In contrast to some of the previous posters, John actually looks exactly like how I pictured him. (Although the Cheech Marin pic was pretty good.
) I also concur that his voice was easily recognizable, he just drops his accent more on the radio.
Pilots and controllers alike use their radio communications as an opportunity to take on a cool and collected persona that isn't necessarily theirs 100% of the time. Pilots especially get a lot
of practice hearing ourselves through the headset.
Case in point though is the Comair pilot who stays in character as Sean Connery 100% of the time (F@&#/!* AWESOME!!!), or the fact that not every Southwest Airlines pilot is a crazy drawwwlin' Texan! If you read The Right Stuff, I believe the author points out that Chuck Yeager was a huge influence on this style of speaking because that's how he talked, and pretty much every pilot that idolized him copied it. When they started flying for the airlines the next generation of young pilots idolized them
, and it became the trademark airline captain's PA and ATC voice that you hear today. You can take or leave this explanation, but I always found it pretty interesting and as a young pilot myself I am no exception.
Back to John though... John emulates no one. John is John, and that's what makes him so entertaining to listen to. I'm glad Dave's friend knows him, because that means he probably knows he has a following on here, and understands that his enthusiasm for his job really has a positive impact on everyone who hears him (whether they're flying in his airspace or browsing this forum to see what hilarious thing he is going to say next