Category Archives: 2023

February/March 2023

Wilson Visits Service Centers

One of the most valuable aspects of a Twin Commander Service Center is a close connection to the factory. Technicians receive factory training, use factory approved methods, and are the exclusive providers of factory parts. The people make all that possible. Last week Twin Commander chief Bob Wilson got a chance to strengthen those connections with site visits to three Twin Commander Factory Authorized Service Centers. He spent time at Winner Aviation in Youngstown, Ohio, National Flight Services in Toldeo, Ohio, and Eagle Creek Aviation near Indianapolis. “Our fleet is only as strong as the people who support and maintain it,” Wilson said. “It was my pleasure to meet so many dedicated professionals who have the passion and expertise that make our community so strong.” Wilson said he was impressed by the facilities at each location, but more than that, it was the history of supporting Twin Commanders and the incredible depth of knowledge that really astounded him. “I have complete faith in our Service Centers to do what’s best for the operator, and I am excited to do our best for them from the factory.” You can find a full list of Factory Authorized Service Centers online.

Winter Flight Levels Out Now

Flying is delicate balance of regulations, operating practices, and personal procedures. While the regulations leave no wiggle room, that’s not always true of operating practices and procedures, which are more local or airplane-specific. Then there’s avionics, which combine everything into one—sometimes very confusing—mix. In the latest issue of Flight Levels Online, out now, up your Garmin game by learning how to better program departures and arrivals, two of the more difficult functions of the box. Through a combination of in-flight experience and knowledge gained through reading and watching videos, you can become more comfortable in the buttonology, which leads to more consistent procedures, and ultimately safer operations. Read this story, and more in the latest issue.

An Airplane with a Story

You are obviously drawn to the Commander because of the performance, the range, the useful load, and the way it makes you feel when you fly it. But, we know you love the history and the lore of the airplane, too. There’s no denying that flying a descendant of one of the first certificated civilian twin engine airplanes, one that served as Air Force One, and of course, one that wowed audiences for years through the deft hands of Bob Hoover has a special place in aviation history. You can read the whole story in Dave Duntz’s fantastic book, Stars and Commanders: The Life and Vision of Ted Smith. Duntz had unrestricted access to Smith’s files, his unpublished memoir, and more. Through his research and dozens of first-hand accounts, he creates the ultimate story of the origins of the Aero Commander and its many subsequent iterations. Anyone who is a fan of the airplane will love the book, which can be purchased online.

January 2023

Bob Wilson Takes the Helm

Longtime aerospace professional Bob Wilson has taken the head of Twin Commander Aircraft’s business line within parent company Ontic. The job also includes the responsibilities for the type certificate of the Metro/Merlin range of aircraft, which is now within Ontic’s combined type certificate group based in Creedmoor, North Carolina. Wilson came to the position from Elbit Systems, where he served as the commercial aviation services director. Wilson has experience in hands-on maintenance, maintenance management, engineering, sales, and management. He will be responsible for all areas of Twin Commander’s business, including engineering, sales, service, and support.

Wilson’s appointment to the top job is one of a number of changes Ontic made to Twin Commander staffing as part of its goal to efficiently combine the Metro/Merlin and Twin Commander type certificates under one roof. Pam Moore is now the customer account manager, interfacing directly with customer support needs, while Pam Brown now focuses exclusively on purchasing. Conan Fox, an experienced engineer for Metro/Merlin, will lend engineering support to Twin Commander, especially as the company searches for a new full-time replacement for Alan Wright, who retired last year.

Twin Commander Seeking Tech Rep

Supporting customers, using detective skills to find solutions to complex problems, and identifying areas for improvement. This describes a typical day for most maintenance managers, and it’s also a good skillset for Twin Commander Aircraft’s next technical support engineer.

The factory is seeking a technical support engineer to serve as the primary contact for all technical support tasks related to Twin Commander. The candidate will also act as a primary member of the Service Difficulty Review Board. As the conduit between customers and factory engineering resources, the technical support engineer is in a unique position to help generate improvements and solutions that help the fleet.

According to Ontic’s job posting, the ideal candidate will have a degree in engineering and 15 years of aircraft experience, or 20 years of relevant experience. Hands-on knowledge of Twin Commanders is a plus, as is knowledge of TPE-331 engines. Most importantly, the right person will use a customer-focused attitude to solve challenges by utilizing original drawings and documents.

You can find the job posting online, and apply directly via the website.

Read the Latest Flight Levels Online

If you’ve seen a Twin Commander on YouTube, there’s a good chance it’s been Tim Timmons flying. Timmons is the man behind Flying Wild AZ, a channel where he features dozens of videos about his life flying a 690B for Ponderosa Aviation. The channel has videos about what it’s like to fly medevac, various Twin Commander systems, and more. You can find the full story in the winter issue of Flight Levels Online, available now. While you’re there, learn why it’s important to share good news from component inspections, get the latest on 2023 tax incentives, and brush up on the gotchas of programming  arrivals and departures. You can find these stories and many more in the latest issue of Flight Levels Online.

Share Your Content

Pilots love to share their passion for flight. Whether it’s great photos or video like Flying Wild AZ, we want to see what you’ve shot. Share your fun, educational, or awe-inspiring content with us and we’ll share it with the rest of the community so that everyone can experience the amazement and joy of flying a Twin Commander. Send your photos and video links of your content to [email protected] and thank you!