Chief Instructor Pilot
JP Johnston is the former National Helicopter Program Manager for the US Forest Service. Prior to assuming that position, he operated a company that supplied fixed and rotor wing aerial construction and firefighting services to industry and government. His flying career includes over 16,000 hours of flying time as aircraft commander and instructor pilot. He holds Airline Transport ratings for airplane and helicopter, single and multiengine seaplane ratings and flight instructor rating for single and multiengine airplane and instrument instructor ratings for airplane and helicopter. JP also is a certified airframe and powerplant mechanic and holds an FAA Inspector Authorization. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California School of Safety Engineering, and attended the FAA accident investigation school. JP served as an accident investigator and a member of accident boards of review. He served as a member of the Interagency Air tanker Board for 13 years and as its chairman for five years.
JP makes numerous contributions to advances in aviation economics, training, safety, and platform development and has provided a strategic assessment of factors influencing helicopter costs. He has examined the effect of aircraft performance verses price on management decision-making, the impact of altitude on helicopter performance, and the role of performance efficiency as it relates to safety. He designed a database that measures the helicopter performance to cost ratio that has been widely adopted by aviation decision-makers worldwide. JP has developed several training programs now being used by the helicopter community; He presents the high altitude mountain flying course and the helicopter tactical fire-fighting course to military and civilian aviators worldwide. JP played a leading role in the development of the technical contract specifications found in the National Interagency exclusive use and call when needed contracts. He also contributes his experience to the development of future firefighting platforms and techniques.