R. David Johnson


“RD" was commissioned in the US Air Force (AF) in 1978 and served proudly for 31 years on active duty and in the Air Force Reserves. Following Pilot Training at Reese AFB, TX, he flew the RF-4C, F-5A, F-4D, F-4E, F-16A and the T-38. His favorite flying assignments included F-5 Fighter Instructor Pilot at Korat Royal Thai Air Base (1983), in the Reserves at Bergstrom AFB, TX (1985-1993), and his last AF flying assignment at the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program, Sheppard AFB, TX (2000-2001). RD had the honor to hold two flying Squadron Commander positions in the AETC Reserve Associate Instructor program - Vance AFB, OK, and Sheppard AFB, TX. Post 9/11, Colonel Johnson held several Headquarters leadership positions, retiring from the AF in June 2009 as the 701st Combat Operations Squadron Commander where his operational mission assignment was as an Air and Space Operations Director on the 7th AF Battle Staff at Osan Air Base, Republic of South Korea.

RD started an airline career with American Airlines (AA) in late 1984. He retired after 35 years, Sep 2019, as a Captain/Check Airman conducting International line and simulator training at the AA training headquarters in Dallas-Ft Worth. While at AA, Captain Johnson flew the Boeing 727, 757, 767, 737, and the McDonnell Douglas MD-80. Additionally, he has served as a Human Factors Instructor/Program Developer, Fleet Captain, and Fleet Training Manager. He is a former "Go Team Member" assisting in the unlikely event of an accident. He has served on the High Altitude Upset Committee, ran industry seminars, and conducted several accident/incident investigations for the airline.

Captain Johnson has extensive relations with the FAA from his management and Check Airman background at the airline and from serving as a part-time consultant. As the Director of Safety Management Systems and Director of Operations for a Part 142 Aviation Training School, he oversaw five different aircraft types: Airbus 320, MD-80, B-727, B-737, and B-757/767. Since leaving AA, he has enhanced those FAA relationships in the Part 91/135 world as a Chief Pilot, Director of Safety, and consultant.

RD has flown over 17,000 accident-free hours in 30+ aircraft, and his most recent flying has been as a contract pilot in the Citation CJ3 and the Boeing 737. His education includes a BS from the United States Air Force Academy and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. RD is a former USAF Safety Board President, a Wyvern Wingman graduate, plus a Safety Management System graduate from the University of Southern California (USC) Viterbi Aviation Safety and Security Program. RD is currently with Jet Linx, a Part 135 fractional jet carrier, and is based out of Omaha, NE, as their Director of Safety. One of his most rewarding positions to date is being able to serve continuously since January 2014 as an instructor for USC’s Human Factors and Threat Error Management classes.

Published on April 15th, 2019

Last updated on October 4th, 2023