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John J. Nance
Born July 5, 1946(1946-07-05) (age 73)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Occupation Pilot, attorney, aviation and healthcare safety analyst, author

John J. Nance (born July 5, 1946) is an American pilot, attorney, aviation and healthcare safety analyst, and author.[1] He was born in Dallas, Texas.[2]


Nance obtained Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees from Southern Methodist University and SMU Dedman School of Law.[3]

Nance served in the United States Air Force as a pilot during the Vietnam War and in Operation Desert Storm in Iraq. He is a lieutenant colonel with the Air Force Reserve.[3]

In January 1995 he joined ABC News as a consultant. He reported on Good Morning America. Before ABC, Nance had worked for three years at WFAA radio in Dallas, Texas. He had also appeared on over 1,300 radio and television shows, including The MacNeil–Lehrer Report, Oprah and Larry King Live.[3]

Two of Nance's books, Pandora's Clock and Medusa's Child, were adapted and broadcast as four-hour television miniseries for NBC and ABC.[4]

Nance is the author of Why Hospitals Should Fly: The Ultimate Flight Plan to Patient Safety and Quality Care and Charting the Course: Launching Patient-Centric Healthcare. These books apply the principles learned in aviation to healthcare and patient safety.[5][6]

Nance is the originator of the Red Cover Reports, a series of accident and incident analyses and recommendations using the principles of the National Transportation Safety Board accident reports colloquially known as “Blue Covers”.[7][8] The Red Cover Reports provide a neutral source of in-depth analysis of healthcare harm to caregivers and patients including the 440,000 deaths due to medical error.[9]

Also, as a former Braniff Airlines pilot, Nance authored A Splash of Colors: The Self-Destruction of Braniff International.[10]



  • Final Approach (1990)
  • Scorpion Strike (1992)
  • Phoenix Rising (1993)
  • Pandora's Clock (1995)
  • Medusa's Child (1997)
  • The Last Hostage (1998)
  • Blackout (2000)
  • Headwind (2001)
  • Turbulence (2002)
  • Skyhook (2003)
  • Fire Flight (2003)
  • Saving Cascadia (2005)
  • Orbit (2006)
  • Lockout (2016)
  • 16 Souls (2017)


  • Splash of Colors: The Self-Destruction of Braniff International (1984)
  • Blind Trust: The Revolution in Aviation Safety - Coming to Grips with Human Failure (1986)
  • On Shaky Ground (1988)
  • What Goes Up: The Global Assault on Our Atmosphere (1991)
  • Golden Boy: The Harold Simmons Story (2003)
  • Why Hospitals Should Fly: The Ultimate Flight Plan to Patient Safety and Quality Care (2008)
  • Charting the Course: Launching Patient-Centric Healthcare (2012)


  1. Date information sourced from Library of Congress Authorities data, via corresponding WorldCat Identities linked authority file (LAF) .
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "John J. Nance Bio at ABC". ABC News. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  4. "John J. Nance Bio". Random House. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  5. Nance, John J. (2008). Why hospitals should fly : the ultimate flight plan to patient safety and quality care (Fourth Printing August 2011. ed.). Bozeman, Mt.: Second River Healthcare Press. ISBN 978-0974386065. 
  6. Bartholomew, John J. Nance, Kathleen M. (2012). Charting the course : launching patient-centric healthcare. Bozeman, Montana: Second River. ISBN 978-1936406128. 
  7. Denham, Charles R.; Sullenberger, Chesley B.; Quaid, Dennis W.; Nance, John J. (March 2012). "An NTSB for Health Care – Learning From Innovation". pp. 3–14. Digital object identifier:10.1097/PTS.0b013e3182446c51. 
  8. Kolczynski, Phillip. "NTSB Accident Investigations: What You Need To Know". Aviation Publishing Group. Retrieved 14 August 2017. 
  9. James, John T. (September 2013). "A New, Evidence-based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care". pp. 122–128. Digital object identifier:10.1097/PTS.0b013e3182948a69. 
  10. Nance, John J. (1984). Splash of colors : the self-destruction of Braniff International (1st ed.). New York: Morrow. ISBN 9780688035860. 

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