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Introducing Maintenance Services

by Joel Pierce

As of May 1st, 2013, Sweet Aviation began offering aircraft maintenance services. Some of you may be aware that we’ve been performing maintenance on the flight school aircraft throughout the winter months in the former Ivy Tech facility. This provided Dylan and his team with a warm, modern, and large facility in which to survive the winter months. However, this also provided us with the opportunity to start setting up for performing maintenance as one of our customer services. It has been years since the Smith Field Airport has had an aircraft maintenance facility, and we’re excited to change that. We’re excited about the opportunities this new department provides Sweet Aviation and its staff, but most of all we’re excited about the ability to provide Smith Field based tenants, transient pilots, and others with this convenient, top quality service helping to promote continued growth in activity at the airport and proving its value as an asset to the Fort Wayne community.

IMG_3470In addition to beginning this new service, Sweet Aviation is also experiencing a significant change in its maintenance staff. Many of you know Dylan Gingerich, currently our lead technician.

This spring his wife, Tricia, was accepted into a graduate training program at a school in Wichita, KS. With her classes beginning this summer, they have to move to that area around the end of this month. Since he joined our team back in August 2008, Dylan has been an extremely valuable staff member as well as a great friend. If your calendar allows and you’d like to wish Dylan and Tricia good luck, please feel free to stop by on Saturday, May 18th, around 6PM. We’ll be over at the T-hangars beside the new maintenance facility for a good time of fellowship, food, and more as we thank Dylan for his excellent work and great friendship over the past years.

Wes-BourneSince we know Dylan’s time with us is ending fairly soon, Sweet Aviation hired another mechanic to help lead the new aircraft maintenance department. We are very fortunate to be able to hire Wes Bourne from Angola, IN to fill this new position as Director of Maintenance. Wes comes to us with 20 years of experience working here in the Northeast Indiana area on general aviation aircraft. Not only is Wes a highly experienced A&P as well as IA, his particular field of expertise perfectly matches our customers’ needs. Please stop by the new maintenance facility and pay Wes a visit as well as see what our new aircraft maintenance shop is all about.

Joel Pierce

General Manager & Chief Flight Instructor

A fan of flight ever since childhood, Joel earned his private pilot certificate in September 2002. In 2003, he attended the International ALERT Academy, where he obtained his instrument rating along with his commercial and flight instructor certificates. After graduating, he joined the ALERT faculty as a flight instructor and an assistant department manager. During this time, Joel met his wife, Laura. They married in 2006 and now have two children. In 2008, Joel became the flight operations director for Smith Field Air Service and now leads the staff at Sweet Aviation. Joel has over 5,000 hours of flight instruction and is driven by a passion for helping customers achieve their dreams. Joel is type rated in Sweet Aviation’s Cirrus Vision Jet, certified to fly a customer’s T-28, able to go fly some aerobatic maneuvers in the Super Decathlon, and on top of all this, he gets to share his intense passion for flying with so many other aviation enthusiasts in the Fort Wayne area.