With open logbooks and ledgers strategically situated around his office, Operations Manager Tim Brooks spends his second week on the job digging into the FBO and learning about the community it serves for the new owner of Orion Flight Services.
“I work for Eastern Aviation Fuels,” which is located in New Bern, North Carolina, said Brooks. The national marketer for Shell’s aviation fuels, its dealer network includes more than 400 FBOs nationwide. Shell’s new unleaded aviation fuel will be on tap would be on tap in Oshkosh as soon as the FAA approves it.
At this early date, specific expansion plans will depend on his analysis of the county’s aviation businesses. After noting the exemplary services offered by a number of them, Brooks said Orion’s goal is to “fill in the gaps.”
On that list of possibilities is a full-service FAA-approved avionics repair station. “We’d also like to expand our fleet of rental aircraft,” he said. It now includes two Cessna 172s, and Orion will lease the Remos light-sport aircraft from the previous owners, who also retained the FAA Part 135 air charter certificate.
Orion offers maintenance because the airport requires it, said Brooks, and it would mostly serve its rental fleet. “If we bring Tecnam on board,” he continued, “I’m certified for heavy maintenance on Rotax engines, as well as knowing the Tecnam line inside and out.”
With a background in engineering, Brooks has worked in aviation for nearly 25 years. His positions have ranged from an airframe and powerplant mechanic to the head of new product development and technical support at Tecnam North America, exclusive distributor of the Italian aircraft line that ranges from light-sport to a light twin.
Wisconsin born, Brooks grew up in Minocqua and, with his wife, is moving to Oshkosh from Iron Mountain, Michigan, where he held a management position with Superior Aviation. Their kids are grown and mostly married; his son is a freshman at Michigan Tech in Houghton.
Staffing will grow with the services offered, but how many positions that might entail is impossible to quantify right now, said Brooks, who apologized for not yet having business cards. But he said he was well on the way to upgrading the pilot’s lounge and its equipment, and redoing the lobby.
In the near future Orion will expand its hours “to accommodate the early-morning arrivals and departures,” he continued. Red carpet service awaits every airplane from Cessna 150s to ocean-spanning jets. “It’ll be the place to grab a hot, fresh cinnamon roll in the morning, and cookies all day.” January is the target for the grand reopening of Orion Flight Services.