Alaska Small Business Development Center

Tailwind Aviation

Tailwind Aviation, Inc. specializes in turn-key aircraft maintenance for Bristol Bay sportfishing lodge operators and guides. The company receives airplanes in the fall and over the winter season is dedicated to their inspection and repair in preparation for the spring season.

Tailwind Aviation was founded in 1996.  It grew in reputation and credibility for over 25 years.  In the year 2021, Brad and Joanna Johnson purchased Tailwind from Kevin Ferris (founder). The Johnsons, originally from Minnesota, worked remotely with Ferris starting in 2017, before relocating and calling Alaska home in 2018. As Tailwind Aviation has been reliably servicing lodge operator needs on location in Bristol Bay during the summer fishing season, Brad Johnson and Ferris worked side-by-side for more than two years to ensure that the transition of ownership would be as seamless as possible for employees and clients alike.

During this two-year timeframe, Johnson also worked with Alaska SBDC Mat-Su Center Director, Julie Nolen, on preparing financials and a strong business plan to successfully purchase Tailwind Aviation. In working with the Alaska SBDC on preparing to purchase Tailwind Aviation, Johnson shared, “Julie was instrumental in proving to me, the seller, and investor that the business was viable. Also in the completion of a business plan. She helped pave the way for Joanna and me in knowing what the next step in the process was.”

With dedication and perseverance, The Johnsons were able to complete the purchase of Tailwind Aviation in January 2021, despite operating during a global pandemic.

Looking to the future, Tailwind Aviation will expand its summer capabilities as The Johnson’s plan to have mechanics on-staff at the hangar over the summer season to provide aircraft service to local customers as well.

Connect with Tailwind Aviation at (907) 376-3422 and online at