Does FAA Admninistrator Marion Blakey Approve Prosecution Of
Helo Pilot Who Saved Family?
Just a few days ago,
Jeremy Johnson, a 29-year-old helicopter pilot, was considered a
hero in his neck of the woods. It was reported in the media that
after flying numerous rescue and supply missions, he had
helped saved a family that had become stranged by flood waters in
Washington County (UT).
Rolf and Renae Ludwig and their six children were in great
danger after flood waters from the local river had overrun their
ranch. Johnson used his helicopter to airlift them to safety.
Now the Associated Press has discovered the FAA is coming after
him for alleged FAR violations committed while Johnson was
performing a number of other actions to help people affected by the
According to the FAA, Johnson failed to give seven days' notice
before offering rides to people over the areas damaged by floods.
Johnson offered the rides in order to raise money for the family
that he had rescued. In fact, in two days he raised some $20,000
for the Ludwig's.
To top it off, the FAA has even questioned whether or not
Johnson is a bonafide charity.
The FAA is also charging him with a violation for carrying
explosives in his aircraft. Turns out that he carried an explosives
expert with his explosives in order to take him to a location where
a blockage was contributing to the flooding and endangering more
lives and property.
As it turns out, Johnson, who owns a local Internet
company, routinely provides assistance to local law
enforcement in his Robinson helicopter (file photo, above) to
help with search and rescue ops, and always pays for it out of
his own pocket. During the flood emergency, Johnson
flew non-stop. He evacuated people, flew food and medical
supplies and even flew hay to feed hungry farm animals.
(ANN would like to hear the other side of the story, and an
explanation, from the FAA employees bringing charges against
Johnson. You can reach us on the email link below.)