these flying boats on the long Pacific flights. The trips carried 3,800 gal. gasoline, 40 passengers, generally left San Francisco before sunset, and were viewing Diamond Head by sunrise. Paul followed the Pan Am job with a professional corporate flying career in Wisconsin, and some acoustic R&D with Walker Exhaust in Racine.
Paul quit flying his home built Kitfox at 85. He decided that was enough. But at 90, he took a course in computer repair, and is not in the least intimidated by our modern cyber-technology. This tech-savvy is no doubt rooted in his electronic experience as a licensed Ham Radio operator (KF9ZN).
Paul loves to hang at 68C Airport (Iola, WI), and is at most of the Friday lunches.
Here's Paul with his granddaughter, Paula, after Paula's ride in a friend's Cessna 170B.
Go to Paul's SKYWAVE VHF Aircraft Antenna Page
On Ocober 17, 2009, Paul received the honor of induction into the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame.
View Paul on EAA's Timeless Voices of Aviation video.
This page last updated on May 30, 2015