Capt. Jeff Johnston
-Aircraft Technical Director
-Social Media Editor
Jeff graduated from the University of North Dakota-Grand Forks, Center for Aerospace Sciences with a Bachelor of Science/Airway Science. He is formerly the Chief Pilot for Northern Tier Airlines — a charter company based in Gig Harbor, Washington (at the time one of the largest on-demand charter fleets in the Seattle area). He has flown as a first officer and captain for commuter and charter
airlines, corporate flight departments and is currently a captain with a major airline on the Boeing 737 in Seattle. He holds type ratings on the Boeing 737, DC-9 and Cessna Citation I aircraft.
His love for flying began when his father, who was a private pilot, took him for his first flight at age four. While growing up, his weekends were spent building models and the flying boats were among his favorites.
While looking for a theme with which to decorate his home office, he came across a picture of the Boeing 314 in a personal collection, then Pan Am travel posters on the internet and the theme was born. As he delved into the history of the 314 and the many fascinating stories of courage and bravery during the Golden Age of Aviation, it reawakened a long lost love for writing when he thought he’d combine real life B-314 adventures with fiction. “The idea was to write a novel about the fictitious recovery of the Pan Am’s B-314 Honolulu Clipper to get people interested in recovering it in real life,” he says.
His research and love for the history of the Boeing 314 led him to the doorstep of UAS. “I had no idea if the kind of project I was writing about was even possible. A Google search led me to a company, UAS of Kirkland Washington, that had recovered a B-17 in Labrador. I was excited when I saw the phone number was in the same small Western Washington town in which I lived. While picking the brain of Robert Mester one afternoon for ideas for the book, little did I know he was picking my brain. The next day he called me on a conference call with the President of UAS, Mark Allen, and the pair said ‘Let’s not write about it; let’s go get it’.
The mission was born.
Jeff was brought onboard the Clipper Discovery Project as Aircraft Technical Advisor in 2005. He hopes to one day see the great Boeing Clipper take to the air once again.
He currently resides in the Seattle-area with his wife Annette and their three children.