WICHITA, Kan.—October 11, 2017—The Wichita Aero Club announced today that its eighth annual Wichita Aero Club Trophy will be presented to a Chief Executive Officer who led the re-vival of a virtually dormant business to impressive levels of success—even during an industry-wide recession—and to his team of employees at Yingling Aviation, which currently holds a well-deserved reputation as one of the nation’s leading fixed base operations, maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities and parts suppliers.
“Yingling is definitely a familiar name to Cessna owners all over the world and, of course, in more recent days to Beechcraft and other aircraft operators,” noted Dave Franson, Wichita Aero Club President. “They were actually the first Cessna dealers and celebrated their 70th anniversary in 2016 and they’re still the largest Cessna parts supplier in the world. But all of that history might have been lost if Lynn Nichols hadn’t rescued what had become a floundering enterprise by 1999. He brought his exceptional energy, business acumen, a sense of direction and proven principles that had an obvious, positive impact and have allowed Yingling to grow and develop new opportunities even during a difficult period for general and business aviation.”
The citation which accompanied Mr. Nichols’ and Yingling’s nomination reads:
For providing exceptional services, exemplary business practices, job-generating initia-tives and creative alternatives that advance both the industry and the community, Lynn Nichols and Yingling Aviation have achieved notable success during a difficult business cycle for general and business aviation and are deserving of the Wichita Aero Club Tro-phy.
The nomination stated that Nichols literally “rescued” Yingling from imminent closure and has brought it to the point that it is now one of the industry’s leading FBOs, maintenance and service facilities, and the “go-to” destination for a broad range of products and services, ranging from interior modifications and aircraft overhauls, to propeller services and AOG parts.
It went on to note that “Yingling continues to add solutions to the industry’s major challenges, developing new maintenance procedures and programs that extend the lives of legacy aircraft. Yingling has also introduced affordable remanufactured airplanes that make it possible for flight schools and flying clubs to pursue a new generation of student pilots and rekindle the interest among individuals who had decided flying was just too expensive.”
During its seven decades as one of the world’s leading service facilities for the entire line of Cessna products, Yingling gained unparalleled experience maintaining Cessna’s line of propeller-driven aircraft, which ranged from the early two-place Model 120s and 140s all the way to the turboprop Caravans and Conquests. In 2015, it also became an authorized service center for Beechcraft propeller driven airplanes. The addition of the Bonanza and Baron products came as no surprise, since Yingling has, throughout its history, been involved in a continual expansion of its services and has grown its capacity and capabilities in engine, airframe, avionics, propeller and parts support to compliment the strong background and reputation it developed as a leader in interior modifications. The company previously grew that enterprise to include other than Cessna products, so the Textron Aviation acquisition was a logical opportunity to extend its industry leading maintenance and service capabilities to cover Beechcraft’s line of piston propeller driven aircraft, as well.
Yingling is an FAA and EASA Approved Part 145 repair station. It is also a factory authorized service provider for Avidyne, Bendix/King, Chelton, Garmin, Honeywell, L3, NAT, PS Engineer-ing, Rockwell Collins, Sandel and Genesys Aerosystems avionics and operates McCauley, MT Propeller and Sensenich factory authorized prop shops.
Located on Wichita’s Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport, Yingling’s impressive facilities also include one of the country’s most popular pilot shops, the Aviator’s Attic, a source for just about everything a pilot needs, including aviation-related apparel, gifts, training manuals, books, handheld avionics, and even collectibles. Yingling is also home to a full-service Subway Cafe, that offers a full menu of sandwiches and Mama DeLuca’s Pizzas, too.
Lynn Nichols continues to grow Yingling’s business while also serving the community. He is a past chairman of the Wichita Chamber of Commerce and serves on the boards of several local business and charities, including DOC’s FRIENDS, the group involved with the restoration, re-turn to flight and establishment of a permanent hangar and home for “Doc”, one of only two fly-able B-29s in the world. The airplane originally rolled off the production line in Wichita in 1944.
“Lynn’s long-time service and commitment to the community of Wichita, his leadership in the aviation industry, and his noteworthy and ongoing success make him a highly deserving candi-date for the Wichita Aero Club trophy,” stated Jeff Peier, Chairman of the Wichita Aero Club Board. The Trophy will be awarded to Mr. Nichols in January, 2018. Details of the presentation event will be announced in the near future.
Previous winners of the Wichita Aero Club Trophy are:
• Velma Wallace 2011
• Jeff Turner, Spirit AeroSystems 2012
• John O’Leary, Airbus Americas 2013
• Russell W. Meyer, Jr. 2014
• Al Higdon, 2015
• DOC’s Friends Volunteers, 2016
• Paul Bowen, 2017
Established in 2008 to foster and promote interest in aviation and provide a forum fo-cused on the industry’s issues and achievements, the Wichita Aero Club brings those with a passion for flight together in an environment that expands and enhances profes-sional relationships and furthers cooperation and understanding.
The WAC Trophy is awarded annually to a living person, group or existing organization with a strong relationship to the greater Wichita area who have distinguished them-selves in the field of aviation or aerospace within the most recent calendar year or dur-ing a cumulative career of significant achievement and contribution. For more infor-mation on the Wichita Aero Club, the Jan. 24 Gala or other Wichita Aero Club events, call 316-681-4491 or visit the Wichita Aero Club website at www.wichitaaeroclub.org.