This month's Aviator Spotlight shines its light on Erin and Delaney Johnston; two wonderful sisters from the western suburbs of Chicago. Growing up, their grandfather, who served in the Royal Canadian Airforce during WWII, introduced them to the world of aviation and they haven't looked back since! These two women are a shining example of aviators who give back to their community and why we, here at Scanners, wanted to share their story.
Read the full story below:
Delaney And Erin's Story
Growing up, Erin and Delaney Johnston lived in West Chicago, a Chicago suburb nearby Dupage Airport. Whenever they’d drive past the airport as kids, they’d point to individual planes parked on the ramp claiming, “I want to fly the red one!” and “I want to fly the yellow one!”. After all, the aviation bug ran in the family, as their grandfather served in the Royal Canadian Airforce during World War II. Erin and Delaney eventually began their aviation journey by taking lessons in their family friend’s Piper Warrior during their high school years. Throughout high school and college, the two become more involved in aviation along with their father, who eventually purchased the Warrior. With three pilots in the family, Johnston's love for aviation continues to grow. The Warrior has brought their family to some incredible places, including Park City, Utah, the Grand Canyon, and Lake Powell.
Erin graduated from University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill with a degree in Mathematics while completing her CFI training during her breaks from school. After college, she instructed at various flight schools in Illinois and Michigan before she moved to California to fly a King Air 350. Erin now works as a corporate pilot with type ratings in the King Air 350, Lear 40/45/70/75, and Falcon 900 EASy. She recently completed her first transatlantic flight last fall to Italy and hopes to continue adding more international destinations while flying the Falcon 900.
" During her Doctoral studies at Florida Institute of Technology, she learned about the UV radiation exposure pilots experience while flying. "
During her Doctoral studies at Florida Institute of Technology, she learned about the UV radiation exposure pilots experience while flying. In response to this, she founded Silex Skincare, a skincare brand specifically formulated to protect and restore the skin from the harsh environmental conditions experienced during air travel. She hopes to continue spreading awareness about the importance of skincare and travel while growing her company.
" She could be in Telluride, CO on a Monday, Ocean Reef Beach Club, FL on a Tuesday, and all around the midwest on a Wednesday. "
After studying Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, Delaney worked as an aviation environmental planner for projects at O’Hare Airport, which afforded her the opportunity to pay for her instrument rating and commercial license. After deciding she wanted to be a professional pilot, she left her environmental planning job to finish her multi engine add-on and flight instructor certificate. Delaney currently lives in Chicago and flies the Citation 525 series (CJ1, CJ2, and CJ3) for an aircraft management and charter company in Wisconsin. Her favorite part about her job is the variation in places she flies. She could be in Telluride, CO on a Monday, Ocean Reef Beach Club, FL on a Tuesday, and all around the midwest on a Wednesday. Her short term goals are to add more business jet type ratings to her roster and expand her flying to international destinations. Long term, she hopes to create an online guide and career counseling on how to become a pilot to help those new to the process.
Erin and Delaney started going on “sister flights” in their Warrior years ago. These long cross countries have brought them out to Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas and many other states. Although this started as a fun way to build time, it quickly became a reunion of sorts. The two come together, plan an extensive cross country plan, find unique places to stay, and always learn from each other in the process.
Through Erin and Delaney’s experience, this is what they would suggest for anyone interested in pursuing a career or even hobby in aviation…
“During flight training, be diligent about studying. I always told my students that for every one hour of flight, you should be studying for three hours on the ground. Also, I highly recommend working a desk job to help pay for flight training.” - Delaney
“If you want to fly professionally, reach out to people on Linkedin and attend all of the networking events you can. I’ve never gotten a job in aviation just by submitting an application. It’s all about who you know!” - Delaney
“Apply to the job you don’t think you’ll get. Reach out to the person you don’t think will respond. You will hear the word “no” thousands of times while applying and working towards building the time you need. However, you never know what opportunities you may miss without making the effort to reach out. Some of the best opportunities I have experienced came from reaching out in moments I didn’t think I was qualified for. “No” is never the end of the world.” - Erin
“Get to know what study habits work best for you. There is no right or wrong here. So long as it works best for your learning style. As a pilot, you will be a life-long learner and continually attending classes. This process will become immensely easier when you learn what style suits you best.” - Erin
- Erin and Delaney Johnston
Thank you, Erin and Delaney, for sharing your stories. If you have a story you would like to share with the world send it to us at AviatorSpotlight@scannersifr.com. We look forward to hearing from you and sharing your story!
ENTER THE FREE GIVEAWAY.
Win these one-of-a-kind limited edition Scanners! Available only through the giveaway.