Bruce Byerly, a veteran Twin Commander sales executive and pilot, has returned as an owner to the long-time Commander service center that bears his family name—Byerly Aviation, Inc. at KPIA, General Downing-Peoria International Airport in Peoria, Illinois.
Byerly Aviation was founded in the early 1930s by Byerly’s grandfather, R. Millard Byerly, at the old Mount Hawley Airport in Peoria. He moved the business to the Greater Peoria Airport (now KPIA) in the early 1950s, and in 1954 acquired his first Aero Commander. Bruce’s father and uncle took over the business in 1969. In 1977 Byerly Aviation was named the Midwestern Commander distributor, and an authorized service center. It was sold out of the family in 2005.
Scott Welch, who acquired Byerly Aviation in 2010 from the Aviation Facilities Company, will retain 50-percent ownership and will stay on as CEO to oversee day-to-day management. Bruce Byerly will focus on sales and new-business development.
“The opportunity to come back to the old family business presented itself,” Bruce explained. “It is the right time and the right opportunity with the right people. Byerly Aviation has the staff, the knowledge base, and the experience to grow.”
“I’ve been friends with Bruce for a long time, but the relationship between myself, Bruce, and Byerly Aviation goes back even further,” Scott commented. “There is a chemistry between all of us involved in this partnership that will take us to a higher flight level than any of us could achieve on our own. We’re very excited about it, especially those who are still around from the old days.”.
Bruce grew up around the business, and believes there is great potential for growth. Peoria is located midway between Chicago and St. Louis, and is served by scheduled airlines that Byerly Aviation supports with ground services. It is a full-service aviation business with traditional FBO services for based and transient aircraft, an avionics sales and installation shop, and a paint shop specializing in turboprops and light jets. The company also maintains an active aircraft charter certificate.
Byerly Aviation has full capability to maintain, inspect, repair, and upgrade all models of Twin Commanders. Byerly has performed many Dash 10T engine conversions and several Grand Renaissance conversions over the years.
The management team at Byerly Aviation also includes Tim McKune, the former Director of Technical Services who will assume the role of General Manager. Ryan Grenhoff will continue as Director of Maintenance and Joe Hillman as Director of Operations.
For more information see www.byerlyaviation.com/ or contact the company at 309-697-6300.