Posts Tagged ‘aviator’

Video Biography of Nish Zundel

October 13, 2014

It’s been a fantastic experience creating the Video Biography of Nish Zundel from Salt Lake City. Nish has lived an amazing life. From jet fighter pilot to gold miner to entrepreneur. Nish Zundel really has led a Wonderful Life. I am proud to help create his video biography.

Here is a testimonial from Nish’s son Matt who commissioned RJ to make a video biography of Nish Zundel.

“I was at a football game with my good friend and client John Foley and I mentioned some frustrations my family was experiencing in getting a biography book made about my father. John said I should think about doing a video biography and that his good friend RJ McHatton actually has been doing video biographies for years and for clients all over the world. RJ and I connected on the phone and he sent me several samples of RJ’s work I could see online. We put together an agreement and RJ flew into Salt Lake City to interview my father. RJ was caring and did a great job in making my father and family feel comfortable during the interview process. My family and I enjoyed working with RJ. He made the video biography process fun and this experience has actually helped bring our family closer together. I think having this video biography of my father will become a priceless part of our family legacy. To see and hear my father tell his life story in his own words and with his own unique voice captured forever is amazing, inspiring, and very important.

J. Matt Zundel
Salt Lake City, Utah

Here is a picture of Nish Zundel when he was a fighter pilot in the US Air Force.

nish zundel pilot


Peter Allen talks about Johnny Myers – Part 1

October 23, 2009

Tom Jones – former CEO of Northrop, Friend to Johnny Myers

July 14, 2009
Director RJ McHatton with Tom Jones

Director RJ McHatton with Tom Jones

Tom Jones was very clear.  He did not want to talk about anything where he wasn’t actually there.  Tom said that he would be happy to talk about John Myers because he was a “Friend for Life.”  Tom Jones has led a very interesting life, including many years as CEO of Northrop Grumman.  But today we were there to interview Tom about his good friend Johnny Myers for our new documentary “The Flying Man–The Life and Times of Johnny Myers.”  I was hoping that Tom would be able to give us some insight into Johnny Myers’ years working for Northrop.  But it is easy to forget that Johnny Myers lived to be way over 90 years old.  Tom really didn’t want to talk about those days.  He wanted to talk about John Myers, the man.  Tom said that he couldn’t pinpoint the first time he met John Myers because he seemed that they had lived their whole life as friends.  John and Tom were in many clubs and organizations together.  We talked about how John used to go to the Country Club a lot but that he did not play golf.  John wanted to see his friends.  Tom talked about how much John loved his wife Lucia.  He said that Lucia was a beautiful and wonderful wife to John Myers.  Tom told me some great stories about John Myers and how he was truly a remarkable human being.  Tom said that John Myers was a gentleman, a person with impecable integrity and strong will.  Tom said that John Myers was the kind of man you looked up to, someone who always had a great attitude about life and was always looking for ways to help others.  I could tell that Tom Jone was a life-long friend of John Myers and that they both had some common traits – including kindness and respect for others.  I really enjoyed my interview with Tom Jones.  He is a real nice man.

Eric Rhoads – Personal Jet & Helicopter Pilot for Johnny Myers

July 14, 2009
Eric Rhoads w RJ

Director RJ McHatton with pilot Eric Rhoads

Eric Rhoads is a lucky guy.  He was hired to be the personal jet and helicopter pilot for the legendary aviator and businessman Johnny Myers.  We drove down to Redondo Beach to meet with Eric for our new documentary “The Flying Man” about the Life and Times of Johnny Myers.  Eric sat down and started grinning as he remembered “Myers” as he called him.  Eric first met John Myers about three years before he died, when Eric was hired to be his pilot.  Over the years they became good friends.  Eric said that his life was changed for the better because of the wisdom and character and integrity he learned from John Myers.  Eric said that “Myers” was a “hand-shake” type of a guy.  Someone who was bigger than life, someone who once he became your friend, you could count on being a friend for life.  Eric talked about John’s love for the outdoors and for his dog Gus.  He told great stories about flying with John Myers and Gus.   He said that John Myers might not be well known in the general population community, but that among the pilot friends he knew, John Myers was a true to life hero.  Eric said that everywhere he went, he saw how people lit up with enthusiasm when they met John Myers.  Eric said that John was well respected among people all around the world.  Eric talked about when he flew with John to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.  when they introduced the P-61 Black Widow Night Fighter that John Myers was the original test pilot.  He talked about the man he was fortunate to call friend.  Eric talked about his many tripw with John Myers up to the Flying M Ranch in Merced, where John ran a real cattle ranch.  He said that John Myers loved cattle and ranching.  We talked about John Myers love for boating up at Big Bear and his joy for driving fast cars.  Overall Eric kept talking about the wisdom and integrity and character of John Myers.  He talked about the good friendships that John Myers had built up over a lifetime well into his 90s.  He talked about the last time John Myers flew a helicopter and how thrilling it was to see the master fly it perfectly.  I could tell that Eric enjoyed his time with John Myers and that he would never forget the lessons he learned from that tall man with the dog.

Peter Allen – Morgan Stanley, Close friend of John Myers

July 14, 2009
Peter Allen with director RJ McHatton

Peter Allen with director RJ McHatton

Over fifteen years ago, Peter Allen became good friends with Lou Myers and his father John.  They did a lot of outdoors adventures together.  When Lou Myers passed away, it was only natural that Peter Allen would become even closer to John Myers.  We met Peter Allen at the California Club in downtown Los Angeles.  The California Club has tremendous history and it was a big part of John Myers life.   He had a lot of friends there.  We were there to interview Peter Allen for our new documentary “The Flying Man” about the Life and Times of Johnny Myers.  Peter told us some great stories about John Myers and about his great wisdom and positive outlook on life.  John Myers had a genuine charisma about him.  People always liked John Myers because he was a gentle giant of a man.  Someone with humility, with kindness, with a great instinct about people.  Peter Allen told us about some of his great trips with John Myers over the years.  About John’s love for his dog Gus, and for aviation.   Peter was the last person to see John alive.  I really appreciate the hospitality and generosity Peter gave to us during our interview.

An Interview with Clay Lacy

July 12, 2009


clay lacy w RJ
Clay Lacy with director RJ McHatton

I drove down to Southern California to do several interviews for my documentary, “The Flying Man: Life and Times of Johnny Myers.” I first met Clay Lacy last December when I interviewed him for a short video we made for the “Legends of Aviation” celebration. That time Clay was very kind to me, driving me around his hangars and showing me some of his collection of very cool airplanes.

This time I was dedicated to getting an interview with Clay Lacy, asking him to talk about his good friend Johnny Myers for my new documentary, “The Flying Man.”

Clay Lacy is considered as one of the greatest aviators of all time. I have been told several times by several people that Clay has the most hours as a pilot among living aviators. Some say he has over 50,000 hours, some say its over 70,o00. Everyone agrees that Clay Lacy is a nice guy.

During our interview, Clay told some wonderful tales about his longtime friendship with Johnny Myers. He talked about how Johnny Myers saved Charles Lindbergh’s life. He told me about the days when Johnny Myers was the courageous test pilot of the P-61 Black Widow Night Fighter and the innovative but super dangerous Flying Wing.

The best stories from Clay Lacy came when he talked about how much Johnny Myers meant to him as a good friend. Over the years they had so many wonderful times together. Clay talked about the qualities of character and integrity that came natural to Johnny Myers.

In the end, I am so grateful for having been able to meet and interview Clay Lacy. He is the man who worked with Bill Lear and the aviator who did a lot of the aerial photography for big movies like “Top Gun” and “The Right Stuff.” Clay talked about how pilots are honest people. The more pilots I meet and interview, the more I begin to understand what he means. Men like Clay Lacy are the type of man we look up to and the type of man we need more of. Heroic, courageous, living life to the fullest.

Thank you, Clay Lacy, for your generosity.  I would love to do your video biography some day.

You can learn more about Clay Lacy at


Guy Townsend – First test pilot of B-52

June 29, 2009

Guy Townsend – First Test Pilot of B-52

It was a beautiful day in Mercer Island. I was there to shoot an interview with Brig General Guy Townsend, the first test pilot of the B52. Guy is a very nice fellow. I was there to interview him for the Veterans History Project for the Library of Congress. We have volunteered to do 100 free interviews with Veterans from WWII. Guy Townsend is originally from Mississippi. He flew in the South Pacific during World War II. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Guy Townsend knows Bob Hoover, Chuck Yaeger, and all the test pilots at Edward Air Base during the late 40s and throughout the 50s. Guy flew B17s and B27s during the war in the Pacific and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. After the war he became one of the top test pilots of bombers, including many top secret experimental aircraft. He was co-pilot on the very first flight of the B52 bomber. In the 1960s he rose all the way up to Brigadier General in the Air Force. After 30 years in the service, Guy worked for Boeing, continuing his leadership of jet testing. It is remarkable that a hero like Guy Townsend is living just down the street. I guess its true all across America. Heroes are living next door to us and we didn’t even know. They rarely talk about those times. The times of sacrifice, of service, of honor, and duty. I wish they would talk about it more.

General John Dailey – Smithsonian Air & Space Museum

June 29, 2009

General John Dailey — Smithsonian Institute – Air & Space Museum

General John R. Dailey — Director at the Smithsonian Institute – National Air & Space Museum.
I drove up to Washington DC from Baltimore. It was raining in Baltimore, but the sun was shining in DC. There must be something huge happening in DC because there are kids and buses everywhere. I circled around until my GPS took me to the entrance of the National Air & Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institute. I was there to interview the Director of the Museum, General John R. Dailey, for my new documentary “The Flying Man” about the legendary test pilot Johnny Myers. Johnny Myers once was a board member at the Smithsonian and General Dailey had become a close friend of Johnny.
My interview with General Dailey went very well. He talked about the wisdom and character of Johnny Myers and how each had a unique view on aviation history. Johnny Myers was a test pilot, and John Dailey was a four star general, a Marine pilot with over 6000 hours of flying experience including fighter planes and helicopters. General Dailey had flown over 400 combat missions in Vietnam. He earned numerous awards, including the Bronze Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, and Vietnam Gallantry Cross. After Vietnam, Dailey continued his dedication to his country by working his way up to General. He also worked in the top leader positions at NASA and the Marine Command. Now John Dailey is the Director of the Smithsonian Institute’s National Air & Space Museum.
I was really moved and impressed by my interview with John. He is truly a nice guy, and he gave me a great interview about Johnny Myers. I would like to return soon to interview General Dailey about his own personal life story. When you meet some of these heroic people, its sometimes hard to believe that this person did all these incredible achievements. It makes you realize that we are all people and that anyone can be a hero if they dedicate themselves to others.
I learned a lot in my short interview with General John Dailey. I asked myself what can I do to serve others and sacrifice for others, the way General Dailey has done his entire life.

Harrison Ford – Legend of Aviation

June 29, 2009

Johnny Myers – Legend of Aviation

June 29, 2009