History of Aviation
The Chandlers come from a long line of aviators starting with WWll, Korea, Vietnam, Eastern Airlines,
Corporate Aviation and now general aviation. Captain Jack Chandler. Jack (Jim’s father), was a B17 instructor
during WWll. He joined the army aircorp on a Wednesday and Pearl Harbor was bombed the following Sunday. Basic
training started in Bakersfield, CA in the BT13 and AT6, his instructor for advanced training was the actor
Jimmy Stewart. After being promoted to Captain and one of the original 200 instructors in the B17, he was
transferred to Langley Airfield where he participated in the research and development for the Norden Bombsight
that was instrumental for bombing enemy targets. After the war, Jack continued his flying through business
aviation with a new 1957 Cessna 310, 1960 Cessna 310D and the Baron B55. By 1967 Jack, along with other corporate
executives within his company were required to give up flying the company airplanes and forced to ride in the back
of their 1967 King Air A90. Jack continued to fly with his son Jim for pleasure for several years.
Lt. Colonial Jim Johnson
Jim Johnson, nephew to Jack, joined the army at 17 to be an aviator. Jim fought in
World War ll, Korea and had two tours in Vietnam (65 & 67). Jim’s aviation experience was varied starting with
the L19 (Bird Dog), Cessna Blue Canoe, de Havilland Caribou and then on to the rotary aircraft to include the
Bell H-13 Sioux and Bell UH-1 Iroquois (Huey). Jim retired after more than 25 years of military service in
Fort Rucker Alabama.
Jim started flying in 1970 earning his private license at 18. His sole purpose to obtaining
his license was to impress the girls in high school (it worked). With the urging of Jack and cousin Jim, he
continued obtaining his ratings and with 400 hours total time, started his first corporate job in November 1974
in Bluefield, West Virginia, flying with longtime family friend, Joe Sasser. His first corporate aircraft was
the King Air 200, serial number BB9. During the next several years Jim moved from West Virginia, South Carolina,
Alabama and back to Tennessee while adding 5 type ratings to his certificate. Next it was to Eastern Airlines
where he left flying as First Officer on the DC9, his favorite airplane to date. After Eastern closed its doors
in January 1991, Jim was once again in the corporate aviation environment. He retired in May 2013 after 13 years
as Vice President of Flight Operations for a fortune 300 company. Type Ratings – CE500, N265, LRJet, DA50, HS125
Ben’s first flying lesson was at the age of ten in 1995. By the time he was 19 he added his
instrument and multi-engine ratings to his certificate. With high hopes of having an airline career, his
timing was just not right due to the downsizing of the major airlines. However, he now works in the automotive
industry and is the proud owner of a Cessna 182.
Paige, Ben’s sister, is just starting her aviation adventure. Her first lesson was in 2005 and
she now has 10 hours in her log book.
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