PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Greg Johnston of Pascagoula has been a commercial airline pilot for 32 years. The 61-year-old father, grandfather, and husband for 38-years currently flies for American Airlines. He's now trying his hand at something else: being a published author.
As a young man, Greg Johnston loved life up in the air. He still does.
"Flying a piece of metal, a big piece of metal, very fast, all over the country is just something I've had in my mind since the early days," Johnston explained.
He's also a man of faith, and his book, "Encouragement from 30,000 feet" reflects that faith. That's how it came to be.
"I've been on Facebook and I did a couple of stories there relating to flying and also my faith and I got a real good response from that and some encouraged me to do a book. They said there was a book in that," he recalled.
When he's in the cockpit, the lives of hundreds of souls are in his hands. But some passengers are special.
"Statistically, there's at least one person on every flight that's never flown before and that's the person I think of."
The others sometimes need a helping hand, too.
"There are people hurting and just a word of encouragement, I found out, can change people's lives. So that's really the whole idea behind the book."
Reaction to the book has been positive, both inside the airline industry and out.
"It's just simply life experiences I've had and mixing it with positive scripture and trying to encourage people. How can you not like that? There's nothing wrong with that. People need that."
No matter what the future holds for Johnston, there is one thing that's absolutely certain.
"Whatever I do, my faith is central to everything I'm about."