When Jamie Trudeau was a kid, his dad, who was a fighter pilot, wouldn’t take him to the airport. “Aviation is an addictive disease,” his dad told told him, “and there is no rehab.”
But Trudeau didn’t listen. He got his license, then built six ultralights — and promptly crashed five of them. He found himself a career restoring and refinishing all types of flying machines.
Then after 32 years in New England, he decided to move to Florida, partnering with Dexter Aviation on a unique opportunity to maintain the aging warbird fleet. Trudeau Warbird Enterprises took over the complete operation in 2007, relocating to Charlotte County Airport in Punta Gorda in 2008.
“We’ve gone from a small company to one that employs 13 people,” he said Friday at Sun ’n Fun, reporting that he likes working on warbirds so much that he has acquired about 95% of the new parts that are still left for these iconic aircraft.
While he has customers all over the world, from Brazil, to Australia, England and France, he was at Sun ’n Fun offering his skills to warbird owners who may need a little help on the show grounds.
“We try to help when we can on the ramp,” he said, noting the only charge is for parts. “All maintenance is free.”
For more information: TrudeauWarbird.com
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