Prior to his current task, he was editor of Aviation Maintenance magazine and a regular contributor to Avionics magazine. Before his magazine duties, he was the editor and principal author of Air Safety Week, a newsletter.
During his time as magazine and newsletter editor, he covered the full spectrum of aviation accidents and incidents, to include: take-off errors (wrong runway, incorrect aircraft weight), structural failure (both of traditional aluminum hulls and newer composite tailfins), the man-machine interface of flight control systems (rudders), maintenance errors (which in one case led to fuel exhaustion and a dead stick landing), the shift from ground-based to satellite-based navigation systems, mid-air collisions, and landing on too-short and/or wet runways.
In addition, Evans covered aviation security, from the 9/11 attacks to actions being taken today to enhance security (such as the mandate to screen all cargo). He has also addressed programs that add little to security, such as the recent move to screen radio-controlled toys brought aboard airliners.
For his work, Evans received numerous awards, to include four aerospace journalist awards from the Royal Aeronautical Society, the Brownlow award from the Flight Safety Foundation, the Society of Professional Journalists, and citations of merit from the National Press Club.
During his time as an aviation reporter, he appeared many times on television, to include on NBC, CBS, ABC, BBC, and the NewsHour With Jim Lehrer on PBS. In 2004, he appeared on the PBS Nova documentary about the crash and investigation of Swissair flight 111, a tragedy caused by in-flight fire.
Before becoming an aviation journalist, Evans was the military affairs correspondent for the Chicago Tribune. While in that job, an Aloha Airlines jet experienced explosive decompression. That event led to a series of stories in the newspaper about the geriatric jet problem and what the industry was doing to assure the safe life of older jets. While with the Tribune, Evans deployed to cover Desert Storm, where he focused on the air campaign (e.g., the hunt for Scuds, the great tank-plinking effort, etc.). He also deployed to Somalia to cover the U.S. effort to provide famine relief.
Prior to his appointment to the Chicago Tribune, Evans was a career officer (artillery) in the U.S. Marine Corps. He fought a shooting war in Vietnam and the budget wars in the Pentagon’s Office of Secretary of Defense