Avionics News May 2017 - 62
Continued from page 61
In 1995, Al Hilde Jr. and Allen Hoyt purchased the
company from Morrison Knudsen. During the next 12
years, the company became the world's largest PC-12
dealer and a Falcon authorized service center, driving
Western's growth. In 2004 and 2005, the company earned
awards from Pilatus. In 2004, Pilatus named Western
Aircraft the Dealer of the Decade. Pilatus bestowed two
awards to the company in 2005: Dealer of the Year and
Service Center of the Year.
In 2005 and 2006, the company earned the Diamond
Certificate of Achievement from the FAA. In addition, in
2006, Western Aircraft earned the Garmin Leading Edge
Throughout its 60-year history, Western Aircraft has
maintained excellence in its work. The company partners
with other businesses and the airport in Boise to enhance
its capabilities. These factors have led to much growth.
In July 2007, the company was purchased by
Greenwich AeroGroup. "Significant investments in
people, training, tooling, technology and facilities have
helped us provide our customers with personalized
service and unsurpassed technical expertise," Shontz said.
"This year, the company celebrates its 60th anniversary."
Greenwich AeroGroup is wholly-owned by W.R.
Berkley Corp. The organization was formed Jan. 22,
2007, to acquire companies that provide products and
services to the aviation industry.
In addition to Western Aircraft, current Greenwich
AeroGroup companies and associates include: Helivia
Aero Taxi of Rio de Janeiro; Professional Aircraft
Accessories of Titusville and Miami, Florida; Professional
Aviation Associates of Atlanta, Georgia; Summit Aviation
of Middletown, Delaware; and TruAtlantic Manufacturing
of Kernersville, North Carolina.
According to Kasey Baker, director of marketing and
communications for Greenwich AeroGroup, "These
companies offer a full range of services in the areas of
maintenance, avionics and interior refurbishments; fixed
base operations; aircraft sales, charter and management;
manufacturing; component repair and overhaul and parts
The capabilities of the Greenwich AeroGroup
companies extend across several key market segments,
including general and business aviation, airlines,
government and military aviation services for fixed-wing
In 2014, Western Aircraft added two new buildings
totaling 26,000 square feet to its 18-acre leasehold. The
new construction included an expanded parts facility as
well as a two-story infill building that houses support
shops for Western Aircraft's services operation.
The overall expansion included more than $2.3 million
in new facilities and more than $2.4 million in facility
improvements and specialized tooling. Due to the added
business, Western Aircraft increased staffing from 150 to
Last year was quite busy for the company. Western
Aircraft grew in size and personnel, while earning several
The company added a new location to its charter
fleet, and it made a new PC-12 available for charter in
Porterville, California, to serve customers throughout
California. It also earned OSHA's Safety and Health
Achievement Program Award, its fifth in the preceding
"Safety for both our customers and our employees
is engrained in our culture," said Dan Zegar, Western
Aircraft's manager of environmental health and safety.
"We strive to be a leading example in our industry
through a continuously evolving safety program."
In addition, it became the first Pilatus dealer worldwide
to sell 200 PC-12s. "This is an exciting milestone for
our team at Western Aircraft as well as our partners at
Pilatus," said Phil Winters, vice president of aircraft
sales and charter management. "We have all worked hard
to ensure that our clients' Pilatus ownership experience
meets their Pilatus class expectations before, during and
after the sale." The company also recently completed the
first U.S. Pilatus Life Extension program.
Western Aircraft completed the first Elite II installation
in a Falcon 900EX. The new avionics package installed
on the Falcon 900EX was one of four Dassault aircraft in
the authorized service center for concurrent C inspections,
avionics modification or retrofit and interior refurbishment.
It became a Textron authorized service facility
for several models across the Beechcraft and Cessna
Toward the end of the year, Western Aircraft was
named an Advent Aircraft Systems dealer for its Advent
eABS anti-skid braking system for the Pilatus PC-12 and
Beechcraft King Air B300 and B200 aircraft.
Starting off this year with the Gogo project, one can
easily see that Western Aircraft could make 2017 surpass
2016 in terms of achievements. Excellence in its work,
new partnerships, expanded growth, and exceeding
customer expectations have been working extremely well
for Western Aircraft. q
To learn more about Western Aircraft, visit westair.com.