Legacy Aviation Services. A look back. A leap forward.
Looking back I have to say that 2013 was a whirlwind year here at Legacy. While many other MROs of our size struggled, thanks to the efforts of our outstanding team and the support of our growing (thankfully) list of customers, I can only look back on last year with a great deal of satisfaction.
Of course, our continued growth hasn’t been easy – not by a long shot. There have been many times when we had to reach out a bit farther or put in a few more late nights and weekends than our families may have liked. But, whether it was investing in our facility or burning the midnight oil to have a customer’s airplane ready to leave at zero-dark-thirty, it’s just in Legacy’s DNA to do what it takes.
Now that I mentioned enhancements to our facility, let me give you a few details. We recently converted a portion of our paint hangar into an expanded MRO hangar. By dedicating nearly 11,000 more square feet to airframe maintenance and repair here at C.E. Page Airport, we have grown our inspection, overhaul and maintenance facilities by 70-percent. That was a pretty big leap of faith to take when so many shops are cutting back.
So where did our confidence come from? Frankly, it came from our customers. Over the past 18 months or so, we have seen a huge increase across the board in inspections, repairs, overhauls, avionics, upgrades – every segment of our business is on the upswing. Here are a few of last year’s highlights:
The #1 Twin Commander SB241 Service Center
We continue to be one of the largest Twin Commander factory authorized service centers in the world. Last year we completed more SB241 procedures than any Twin Commander facility on the planet. We had aircraft come to us from as far away as Venezuela.
This year we achieved Mexican repair authority from the DGAC ((Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil) granting us the ability to repair and service Mexican registered aircraft. The DGAC is the equivalent to the FAA in the United States and holds jurisdiction over Mexican airspace and aircraft.
Giving King Air owners the “royal” treatment
2013 marked our “official” entrance into the world of King Air MRO work. We’ve invested heavily in the right tooling, equipment, authorizations and personnel to go from a “part time” King Air shop, to a highly-capable and experienced King Air service center in the region.
At the core of our expansion is the hiring of some of the best King Air airframe and PT-6 engine technicians in the business.
These investments are going to enable us to do for King Air owner/operators what we’ve done for so many Twin Commander operators – give them the honest, personalized and professional support and service that they deserve.
Expanding our presence in South America and the Caribbean
Early last year, we opened a new Latin American regional office in Miami. Along with on-site aircraft systems expertise, the Miami office gives these new customers the same full support and experience that is the hallmark of the Legacy Aviation’s MRO team here in Oklahoma City.
2014 and beyond
To say we’re excited about where Legacy Aviation Services is and where we are going is a monumental understatement. We are, and will continue to identify great opportunities and do what it takes to make the most of them. Anything less would not be the Legacy way.
As always, if you ever have a comment, question or concern, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly.
J-W Energy Company Relies on Legacy to Keep Them Exploring
As the title implies, Chief Pilot comes with a lot of responsibilities. Flying the aircraft (singular or plural) is just the tip of the spear. There’s scheduling and dispatching, training, regulatory management, pilot management, and of course…aircraft maintenance.
For anyone that’s had to maintain an aircraft, you know that if you can find that special someone who is truly ‘airframe knowledgeable’ they can make your job, and life, much more productive.
For Barry Lane, Chief Pilot for J-W Energy Company, Legacy Aviation has become that “special someone.”
J-W Energy is a Dallas area based energy services and development business specializing in everything natural gas production.
The company currently operates a fleet of ten aircraft, including three 690 model Twin Commanders (A,C, and D), and Barry is responsible for keeping all of them in the air hundreds of hours each year moving critical people and equipment to sites in 16 states. With that many movements, aircraft uptime is critical to J-W Energy’s operations.
In fact, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, Barry likes to say; “J-W Energy is a small airplane company that dabbles in natural gas.”
In 2013, Barry severed a long-standing relationship with another maintenance provider to partner with Legacy. Longtime friend, Commander guru and Legacy maintenance lead Russ Hampton was there and for Barry, “Legacy felt right.”
“These guys have more Commander experience than anyone I know including the smallest of airframe nuances between our three different model Commanders,” he said. And they try and earn my business every time I go there. Whether it’s recurring scheduled maintenance or dropping in for a quick fix on something simple, they make me feel like I’m their only customer and they do what it takes to impress me
“They can usually troubleshoot and have a problem resolved before the props stop spinning or before I can hang up the phone,” Barry said. “It’s really impressive. Legacy also has one of the best Commander parts guys in the business with Dennis Snow. He gets parts to us fast no matter what. I’m not kidding; it’s like a NASCAR pit stop with these guys!”
As the title implies, Chief Pilot bears a lot of responsibility...so does making a Chief Pilot look good and safe to his passengers and bosses – and that’s a responsibility Legacy is willing to earn for Barry Lane every time he needs it.
Steve Elliott / A New member to the Legacy family
It happens all the time…business entrepreneurs discover the overwhelming benefit owning and operating their own aircraft makes to their companies growth
For Steve Elliott and his pilot son Robie, they really understand this concept! As a promoter and manager of firearm exhibition shows up and down the east coast, the use of an airplane has been instrumental in their success. So much so that they’ve owned five (5) different aircraft since 2007, with each aircraft growing in capability as their business expanded.
Their first aircraft was a Cessna 182, then a turbo 210. When range and redundancy became a requirement the move was to a Cessna 310, and then on to a 421.
Today the speed, safety and efficiency of a turbine aircraft are mandatory. And the aircraft of choice is N555VE, a 1979 Commander 690B with fresh -10 engines, recently found by an aircraft broker and purchased at Legacy Aviation.
Based in Virginia, the Elliotts could have found an aircraft closer to them but Steve Elliott was so impressed with the knowledge and professionalism at Legacy he knew he not only found the right aircraft, he found the right team to keep him flying safely and efficiently.
“I was so impressed with the Turbo Commander and especially the folks at Legacy. They were nothing short of committed professionals in helping us in the purchase of 5VE; and I knew right away we were in for a great ongoing relationship. They were straightforward, organized and did everything they said they would do. It was a delightful experience, one that will definitely keep us coming back for our maintenance, repairs and probably a few avionics upgrades down the road.”
Congratulations to the Elliotts on their continued business success, on their new Commander purchase, and welcome to the Legacy family.
Legacy Customers First Encounter the Friendly & Welcoming Debra Brakefield
Call on the phone or walk in the door, the first person any customer comes in contact with is executive administrative assistant, Debra Brakefield. Her sense of humor and friendliness puts customers at ease. As she takes you under her wing, you know you’ll get the best service at Legacy from start to finish. “One of the things I enjoy most about my job, is assisting customers.”
Debra has been with Legacy Aviation since 2005 when Downtown Airpark closed its doors and a week before Legacy opened theirs. RJ Gomez, Legacy’s CEO, offered her a position that started immediately. How she got to Downtown is another story that began in the fall of 1999. Two questions into her interview, the interviewer said wait a minute and came back with an account receivables job for her at Downtown Airpark. There she got to know the core group who would become Legacy Aviation Services.
Asked why she joined Legacy, she laughingly says, “I didn’t have to do a job search.” Then she goes on to say that those at Legacy feel like a tight knit group – a family. “Being at Legacy feels natural. It felt bad enough when Downtown closed. Then RJ and Kevin started Legacy, it felt right.”
Debra’s day-to-day duties at Legacy naturally flow from answering the phones, coordinating what others need to helping pick out color schemes for interiors. She has also taken some of the photos that have been included in Legacy articles, newsletters, and their website. “Give it to me, I’ll do it,” is her motto she says with a smile.
When Debra’s not at Legacy she says she tries to slow down. Not likely with a husband and two sons (18 and 20) both with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of Autism. She’s been their advocate all their lives and coordinates the All Star Bowling for the Differently-Abled, a league where bowlers of all ages and abilities are invited.
Mostly it’s Debra’s sense of humor that allows her to flow with whatever is going on – like the phone lines going down. She’s there, an advocate for her boys, her customers and family at Legacy.