Category Archives: Uncategorized

Flight to Tucson, March 2014

Some pictures from flying to Tucson for work a few weeks ago

Lake Havasu City

Lake Havasu City



Jet Warbirds at KAVQ.  A-4 Skyhawks and a F-8 Crusader.

Jet Warbirds at KAVQ. A-4 Skyhawks and a F-8 Crusader.

An A-26 Invader at KAVQ.

An A-26 Invader, a Grumman AA-5 Tiger, and a Piper Commanche at KAVQ.

The front end of the A-26 Invader w/ the cowling off the Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engine.

The front end of the A-26 Invader w/ the cowling off the Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engine.

A beautiful reservoir near Lake Havasu.

A beautiful reservoir near Lake Havasu.

Lake Havasu and another reservoir.  It amazes me to see water like this after flying over so much desert.

Lake Havasu and another reservoir. It amazes me to see water like this after flying over so much desert.

These three solar power plants outside of Las Vegas look sort of like birthday candles. They are really bright, even from over 50 miles away!

These three solar power plants outside of Las Vegas look sort of like birthday candles. They are really bright, even from over 50 miles away!


July-August Cross Country Flying

It’s been busy recently here.  Mike Riley has been doing a lot of cross country flying working toward his private pilot certificate so we have been flying over a lot of California.

Dodging Thunderstorms on our way back from a flight to Lone Pine, Furnace Creek (Death Valley), Trona, and back to Inyokern.2013-07-28 10.23.20

The Tehachapi Loop.  A rail road wonder of the world.  Taken on short a breakfast loop from Inyokern to Kern Valley, then to Tehachapi, and finally back to Inyokern.2013-08-02 08.27.12

Somebody has the same if-I-never-had-to-work-again-job idea I had: blasting around in a big, bright, open-cockpit biplane giving rides and towing gliders!  He couldn’t have found a better spot for it either in Oceano.  Right on the coast too!  What a nice Boeing-Stearman model 75 with 450 horsepower!  Snapped this on a flight from Inyokern to Lancaster, then on to Oceano, and finally back to Inyokern.2013-08-04 12.55.54

Towing Gliders, June 7th

Friday was a big day for flying gliders.  I gave fourteen tows to ships ranging from Schweizer SGS 1-26s to a Schempp-Hirth Arcus between 10:30 and 2:30.  Two fellows flying a Duo Discus set a FAI record in the two-place category, and the OLC contest flight records submitted so far from that day have been impressive.

date Points name km km/h Club Aircraft Start End Info
2013-06-07 1,034.43 Garry Dickson (US) 583.09 80.28 126 Association Schweizer, SGS 1-26A,B,C 18:07 01:45 info
2013-06-07 956.01 Paul Robinson (US) 1,026.36 129.28 Hole in the Wall Glasflügel 304CZ/17,4m 17:19 01:33 info
2013-06-07 949.23 Dan Gonzales (US) 998.85 135.58 Hole in the Wall ASW 20 17:51 01:52 info
2013-06-07 937.74 Rick Barber (US) smiley 873.50 111.95 Hole in the Wall ASW 15 17:40 01:45 info
2013-06-07 709.48 Lane Decker (US) 424.80 67.50 126 Association Schweizer, SGS 1-26A,B,C 18:22 00:59 info
2013-06-07 472.04 Tom Bjork (US) smiley 482.79 71.11 Hole in the Wall Duo Discus 18:33 02:00 info
2013-06-07 147.21 Steve Barry (US) 77.92 14.73 126 Association Schweizer, SGS 1-26A,B,C 19:38 01:46 info

It was definitely, as Paul Robinson said, Epic Sky.


Family in Town, Dad’s Flight Review, and Glider Launching

It’s been a busy couple of weeks.  My folks came into town to visit for a couple of days.  Turns out my Dad’s last flight review just expired so he asked if I could help him out with that.  So off we went in the 172.  He had never flow a constant speed propeller or in the mountains so that’s what we covered on the ground in addition to the usual stuff in parts 61 & 91.  We decided to put what I told him to use by flying to Kern Valley (L05) for a burger so Mom, Dad, and I piled into the 172 and were on our way after Dad did a few take-offs and landings at Inyokern to get to know the airplane.  Here are a few of the pictures Mom took of the flight.

Turning final for Kern Valley Airport (L05):


“Coolest wind T ever.” ~ Me,  “Best use of a BD-5 ever.” ~ Dan Kline


Father & son after a successful flight, and a fun flight review.  Who says a flight review can’t be fun?


Then it was off to see the fun the glider pilots were having, but first Mom wanted to see my new L-13AC glider I’m a partner in:


Of course I can’t just stand around and not help:


And two excellent shots Mom took of a brand new Arcus two-place motorglider:


Glider Instructor

I’m now a glider instructor as well as a single engine airplane instructor!

I’ll be offering my services as a CFI-G through the Sierra Soaring Club, or directly to you in your own glider.  I can provide training for aero-tow and self launch endorsements as a CFI-G.  As both a CFI-G and CFI can provide valuable insight into your training in a motorglider.  I have experience in the Diamond Katana Xtreme.

Mojave Experimental Fly-In Pictures

As always an excellent fly-in at Mojave, and a really broad collection of airplanes from the worlds of research & development, Reno Air Racing, warbirds, and home-built one-of-a-kind airplanes.  Even some rocket power!  Here’s a few of my favourites:



The SAAB Draken.  The first time I saw this jet was on my first flight in a single place sailplane sharing the pattern with it at Inyokern.  SAAB was shooting a car commercial having this jet make high speed low passes.  Nothing make you feel quite like it does when you and a fighter jet are circling each other!  It’s flown by the National Test Pilot School in Mojave, to my knowledge, the world’s only civilian test pilot school.


The F-86, a regular sight and based at Mojave.  The last true gunfighter.  Nothing like those classic 1950’s lines.



Military guys are not the only ones getting to have fun burning jet fuel.  Bob Carlton’s Super Salto Jet Sailplane wows crowds at air shows regularly.  The PBS TJ-100 jet engine on top produces about 250 pounds of thrust and is becoming a well recognized engine in the experimental and homebuilt aircraft world.


Of course the home built aircraft were out in force.  One of my favourites is a new design by Andy Chiavetta, the Aerochia LT-1.  It’s a single seat carbon fibre aircraft with a 60 horsepower engine (but may get a 130 horsepower engine soon!) for economical fun.  Andy is just starting, is looking to go into production, and has all the molds to start making airplanes.  We need more fun affordable single seat pleasure aircraft and I think Andy has a well conceived answer in the LT-1.


Of course the Symmetry is a real beauty.  A one-off two tandem seater personal aircraft of striking beauty in my opinion.  I’ve never seen an airplane with such a smooth and finely honed surface rivalled only by the best sailplanes.


Now for throwing yourself around the sky it’s hard to beat a Christen Eagle!  But there’s even more here… This is the MGL Avionics test airplane and trust me it’s loaded with all kinds of neat things they are working on.  The front and back seat have full glass panel avionics.



Now this is the XCOR rocket racer.  Designed from a heavily modified Rutan Long-EZ for a notional rocket air racing league it’s one of several famous rocket powered machines either flying or in development here at Mojave.  Check out the pipes on this thing!  I wonder what it costs to fuel it up with liquid oxygen for a rocket ride?



Welcome to Kevin Johnson Aviation!

Welcome!  Kevin Johnson Aviation provides fun and convenient local flight training service to current and future aviators in the Indian Wells Valley and southern Sierra Nevada mountains region of California.   Primary flight training for new pilots and enhancing the skill of current pilots though continuing education emphasizing solid airmanship is my focus as an instructor. Other services offered include new aircraft / experimental aircraft transition training, mountain flying, and special equipment (avionics, tail-wheel, and complex aircraft) training for pilots. Flight and ground training to meet your specific needs, with a focus on laying the foundation for further enhancements to airmanship and safety of flight, while providing an enjoyable experience is my purpose and promise to you.  At this time I do not have aircraft available, however I am working toward providing this service.  Training is available in your aircraft.

Please stay tuned as I am rapidly building up both this site and my flight instructing services.  Thank you for visiting, and I hope to hear from you soon so I can help you reach your flying goals.