Lester Joseph Brain, AO, AFC (27 February 1903 – 30 June 1980) was a pioneer Australian aviator and airline executive.
Born in New South Wales, he trained with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) before joining Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services (Qantas) as a pilot in 1924.
He was awarded the Air Force Cross in 1929, after locating the lost aircraft Kookaburra in northern Australia.
Having risen to Chief Pilot at Qantas by 1930, he was appointed Flying Operations Manager in 1938.
As a member of the RAAF reserve, Brain coordinated his airline's support for the Australian military during World War II.
He earned a King's Commendation for his rescue efforts during an air raid on Broome, Western Australia, in 1942, and was promoted to wing commander in 1944.
Seeing little prospect for advancement at Qantas once the war had ended, Brain left to join the fledgling government-owned domestic carrier Trans Australia Airlines (TAA) in June 1946.
Appointed its first general manager, he swiftly built up the organisation to the stage where it could commence scheduled operations later in the year.
By the time he resigned in March 1955, TAA was firmly established as one half of the Commonwealth government's two-airline system.
After his departure from TAA, Brain became managing director of de Havilland Aircraft in Sydney, before joining the board of East-West Airlines as a consultant in January 1961.
Appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in January 1979, Lester Brain died in June the following year, at the age of seventy-seven.