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Pentastar Aviation donates equipment to WMU

Oct. 8, 2009

BATTLE CREEK, Mich.--A strong and growing relationship between Pentastar Aviation and Western Michigan University's College of Aviation has led to a major equipment donation to the college that will support college operations and enhance charter air travel for college visitors, Bronco athletic teams and visiting athletes who regularly use the college as a travel base.

The equipment donated by Pentastar includes a Hyster Forklift; a B-4 TronAir work stand; a Grove 60-foot, man-lift; and a set of drivable air stairs capable of accommodating aircraft up to and including a B-7373 or A-320. Financial support was also provided for refurbishing and maintaining the equipment. In all, the total donation exceeds $40,000.

Pentastar's donation will expand the college's capabilities to accommodate charter flight passengers visiting the area or heading to or from the University. Those passengers often include visiting athletic teams. In addition, WMU athletic teams, including the Bronco football squad, also use the aviation facility as a base for charter flights when the team is headed for a distant match-up.

Rick Maloney, president and chief executive officer of Pentastar Aviation and former dean of the College of Aviation, will return to the college's W.K. Kellogg Airfield facilities at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, to formally make the donation and present a check to Capt. David Powell, dean of the College of Aviation. Members of the WMU Board of Trustees, representatives of Battle Creek Unlimited and city and community leaders will be on hand for the event and a brief news conference.

"We are pleased to donate several pieces of equipment along with the funds to restore and maintain them," Maloney said. "Pentastar Aviation remains committed to fostering partnerships that advance aviation education as well as serving as an active member in the aviation community."

Maloney left WMU in 2007 to take the top post at Pentastar after serving as head of WMU's aviation programs for four years. Pentastar Aviation provides a full range of aviation services with fixed base operations--FBO--facilities at Oakland County International Airport in Waterford, Mich., and Van Nuys Airport in Van Nuys, Calif. The company has been owned since 2001 by Edsel B. Ford II, a lifelong aviation enthusiast.

"The donations by Pentastar are further validation of the WMU College of Aviation as a force in aviation education," says James Hettinger, a member of the WMU Board of Trustees and the retired head of Battle Creek Unlimited. "We are deeply grateful to Mr. Ford and Capt. Maloney for their support and we look forward to continuing a strong partnership with Pentastar Aviation."

Pentastar Aviation

For more than 45 years, Pentastar Aviation has been a leader in the business aviation industry. Pentastar provides award-winning aircraft maintenance, aircraft management services, aircraft charter, avionics design/install/repair and knowledgeable aviation advisors. The company's repair station received Airframe Class 3 and 4 Ratings from the Federal Aviation Administration in January 2009. Pentastar's world-class FBOs provide exceptional customer service and amenities.

WMU College of Aviation

The College of Aviation boasts enrollment of nearly 700 students in three programs--aviation maintenance technology, aviation science and administration, and aviation flight science. The college's mission is to prepare leaders who are sought after by the aerospace industry and to engage in meaningful research that advances the knowledge base. The college's vision is to be the premier aerospace education and research institution in a diverse global society. Founded in 1939, the college has operated since 1997 from the W.K. Kellogg Airfield in Battle Creek.

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Media contact, WMU: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu
Media contact, Pentastar: Danielle Tanner, (248) 666-8221

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400