Originally published in Twin Commander Aircraft’s June Flight Levels eNews
Dave Ellison grew up and learned to fly in Oklahoma City, so it was not at all unusual for him to be around Commanders, which were manufactured in nearby Bethany. Dave and his brother went on to found Statewide Service Center, which distributes farm supplies to customers within a 500- to 600-mile radius of Oklahoma City. Last year they decided that, instead of chartering aircraft—mostly King Airs—to meet with customers, they would buy and fly their own. But instead of a King Air, the company bought an airplane they knew to be “fast, very efficient, and capable of short-field takeoffs and getting into places others can’t.” They bought a Commander 840.
They base the airplane at Legacy Aviation Services at Clarence E. Page Airport in Yukon, Oklahoma, east of Oklahoma City, not far from where it was built. Legacy recently finished a complete refurbishment of the interior in Statewide’s Commander, and updated the panel with Garmin GTN750 and 650 flight management systems and Garmin 345 and 335 ADS-B-compliant transponders. The update slimmed the Commander down about 80 pounds, and the new all-leather interior looks and feels first-class luxurious and comfortable, so much so that Dave, who still is an active pilot, prefers to let the company’s professional pilot do the flying while he relaxes in the passenger cabin, enjoying the view out the landscape windows.
Read more about Statewide’s 840 in the upcoming Flight Levels.
John Bumpers looks forward to taking his King Air back to Legacy for many years to come.
I would like to compliment Legacy Aviation on job very well done on the Phase 1/2 inspection on our Beech King Air 350 in May. The inspection was completed in the time frame that was quoted and discrepancies were taken care of with cost effectiveness in mind. The end result was a fantastic job that was very satisfactory to me as pilot of this airplane, as well as the owners of the airplane. RJ and his excellent shop full of mechanics rate “Top Shelf” in my book.
Bob Ritchie and his crew are exceptional King Air experts. Bob was very diligent in keeping me informed during the inspection process as to what needed to be done and his planned approach to facilitate our aircraft needs.
I have been flying BE-300 series aircraft for the last 8 years, and have done business with Bob Ritchie and his crew at Mid-Continent Airmotive, which was purchased by RJ Gomez 2 years ago. When Bob and his crew of expert King Air mechanics made the move to Legacy Aviation and their expert mechanics as well, there was no question about where I would continue to take our King Air for Phase Inspections. I look forward to taking our airplane back for many years to come. Thanks for a great experience!!! I had no doubts about bringing our airplane to Legacy.
Chief Pilot, Saulsbury Aviation
In an ongoing video series, Legacy Aviation client Paul Alexander tells others about his customer experiences and the transition from Mid-Continent Airmotive.
Legacy’s ability to resolve complex pressurization problems and advise on other problems in a cost effective manner have Nathan Thompson’s recommendation.
Dear Michael and RJ,
I’ve been the owner and pilot of my Rockwell 690B Commander since 1979 and have put approximately 1,700 hours of flight time on the aircraft since purchase. I use the aircraft primarily associated with my Boulder, Colorado based data storage equipment manufacturing business, Spectra Logic, to visit US customers across North America.
Ownership of the Commander has not been trouble or expense free. There have been a number of ADs and service requirements which have occurred during my ownership. I have worked with most of the Commander and TPE-331 Service Centers within 800 miles of my home base. I’ve been most pleased with the field knowledge and commitment to customer satisfaction with Legacy. The Legacy team and management have always been responsive and fair when it comes to work on my aircraft.
At Legacy I have been impressed with your parts inventory, and ability to work through long-term squawks I’ve experience with my aircraft. Of all the repairs you have performed, probably significant has been your ability to resolve complex pressurization problems. Second that with advice you have given me on which issues are significant and need to be addressed, and how other problems can be fixed in the most cost effective manner.
I’m happy to speak with anyone who is looking to evaluate Service Centers—I will strongly recommend Legacy.
CEO & Founder, Spectra Logic Corporation
For a customer like former Aero Commander 840 owner Bill Johnson, Legacy always stands tall.
In reflecting on the 14 years of owning our 840-10 Turbo Commander, one thing that stands out is the amazing support you and your team gave me, first as Downtown and later as Legacy, from the time I bought the plane through you and you totally renovated it, through regular inspections and maintenance. Most of all we appreciated your always being ready to help when we had a need at some distant location, whether it was overnighting a part, or your folks' coaching a local mechanic who was unfamiliar with the Commander on how to deal with some issue. What’s more, you always shopped parts to get the best possible prices for me.
The Commander was always a delight to fly, and with your help it made our lives more efficient and fun. We miss it but just weren’t flying enough in recent years to stay fully current. Nonetheless, we are pleased that it has a good home fighting fires in Canada with professionals who really appreciate its capabilities and will take excellent care of it.
Over the years we’ve become good friends and we'll miss having regular contact with you and the rest of the Legacy family. I’m sure our friendship will endure, provided of course that you get around to taking Deb and me up on our ongoing offer to host you at our home in Sedona.
Once again, thanks for helping to make our time with 88BJ such a great experience.
Bill and Deb
For Legacy customer Geographic Air Survey, Inc, downtown wasn’t an option
Aerial mapping is a business that is very weather dependent. Aerial mapping cameras are not radar and do not see through clouds, therefore clear skies dictate when you can work.
For Geographic Air Survey, Inc. a leading aerial mapping firm based in Alberta, Canada knows this fact firsthand. Taking aerial mapping photos in Canada can be tricky due to its northern latitudes and wildly ever changing weather.
And in the late summer of 2013, there was a window of clear weather forecasted in the Yukon just days away to complete a contracted mapping photo shoot...but “Murphy’s Law” was about to strike. A trunion on the left main landing gear of their Commander 690A was discovered to have a crack after a routine 150 hour inspection. A repair that needed to happen before they could fly the mapping mission. The crack was discovered late on a Wednesday afternoon.
Sygun Krey and her mother own Geographic Air Survey and their aerial mapping workhorse Commander aircraft. The following evening (Thursday) Sygun made contact with RJ Gomez at Legacy to explain the dilemma. RJ met with his repair team that night and the decision was made to do whatever had to be done to get the repair completed and the aircraft back in the air in order to complete the contracted photo mission. Ms. Krey was obviously relieved to hear this bit of good news.
But ferry permits and approvals had to be gathered to relocate the ailing Commander into US airspace.
The next day (Friday) was spent making arrangements through the FAA to get the aircraft into the US on a ferry permit, for the work to be done. Sygun found the FAA to be cooperative and they expedited the paperwork within a few hours, another bit of good luck.
Despite a small weather delay in Wyoming, the aircraft arrived Saturday afternoon at Legacy to an awaiting repair team with the necessary parts in hand.
The repair was made within a few hours Saturday night.
Sunday was a well deserved ‘day-off’ for the Commander’s flight crew and Monday the aircraft returned to Canada, taking advantage of the clearing weather and fulfilling their customer’s contract.
A win-win situation for everyone involved in a mere 72 hour timeframe across two countries.
For Ms. Krey, she couldn’t be happier at the outcome. “Other repair facilities we talked to wanted to stretch this repair out like gum...they didn’t appreciate the time constraints we had. But RJ and his professional team at Legacy took charge and did an amazing job of going above and beyond the call to keep us flying! They have rightfully earned a repeat customer for sure. Thank you, Legacy.”
~A Recovery Mission
When an overzealous ground handler recently attempted moving Paul’s beautiful 840 with a tug more appropriate for a Boeing 737 the result was not pretty. An orthopedist might refer to it as an airframe “compound fracture” of the nose gear!
To complicate the situation Mr. Shapiro’s aircraft was several hundred miles from its home base.
Legacy’s response was aircraft triage…Steve Reid was immediately dispatched to the ailing ship and within 48 hours N840PS was given a ferry permit to get it to Legacy for a complete repair. Back in Legacy’s hangar final repairs were made and Mr. Shapiro was once again back in business.
Once again, kind words were imparted upon Legacy:
“I want to tell you how much I appreciate the great job done by your team and the extraordinary effort that I know Steve and others put in to get it to me today. I thank you all”
Great businesses are built on great service. At Legacy Aviation these are more than just words…it’s in their DNA.