Uncovering the Story of Castle Aviation: From Single-Plane Charter to Private Aviation Leader

Castle Aviation has been providing private aviation services since 1969. Founded by former Navy pilot James “Mac” McKeever and his wife, Edith, they originally used a single Cessna 150 to offer charter flights. The company grew quickly and soon had a fleet of five planes.

In 1976, the company expanded to include a base in Cleveland, Ohio. This new location allowed them to better serve the Midwest region and offered them the opportunity to offer additional services such as flight instruction, aircraft maintenance and aircraft sales.

In the years that followed, Castle Aviation continued to grow and expand its services. In 1984, the company acquired its first jet aircraft, a Lear Jet 25. This was the first of many jet aircraft that would be added to the fleet. In addition to jet aircraft, the company continued to invest in other aircraft such as turboprops and helicopters.

In 1988, Castle Aviation began offering fractional ownership of aircraft. This allowed customers to purchase a portion of an aircraft, and then use it as they needed. This was a popular option for customers looking for more flexibility in their private aviation needs.

In 2006, Castle Aviation was acquired by Pinnacle Aviation, a private equity firm. This allowed the company to expand its fleet even further and offer additional services such as aircraft management and executive charters.

In 2009, the company made its largest acquisition to date when it purchased the assets of Air Charter International. This acquisition gave the company access to a larger fleet of aircraft and additional services such as overseas charters.

In 2014, Castle Aviation was acquired by JetEdge International, a leader in private aviation services. This allowed the company to offer even more services such as aircraft acquisitions, aircraft management, and private jet charters.

Throughout its history, Castle Aviation has experienced several notable incidents. In 1996, one of their Lear Jet 35s experienced an engine failure and crashed in the Mojave Desert. Fortunately, the pilot and co-pilot were able to make a successful emergency landing and no one was injured. In 2004, the company was involved in a federal investigation for allegedly using unqualified pilots. In 2007, a Castle Aviation Cessna Citation suffered a nose gear failure. Despite the failure, the pilot was able to make a successful emergency landing and there were no injuries.

Overall, Castle Aviation has evolved from a single-plane charter service to a leader in private aviation services. The company has continually invested in new aircraft, services, and technologies to ensure that their customers receive the highest quality of service possible.