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Easy Flight Powered Parachutes, Greenville, IL

Who is Rockin' John?

Graphic by Ralph Aspinwall. Courtesy of UltraFlight Magazine

John Richard Carr has been an active powered parachute pilot since 1984, when the first “ParaPlane” models were commercially available. He has logged over 900 flights as of this writing. In 1985, he won the first ParaPlane factory sponsored competition, beating out 26 other pilots.

Primarily a self-taught pilot, John had to overcome a strong, debilitating fear of heights. In 1989 he made a New Year’s resolution to write a book detailing his many flight experiences to introduce to the world. “The safest form of recreational flying devised by man.”

“The Paraflight Experience” took over two years to complete, was self-published, self-promoted and is now in its second printing. John’s book has inspired many people to reach for their dreams of flight via a powered parachute.

John was born in Fall River, Massachusetts in 1946. He learned early in life that he enjoyed working with his hands. He has been an auto-mechanic, engine rebuilder, welder, machinist, shoe repairman, TV and radio repairman, test equipment fabricator, electronics technician, author and publisher. He now operates an electric wiring service known as “J.C. Electronics” in addition to writing his “Ask Rockin’ John” column. He also is addicted to solving difficult crossword puzzles, when he can find the time.

He acquired the nickname “Rockin’ John” by playing human windsock for his flying buddies on windy days. If they saw him rocking around too much while he was flying by, then they would stay grounded.

John has always been an aviation enthusiast, and has amassed considerable knowledge on ultralights, especially powered parachutes. He has been an EAA member since 1992, and has assisted in home-built aircraft assembly with his local chapter 51. He has been writing “Ask Rockin’ John,” Ultraflight Magazine's powered parachute Q & A column, since April 1995.