A bit about me

About Me

Aircraft Engineer by day. Entrepreneur, Tinkerer, and Web Ninja by night.


Name: Brian Johnson

Age: 31

Location: Chicago, IL, USA


Things I've Done


United Airlines

May 2018 – Present

Sr Manager - Base Maintenance Planning
Chicago, IL |

United Airlines

June 2017 – May 2018

777 Fleet Performance Manager

Cross-divisional leader responsible for aircraft mechanical reliability and continuous improvement of Tech Ops processes and procedures. Accountable for the performance and overall strategic vision of the Boeing 777 fleet.

  • Led an initiative to overhaul the Severity Index, a Tech Ops metric used for prioritization of performance improvement initiatives. Successfully transitioned from a subjective weighting criteria to cost based weighting resulting in a more accurate alignment with top operational cost driver.
  • Designed a proof of concept application that leveraged machine learning to read and classify aircraft log pages by 4-digit ATA code. Collaborated with Enterprise Data Analytics to bring the concept to fruition and scale for production. Coded 5.2 million maintenance log pages with 95% accuracy.
  • Analyzed in progress reliability modifications for effectiveness. Leveraged 4-digit ATA discrepancy logs, delay and cancellation, and inspection finding data to establish positive or negative contributions to aircraft performance. Made recommendations for cancellation of ineffective projects which resulted in a $2.4 million per year reduction in man-power utilization.
  • Represented United Airlines as the 777 fleet focal at Boeing Technical Review Meetings, Executive Review Meetings, Fleet Team Meetings, and other industry activities. Continually advocated for United’s strategic interests in relation to the 777 airframe.
Chicago, IL |

United Airlines

August 2012 – June 2017

Senior Avionics Project Engineer

Responsible for configuration control of electrical power, instruments, indication, recording systems, printers, TPED, and EFB. Maintain compliance with FAA, EASA, and other governing regulations. Work closely with Flight Operations to equip aircraft to meet future aircraft operational requirements. Develop and manage product improvement and fleet reliability projects.

  • Subject matter expert for ATAs 24, 31, 33, 46.
  • Led wide-body IDG improvement initiative to increase reliability and reduce exposure to delays and cancelations. Reduced long delays and cancels by 64% from 2015 to 2017. Increased reliability 53% to 16,076 flight hours MTBF.
  • Led an initiative to harmonize two legacy software configuration control processes. Designed an application and process for software configuration staging, testing, and migration which reduced administrative requirements from three heads to one. Successfully migrated all software configurations to a common platform with zero service interruptions.
  • Identified compliance risk associated with TPED approval on Wi-Fi equipped aircraft. Designed a process to identify component TPED approval status, test for compliance, and mitigate risk of unauthorized installation in the operational environment.
  • Served as engineering focal for Connected Aircraft Initiative, with the goal of identifying technologies critical to the aircraft of tomorrow, which will interface seamlessly with customers, inflight services, and back office operations.
  • Served as a mentor for Chicago based Avionics Engineering interns. Conducted hiring interviews, managed workload and expectations, provided training and mentorship, and conducted periodic performance evaluations.
  • Identified deficiencies in Onboard Loadable Software process controls. Implemented additional safeguards and corrected errors resulting in 65% decrease (1,000+) in aircraft software errors in 6 months.
  • Designed an application to automate tasks associated with DFDR analysis and troubleshooting resulting in greater historical traceability of aircraft anomalies and reducing engineering workload by 80%.
Chicago, IL |

American Airlines

October 2011 – August 2012

767 / 777 Electrical Systems Engineer

Responsible for configuration control of electrical systems, fire suppression, and ice & rain protection. Maintained compliance with FAA, EASA, and other governing regulations. Developed and managed product improvement and reliability projects. Supported the dock and component shops to ensure timely completion of aircraft heavy maintenance.

  • Subject matter expert for ATAs 24, 26, 30, 33.
  • Identified the need for deviations from AD’s and interfaced with the FAA to acquire AMOC’s.
  • Worked with Boeing as lead airline for 767 to evaluate proposed service bulletins.
  • Identified flaws in a cargo fire bottle retrofit resulting in a $3 million cost savings.
  • Chaired AFW Engineering Cost Savings Initiative with a goal to trim over $20 million in 2012.
  • Leveraged experience at other airlines to streamline engineering processes and procedures.
Fort Worth, TX |

Delta Air Lines

August 2010 – October 2011

Fleet Conversion Engineer

Managed conversion of Delta Air Lines legacy engineering projects to post-merger engineering standards.

  • Developed Engineering Action Authorizations detailing modifications to Delta Aircraft.
  • Reviewed Airworthiness Directives to ensure compliance with FAA mandates.
  • Drafted workcards to instruct mechanics on proper modification procedures.
  • Created material lists to acquire and manage resources.
  • Trained engineers in the use of SCEPTRE and AMDS maintenance information systems.
Minneapolis, MN |

Pedal Brain

January 2010 – August 2010

Electrical Engineer

Designed, constructed, and debugged electronic sensors and sensing equipment for use in the cycling industry. Drew on cycling knowledge to formulate designs meeting the requirement of competitive and recreational riders.

  • Built RF modules for communication using Nordic radios and the ANT+ standard.
  • Designed low-power sensing equipment using the MSP430 microcontroller.
  • Drafted schematics and PCBs using EAGLE CAD.
  • Researched component suppliers and drafted BOMs for manufacture.
  • Designed and prototyped a micro sized speed/cadence sensor using Hall effect and ANT+
  • Built an electrical testing harness for the assembly line allowing an iPad to simultaneously test and acquire data on eight Pedal Brain Synapse units.
Minneapolis, MN

Delta Air Lines

May 2007 – August 2009

Co-op Avionics Engineer

Assisted engineers and mechanics in the execution of avionics troubleshooting tasks. Performed avionics systems reliability and failure analysis to identify and correct the root cause of under-performing equipment. Managed the execution of aircraft avionic installations, upgrades, and software installations.

  • Contributing author on a feasibility study into the continued operation of the A320 fleet past it’s designed service goal.
  • Developed weight savings initiatives reducing annual fleet operating costs by over $500,000.
  • Identified and evaluated aircraft with under-performing Autoland systems. Recommended equipment replacements resulting in a 9% increase in fleet performance.
Minneapolis, MN |


University Of Minnesota

September 2005 – May 2010

B.S., Electrical Engineering

Long nights in the lab letting the magic smoke out of as many capacitors as I could get my hands on.

Minneapolis, MN

Carlson School of Management

University Of Minnesota

September 2005 – May 2010

Management Minor

Minneapolis, MN


Things I Know


  • Electrical Power Distribution
  • Connected Aircraft
  • Flight Data Recorders
  • Display and Indication Systems
  • In-Flight Wifi Systems
  • Standard Wiring Practices
  • Airworthiness Directives
  • Regulatory Administration
  • Aircraft Troubleshooting
  • Aircraft Repair / Alteration
  • Service Bulletins
  • Engineering Authorizations / Orders
  • Root Cause Analysis
  • Component Repair & Overhaul
  • Configuration Control
  • STC Modifications
  • AMIS

Web Application Development

  • PHP
  • Laravel
  • Vue.js
  • Javascript
  • HTML5 / CSS
  • MySQL
  • Redis
  • Nginx
  • Progressive Web Applications
  • APIs
  • Automated Testing
  • Async
  • Payment Processing
  • Python
  • Ruby

Embedded Systems

  • Prototyping
  • PCB Design
  • Digital Circuit Design
  • Arduino
  • Raspberry Pi
  • Soldering
  • Hot Air Rework
  • Testing / Troubleshooting
  • C / C++
  • IoT
  • Analog Circuit Design
  • TI MSP430
  • Bluetooth
  • 802.15.4
  • Antenna Design
  • Nordic
  • Display