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For many years Earl Johnson of Newton has been an icon in central Iowa aviation; as a pilot, airport manager and fixed base operator (FBO).: Earl Johnson

Earl Johnson
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Company/ Affiliation:
Johnson Aviation

Earl Johnsonof Newton took over as the Fixed Base Operator (FBO) / Airport Manager and renamed Smith Aviation to Johnson Aviation in October 1949. During his career in the airport fixed based operator business, drove change andgrowth in general aviation.  From landing at municipal grass strips to making instrument approaches in complex turbine powered aircraft to the same international airport years later, Earl's career in Aviation and influence has touched many people.

As a businessman in aviation, Earl was charged with growing the general aviation industry in central Iowa.  As an aircraft dealer, charter pilot, corporate pilot, airport manager, Flight instructor and pilot examiner in this burgeoning industry Earl set an extremely high standard for safety and quality. To many, Earl was the instructor who had a way of teaching you when you didn't even know you were being taught and a tough examiner that always gave a fair and thorough check ride. "This is a license to learn" has been heard by hundreds of pilots in central Iowa.

As aviation grew Earl provided aircraft sales and charters to companies who still have some of the largest flight departments in Iowa today, many of which are flown by pilots he trained.

General aviation flights are the largest number of flight operations in the United States today and thanks to Earl a high standard was set for others to continue his years of hard work and dedication to the industry. Earl was honored as Pioneer in the Fixed Based Operator industry by the Iowa Aviation Museum in 2014

With great honor we recognize Earl Johnson as a Hero of Industry and Technology for his dedication to aviation. 

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