Robert Johnson and friend

Sept. 2, 2017

Robert Johnson, a Dallas pilot who’s been flying since he was 19, is pleased to be able to help with the Hurricane Harvey relief effort.

“As airplane owners, this is a great opportunity to try to use our passion to help others,” Johnson said.

Johnson, the CEO of TeamSupport, owns and operates a Cessna 421, and is also a partner in a pair of North American T28 warbirds. On Aug. 30, in coordination with the Salvation Army, he flew a plane full of office supplies for their command center, and relief supplies for victims to Conroe, TX.

“I sent three of my employees out to Costco, Walmart and Office Depot, and they came back with $1,500 worth of supplies in two SUVs,” Johnson said. “We headed out to the airport and filled every nook and cranny of the 421.”

Johnson, 45, said he’s never done relief flights before this, but has done missions for Veterans Airlift Command, which provides free flights to wounded veterans and their families for medical care.

“There is obviously a huge desire by pilots to help, and two fellow pilots – Doug Jackson who flies a 340 and Glenn Smith who flies a Bonanza – put together Operation Airdrop and have coordinated with the Salvation Army,” Johnson said. “I reached out to Glenn and said ‘How can I help?'”

Others seeking to help are encouraged to visit NBAA’s Humanitarian Emergency Response Operator (HERO) Database, a list of people in the business aviation community who are part of disaster-response mobilization efforts. In the aftermath of major crises, basic information from the database is provided to organizations coordinating relief efforts.