National Flight Services, which operates two Twin Commander service centers in the U.S., as well as a number of other facilities, is celebrating a milestone achievement in 2010 — its 50th year in business.
According to long-time owner Tom Wiles, a key reason for that longevity is the company’s focus on customer service. Some 95% of National’s business is from repeat customers, he says, adding, “That tells me the entire company is focused on customer service — the engine shop, the airframe shop, the component shop, the parts department, the inspection department, accounting, and all the other support departments. As a group we take on the job to make all of our customers happy. Our mission is to deliver a customer’s aircraft one day sooner, for a dollar less than what we quoted.”
“When I think about National Flight, one word that comes to mind is prolific,” said Twin Commander Aircraft President Matt Isley. “They have operations all over the country, and customers all over the world.”
National was founded in 1960 as National Flight Service, Inc., the FBO and operator of National Airport, a small, single-strip airfield just north of Toledo, Ohio. In 1966, National Flight performed its first turboprop engine overhaul.
The company relocated to Toledo Express Airport in 1969 (National Airport closed a few years later and a shopping mall was built on the site), and expanded its capabilities to include sales of new Beechcraft and Twin Commander aircraft, aircraft maintenance, charter services, and flight training as well as traditional FBO line services. In 1972 National Flight was acquired by Tom Wiles, who still owns and manages the company. National Flight became a Rockwell Commander dealer in 1973, and was named an authorized Commander service center.
In 1981 the company inaugurated TPE331 maintenance and overhaul service, which grew into a mainstay business. In 2006 National Flight performed its 1,500th TPE331 overhaul and its 4,500th major engine inspection.
In 1990 National was named an Authorized Twin Commander Service Center, and in 1996 it added Dash 10T conversions and Grand Renaissance completions to its list of service center authorizations. In 2001 National opened a base at the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (LAL) in central Florida that became its second Twin Commander Service Center. The Lakeland facility also has a turbine engine shop.
In 2004 Honeywell designated National Flight as an Authorized Service Center and Accessory Overhaul Center, making it the only domestically owned overhaul facility in the Honeywell network.
In addition to the Toledo and Lakeland bases, National operates turbine engine services shops in Toronto and San Antonio, as well as a components overhaul shop in Holland, Ohio, and a propulsion engine controls company in Kansas City.
For more information: NationalFlight.com.