larry arken

#7 Bob Johansen

Bob Johansen was born of Norwegian immigrant parents and raised in Lincoln Park, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. He showed an early interest in aviation by building and flying balsa and paper airplanes as a boy. He got his private license in 1958, flying a 65 hp Aeronca from a grass field.

After graduation from Kalamazoo College in 1961, he joined the US Navy and reported to Pensacola, Florida, for flight training. He was later based at Quonset Point, Rhode Island, flying the Grumman S2 “Tracker” antisubmarine aircraft from aircraft carriers. After being released from active duty in 1966, he joined a commercial airline, flying out of New York on international and domestic routes for 33 years before retiring in 1999. Throughout his Navy and airline careers, Bob maintained his interest in general aviation by flying, owning, and helping build various light aircraft.

In 1977, he joined the Skytypers based at Flushing Airport, next to LaGuardia. It was at this time Bob met a young adolescent by the name of Larry Arken who later became the owner of the Skytypers. With the exception of a 10-year hiatus, Bob has been flying the famous GEICO Skytyper SNJ-2 aircraft since the late 70’s.

In addition to flying the  ”slot” position on the airshow team, Bob and his son Ken, instructs formation as well as navigation planning for the cross-country airshow trips.

In 2014, Bob was recognized for excellence in aviation and earned the FAA’s Master Pilot Award.