Joe Covelli, MBA
Air Command International LLC
Being president and owner of two aviation companies puts me in touch with customers and manufacturing partners worldwide. It’s exciting to share aviation and gyroplane flying with others, and each companies strong brands.
I've learned over time that everyone in aviation has a story to share on why they decided to fly. Aviation is a small group, with less than 1% of the United States population holding a pilots certificate. It's a great group to be with; I enjoy it. If you're not a pilot but are interested, I suggest exploring it further and seeing what develops. I hear from so many people who say, "I wish I would have done this sooner in my life." I'm one of those people, too.
My aviation story began when I was 12-years old, and my neighbor, whom I cut his grass in the summers, asked my brother and me if we wanted to wash his Mooney airplane and afterward go for a flight. Of course, the experience was fantastic, and I always remembered it.
Later in life, aviation seemed to always 'popup' at various times. In 2006, after volunteering several years in emergency medical services (EMS) and working in EMS association management, I was hired by Life Link III, Minneapolis, Minnesota, as a regional manager for their medical helicopter base and ambulance operations in Western Wisconsin. This experience blended my EMS work in helping others to a new world in aviation and the excitement that came with it. Unfortunately, the 2008 recession hit, and my job was eliminated for budget reasons. A friend reminded me to take the opportunity and turn lemons into lemonade.
A few months after that job loss, another friend showed me his Air Command gyroplane. It became an interest, and I was excited to learn more about it. A few months later, I took a leap of faith and traveled to Texas to meet people involved in gyroplanes. Later, this included two trips to Texas to meet Air Command owner Harold Smith and see the operation. Following a few years of discussions, I became the company's new owner in September 2017.
As I was just starting my new ownership of Air Command, I was informed by the company's longtime rotor blade manufacturer that they sold the business, and he felt the future of the rotors were unknown. To meet our commitment in manufacturing gyroplanes, and the need for new rotor blades, we made the commitment to purchase Skywheels rotors in September 2018, and bring the high-performance and popular rotor system back into production following a 16-year pause.
Over the years, I've built professional experiences in broadcasting, medical sales, emergency medical services, event planning, association management, operations, project management, and now, aviation. I've met and worked with great people along the way.
Leading Air Command and Skywheels presents another opportunity to learn new skills, meet more people, see new places, and enjoy life. We've developed a great team of staff members, engineers, consultants, volunteers, customers, and a group of manufacturing partners who all have a shared vision for our companies.
Come join us! Let us help you learn more about Air Command and Skywheels and share the excitement of aviation and gyroplane flying.
Don't wait. Go fly if aviation interests you.