ever has the phrase “the sky’s the limit” been truer than with the evolution of Aero Aviation Ltd. over the past 40 years. In 1979, Adrian Cruse opened the doors to Aero Metal Fabrication Ltd., which later became Aero Aviation Ltd., to serve the Calgary aircraft sheet metal repair and modification market. A year later, he took on his third employee, Donald Pott (Ducky), who several years later became a part owner in the enterprise. Over the decades that followed, the partners took their services to every corner of the world.
“We’ve worked all over the world – Belgium, Australia, Tanzania, Yemen, France, Germany, Brazil, Antigua, Thailand, South Africa, England, USA and wherever else we were needed,” says Ducky, Vice President. “Now we work mostly in Canada, working for aircraft operators in Ontario, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.”
No matter where they are, Aero technicians bring their attention to detail and second-to-none expertise with them to ensure clients’ aircraft are up and flying quickly. Since its beginning, this small company has delivered big results, becoming the go-to company to meet their customers’ needs for aircraft sheet metal repair, composite repair and overhaul and aircraft line maintenance. Aero has also worked with manufacturers to implement modifications to their aircraft.
“The manufacturer would identify a modification during production, but rather than trying to implement the change on the manufacturing line they would have Aero carry out the modification after delivery to the operator,” says Adrian, President.
Along with this modification work, Aero also repairs parts damaged by everything from bird strikes to hail damage to aircraft salvage. Over the years, Aero has assisted aircraft manufacturers with validation of service bulletins, developed cargo/passenger modifications, performed heavy maintenance checks on everything from Hercules airplanes to 737s. Aero also does inspections and repairs on parts with its preventative maintenance program for major carriers and private jets. Aero technicians will disassemble components, thoroughly inspect them, repair anything that is faulty, and reassemble them to ensure compliance with manufacturer and regulatory requirements. While Aero is not a parts manufacturer, they will fabricate unavailable parts in-house in order to make the necessary repairs.
As the industry has grown and the engineering of aircraft has evolved, so has Aero. Today, the company specializes in composite component repair and overhaul. Many of today’s airplanes have flight controls, flaps and entire fuselages made of graphite, Kevlar or other composite construction.
“The composite structure has very few mechanical fasteners so it’s all done with resins, heat and an autoclave, which incorporates pressure and heat to bond the assembly together,” says Adrian. “We have one of the largest independently-owned autoclaves in Western Canada.”
Aero has earned its reputation for quality workmanship, experience in every imaginable aviation situation and competitive pricing, which has contributed to the company’s longevity in the industry. It is now one of the largest aircraft composite and component repair companies in Western Canada.
Through the years, Aero has developed long-lasting relationships with clients, which include aircraft manufacturers, cargo carriers, aircraft charter companies, national and international airlines. Aero takes pride in providing dedicated service with a quality product on time and on budget, and has made that a priority since the beginning.
“If we say the airplane is going to be done in three days, it’s done in three days or less. We do our best to undersell and over-deliver. We make sure the customer has the product they deserve. There is no grey area. We consistently turn out a quality product at competitive prices,” says Ducky. “One of the greatest assets of Aero’s business is our people. The work that Aero does is extremely labour intensive and we are proud to say that Aero’s workforce is as highly skilled and conscientious as any in our industry. Thank you to everyone at Team Aero.”
For 40 years, Aero Aviation has kept clients around the world flying high. Aero has grown from a one-man shop to one with 30 employees, a hangar facility and a reputation that attracts the biggest names in aviation. Ducky and Adrian have no designs on throttling down any time soon.