Posts Tagged ‘test pilot’

Bob Hoover – acrobatic pilot, Living Legend of Aviation

February 3, 2010

Interview with Bob Hoover

Bob Hoover is considered one of the greatest living aviators.

He did a super interview, talking about his good friend Johnny Myers and

several of the other Legends of Aviation. He talked about Sam Williams,

Hank Beaird, and Dee Howard.


Peter Allen talks about Johnny Myers – Part 1

October 23, 2009

Peter Allen talks about Johnny Myers – Part 2

October 23, 2009

Carroll Shelby talks about John Myers (“Flying Man”)

October 7, 2009

I really enjoyed meeting Carroll Shelby. He talked alot about his growing, his father, his heroes, and car racing. Here he talks about his friend John Myers aka “Flying Man.”

To learn more about this documentary go to

Tom Jones remembers his friend John Myers (“Flying Man”)

October 7, 2009

Here is a short video from our interview with Tom Jones for my documentary film “Flying Man: Life and Times of John Myers.”

You can learn more about this film at

Warren Christopher – Secretary of State, Friend to Johnny Myers

September 4, 2009


Warren Christopher with Director RJ McHatton

Warren Christopher with Director RJ McHatton

It was a sunny day in Century City.  I was there at the headquarters of the famous law firm O’Melveny & Myers to interview Warren Christopher for my documentary “Flying Man: Life and Times of Johnny Myers.”  Warren Christopher is the former Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton, and a man who has dedicated his life to service.  Warren Christopher knew Johnny Myers for many years.  They both were members of the Sunset Club and both had worked for O’Melveny & Myers.  Warren told me some great stories about Johnny Myers.  Warren felt that Johnny Myers represented the Walter Mitty in every attorney because he lived such an adventurous life, even though he started as an attorney.  Warren told me the history of the O’Melveny and Myers law firm.  He told me about how Johnny Myers’ father was Supreme Court Justice in California who went partners with O’Melveny to create one of the nation’s most successful and prestigious law firms.  Warren Christopher told me the story about how John Myers became the nation’s first entertainment attorney, representing many famous Hollywood actors including George Murphy and Bing Crosby.  He talked about how Johnny’s passion for flying led him to become the Chief Test Pilot for Lockheed, then going over to Northrop for the P-61 and the Flying Wing.  Johnny Myers was one of the only test pilots who worked for both Lockheed and Northrop at the same time.  Warren talked about how he and Johnny Myers enjoyed great friendship and experiences as members of the Sunset Club.  He talked about how Johnny Myers had such a contagious laugh.  In the later years, Johnny Myers would still come by the office sometimes.  One time John Myers did a slideshow of his flying exploits for the O’Melveny & Myers team.  Warren talked about how even today new hire attorneys are told about the history of the firm, about the two founders and their values and integrity, and also about the fun and exciting adventures of Johnny Myers.  Warren talked about the courage and character of his friend John Myers.  Warren talked about how John Myers was a man with strong values, like his father.   Warren talked about the sense of humor or John Myers.  He told the story about John Myers was flying once with this very heavy set lawyer and they were flying from the East Coast to the West Coast.  Evidently the plane was having trouble making it over the Rocky Mountains with such a heavy load, so John Myers dropped off the lawyer and had him take a train or bus to the other side of the Rockies where he picked him up and on they went on their journey.  I really enjoyed meeting Warren Christopher and appreciate him taking the time to talk about John Myers.

Cleo & Carroll Shelby – Automotive Racing, Aviation Legend – Friend of Johnny Myers

July 18, 2009
Cleo & Carroll Shelby with Director RJ McHatton

Cleo & Carroll Shelby with Director RJ McHatton

All you need to do is type in the words “Shelby Cobra” into youtube and you will see first hand the incredible Automotive classic cars that Carroll Shelby has designed and built ever since in the 60s.  Cobras and Vipers and more.  Carroll has been an aviator since the 1930s when he paid one dollar to fly in a bi-plane.  During WWII Carroll was a training flight instructor for the US Army Air Corp.  He has been flying all through out his career.

We were there to interview Carroll Shelby and his beautiful wife Cleo for our documentary “The Flying Man:  Life and Times of Johnny Myers.”   Carroll and Cleo have become great friends of Johnny Myers over the last dozen or so years.  They had spent time with John up at his ranch in Merced, California and on several other trips, including one at the giant Oshkosh Aviation Celebration.  Cleo told some great stories about how John Myers was very inspirational for her learning how to fly.  John was a major influence to her.  Carroll talked about his friendship with John Myers and how they really respected each other.  He said that John was so humble, that it took a lot to get John Myers to talk about his legendary flying skills.  He talked about John Myers’ sense of humor and his always being a gentleman.

I really enjoyed meeting and interviewing Carroll Shelby and his wife Cleo.  They both remind me about the importance of appreciation.  Carroll talked about how he has some other man’s heart in his chest.  He had a heart transplant many years ago.  He said he was very appreciative of every moment he has on this earth.  Cleo and Carroll talked about how they met.  They are a great couple.  Carroll told me so awesome stories about his relationship with his father.  How his father had encouraged him to go for his dreams.  The message for me is to try to be a better “encourager” to others and to be more “appreciative” of life.

Thank you Cleo and Carroll Shelby for a fantastic time together.

To learn more about our new documentary “The Flying Man: Life and Times of Johnny Myers” go to

You can learn more about Carroll Shelby at

Here is a great artist rendering of Cleo with Carroll Shelby.

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.

Paul Thayer – Friend of Johnny Myers “The Flying Man”

July 13, 2009

Video 2 0 00 12-18

Paul Thayer watching a video of his good friend Johnny Myers

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RJ McHatton with Paul Thayer

We drove to Southern California to interview Paul Thayer about his friend Johnny Myers for our documentary “The Flying Man.”  Paul is a great guy.  He sat down with me and we talked about how he met Johnny Myers.  Paul was a Fighter Pilot during World War II.  He served in the North Africa campaign and then was quickly sent over to Guadacanal.  After the war Paul worked at an airline where he met his wife Margery.   Paul eventually got a job as an insurance sales man.  Then one day Margery saw an advertisement that a company was looking for Test Pilots.  Over 1800 people applied for the job but Paul Thayer got the job.  That is where Paul met John Myers.  Thayer worked under John at Northrop.  Paul talked about how great a man Johnny Myers was.  He said that Myers was a man of integrity.  Paul told me some great stories about how he and Johnny Myers flew a P-61 Black Widow one time.  He talked about how John Myers nearly died during the testing period of the Flying Wing.  Paul told some great stories about how he and Johnny Myers and Jack Northrop worked together.  We talked about how in later years John Myers became a successful businessman.  He talked about some of the clubs they both belonged to over the years.  Paul told me how much John loved his wife Lucia and how painful it was to lose Lucia.

Everytime our discussion went to stories of flying, Paul’s eyes would light up.  I could tell that Paul loved aviation.  He talked about Johnny Myers love for fast cars and fast boats.  He also talked about John’s love for his dogs.  I was really impressed by my interview with Paul Thayer.  He is a very nice man.  I have learned that Paul once was Under-Secretary of Defense under Ronald Reagan.  I asked him about Ronald Reagan.  He said that Reagan and John Myers were similar in many ways.  I asked him if Johnny Myers was a good guy.  He said that he was more than a good guy.  He was a remarkable man.  Thank you, Paul Thayer, for letting me interview you for our documentary.