Flashback: Chrysler Flight Dept. Disbanded; New FBO Created

 - January 6, 2022, 11:03 AM
Aviation Convention News 1/15/82 p.69

With AIN Media Group's Aviation International News and its predecessor Aviation Convention News celebrating the company's 50th year of continuous publication this year, AIN’s editorial staff is going back through the archives each month to bring readers some interesting events that were covered over the past half-century.

REWIND (JANUARY 1982): A new corporate FBO, Pentastar Aviation, has been formed in Detroit. Located at Detroit’s Willow Run Airport, Pentastar embodies the personnel and facilities of the former air transportation department of Chrysler Corp.

The newly formed company holds an FAA-certified repair station license with ratings in airframe, powerplant, accessory, instrument, and specialized services. On airframes it is licensed to work on the Gulfstream I and II, Sabreliner 40 and 60, Cessna Citation I and II, and all models of Learjets. Its powerplant ratings extend to Rolls-Royce Darts and Speys; Garrett 731s and 331s; P&W JTD12s and 15s; and General Electric CJ610s.

The firm also has a FAR 135 certificate under which it is offering charters with a Gulfstream II, two Learjet 35s, and a Citation II. Chrysler was forced to sell the airplanes in its flight department—a Gulfstream II and Learjet 35—in 1981 as a condition for obtaining a large loan from the federal government. However, it retains a Citation II on lease.

FAST-FORWARD: Pentastar opened a second FBO at Oakland County International Airport in 1989 and by 1994 had fully moved its headquarters there, selling off its Willow Run location in 1997. Nearly four decades since its debut, the company remains a perennial top finisher in AIN’s annual FBO survey.