John “Bordz” Posson’s father could be credited with leading him toward a life-long interest in aviation. He was a WWII pilot, after all, and also in the Reserves during the 1950s, but Bordz seemingly sparked his own dreams, instinctively. The dream of being a pilot was constantly on his mind.
During his childhood and teenage years, though, it could be said that he hit a bump in his path to flight. At the time, pilots could not wear corrective lenses i.e. contacts or glasses. Considering Bordz did rely on the use of glasses, he understood that maybe flying was not in the stars for him.
Bordz went onto receive a Business Degree in college, becoming a successful corporate accountant in his 20s. His life was humming along but he never let go of the desire to fly.
As luck would have it, the ban on pilots who required corrective lenses was lifted, and just like that, Bordz’s flight plan seemed possible. At this point, Bordz decided to do whatever it took to become a part of the aviation industry as a pilot. He put in his hours with diligence and got his pilot license.
Bordz began to fly skydivers before relocating to Alaska to work as a bush pilot. His first airline job was in Anchorage, with Wien Air Alaska. He was subsequently hired by Hawaiian Airlines, where he worked for six years, before joining United Airlines. Bordz knew he was now doing what he truly loved, a feeling he hadn’t experienced in his previous industry. It was during his time as a pilot with United that he first met Randy “Howler” Howell when they were commanding a flight together. As Bordz describes it, “We are cut from the same cloth, and always realized it,” and the two became fast friends.
Years later, when Howell was first assembling the Patriots Jet Team, he certainly did not overlook his old friend, Bordz; he was in fact the first to be brought on-board. A part of the team from the very start, Bordz well recalls the initial two-ship show. He reminisced, “You’re not an airshow pilot until you’ve actually flown an airshow in front of the public.”
Since leaving United in 2006, Bordz has spent each winter in Orlando, teaching in the dual control P-51 Mustang for Stallion 51 Corp, while continuing to fly with the Patriots Jet Team during the summer. Having been a skydiver and hang glider since his teenage years, becoming a part of the Patriots Jet Team was a life highpoint, given his adventurous nature and appreciation for all things aviation. He notes that a milestone in his career is seeing the Patriots Jet Team reach a goal of a six-ship show, and he has a special fondness for those days when the whole team is collectively at its best.
In addition to his love of flying came an unexpected bonus that he never considered early on when he first aspired to be a pilot. Bordz has a great appreciation for connecting with the audience members who attend the team’s shows. He points out that his true, life-long dreams came true, and some spectators had similar aspirations that did not; in a way, these folks can now live vicariously through Bordz’s high-soaring ways. Bordz also recognizes how much the Patriots Jet Team means to the children in the audience. He feels that connection makes all of the work and obstacles in his own life worthwhile. He has met many special kids along the way, and always reminds them, “Don’t let anything stop you from realizing your dream. You can do it.”
Bordz has proven just that. What started as a passion he was seemingly born with, developed by his father’s example, and completed by a delayed dream realized with tenacity and hard work, Bordz is a walking, well – flying example of determination and team spirit.