He is well known for his pioneering flights in a home-built Van"s Aircraft Recreation Vehicle-4. Johanson is a qualified nurse, midwife, carpenter and air-transport pilot. In 2003 he made the first solo flight in a single-engine home-built aircraft over the South Pole.
After landing at the McMurdo-Scott base he became stranded when the base, not wishing to encourage future private flights, refused to sell him fuel.
After a fuel donation by fellow adventurer Polly Vacher, he was able to fly on to Australia, via New Zealand.