Flight Nerd Air Force: Aviation Training

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My name is Ben Johnson.  I am an FAA certified Advanced Ground Instructor, Private Pilot, and Airframe & Powerplant mechanic.  I love aviation and love teaching others how they can have their own adventures in the sky!

My love of aviation started from my family.  My dad always had a model airplane project going in our basement and stories of his days working on fighter jets during the Vietnam war. 

Every summer, my siblings and I would spend a week staying at my grandparents' in...wait for it...Oshkosh, Wisconsin. 

For those who are new to the aviation world, every summer, Oshkosh hosts the largest fly-in in the U.S., the Experimental Aircraft Association's "Airventure".  During Airventure week, around 10,000 aircraft and half-a-million spectators descend (literally!) on Oshkosh for an aviation enthusiast's week of a lifetime.  

While we couldn't afford to go inside the gates, my grandparents would take us to the airport where we would drive laps around the grounds so we could see all the unique airplanes from around the world.  We would get the "free version" of the airshow by setting up lawn chairs at a local cemetery about a mile from the airport.  And we watched everything from the Goodyear Blimp to the Concorde fly over my grandparents' house.

When it came time for me to decide where I was going go to college, I decided to study aviation, with a focus on using aviation in humanitarian contexts.  So I learned to fly small airplanes like a bush pilot:  short, dirt runways off the sides of mountains.  I also got my Airframe and Powerplant mechanic licenses so I could fix the same planes I flew.

Being a guy with deep faith convictions, I also felt a calling to pursue pastoral ministry.  While in seminary I began what would become 11 years as a Chaplain in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and the Wisconsin Air National Guard.  During that time I fell in love with the community that exists when people share a common mission.

Today, I run this community, Flight Nerd Air Force.  It is my hope to use FNAF to share my passions for aviation and the aviation community with you.  We are an aviation education website.  But we're also more than that.  We are a community.  We welcome anyone who loves aviation and wants to be part of a group of people who share that love!

So whether you're a grizzled aviation veteran or a newbie to the world of flight, welcome to Flight Nerd Air Force!


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