Michigan Governor Rich Snyder Visits Kalitta Air in Oscoda MI

Article written by Cindy Goodboo-Schultz

It’s been around 12 years since a seated governor has visited Iosco County. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder visited Kalitta Air in Oscoda MI, hosted by 106th District State Rep. Peter Pettalia (R-Presque Isle) July 17th 2014.

Kirk Profit, from the Governmental Consultant Services, made arrangements for the Governor and Peter Pettalia to tour Kalitta Air in Oscoda while they visit Iosco County.   Genuinely, Governor Rick Snyder and Peter Pettalia accepted Connie and Doug Kalitta’s invitation. 

Beside Connie and Doug Kalitta were a few top key people from Kalitta Air providing a warm and friendly greeting, Don Nolan, Rich Bray, Bob Fabyan, Zoltan Kocis, Heath Nicolls, Mark Nolff, Steve Brewer, Kirk Profit and Laurie Stockton welcoming the Governor Rick Snyder and 106th District State Rep. Peter Pettalia. 

During the tour of Kalitta Air they visited the construction site of Hangar 9. Hangar 9 is a $9.7 million dollar project that is partially being funded by a $2 million dollar grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation Strategic Fund. 

"Kalitta Air’s growth is making a real difference to productivity and competitiveness which is critical to creating more business opportunities. The Growth will offer international connections, great technologies, and a positive work-together culture that supports the entrepreneurial mind-set. Our aim is dedication in which; to better serve our loyal and expanding customer base and to create more jobs; this is a very positive move forward for Iosco County and Kalitta Air.

It was an honor to have Governor Rick Snyder and Peter Pettalia visit Kalitta Air in Oscoda MI.  Both Connie and Doug Kalitta extend the invitation to Governor Rick Snyder and Peter Pettalia in hopes that they will both return to see all the accomplishments achieved with hangar 9 once it is completed.                                                            



The 26th Annual Women in Aviation Conference

Article written by Diana Bean   

     Kalitta Air OCC Employees Diana Bean, Kendra Hawley and Jennese Bean were fortunate to attend the 26TH Annual international Women in Aviation International (WAI) held in March in Dallas, TX at the Hilton Anatole.  The fact that there were more than 4,500 attendees from 16 countries and speakers who managed to get to Dallas was a minor miracle, due to the fact we had a snowy welcome that weekend.  We were lucky to get in just ahead of the storm, and of course, no one in the area knew how to “drive” in it, because it was almost three inches deep LOL!!

     The Conference was a 3-day-event, and as we were first time attendees, we were invited to the “Chapter Reception Invite” the first night.  Then we attended seminars and classes, took local tours and were inspired by innovative and remarkable speakers such as Colleen Barret, President Emeritus, Southwest Airlines and Ravi Chaudhary – FAA Executive Director for Regions and Center Operations.  

     Honorees were inducted into the 2015 Pioneer Hall of Fame – and we were inspired by such people as Pat Blum, who co-founded the Corporate Angel Network – the only charitable organization dedicated to providing free flights for kids with cancer using empty seats on corporate jets.  More than 45,000 flights since 1981!   We had seminars ranging from “Take the Lead”, an interactive and dynamic experience to keynote speakers like Amelia Rose Earhart, the youngest woman to circumnavigate the globe in a single-engine aircraft, and Heather “Lucky” Penney, one of two F-16 pilots ordered to take down United Airlines Flight 93 before it reached Washington, DC airspace on 9/11.

     And then there were the women of WASP – Women Airforce Service Pilots – who made an incredible contribution in World War II.  They numbered more than 1,074 pilots who flew more than 60 million miles in every type of military aircraft across the country.  Between September 1942 and December 1944, the WASP delivered 12,650 aircraft of 78 different types.    These fine ladies were finally granted, in 1977, “Veteran” status after so many years of being denied benefits.  They were the role models who opened doors for today’s current female military pilots.  Many of these wonderful ladies have passed, but we were fortunate to meet some of these sassy and brassy ladies and talk with them and hear their incredibly funny and heroic stories.

     Some of the tours available were to the American Airlines Flight Academy or the DFW Air Traffic Control Center.  We took the Southwest Operations and Training Facility tour and were greeted with small gifts from Southwest and one of the most interesting tours I’ve ever experienced.  

    TOPS (Training & Operational Support) was a 120 million state-of-the-art building providing a world class Operations Control Center to rival any that I have seen (which I’ve only seen ours ).  The Training portion of the facility has hundreds of walls adorned with framed portraits and mementos from all of the past and present Southwest families, instead of artwork.  You can train with realistic ticket counters, baggage services, gate and emergency evacuation trainers and we even got to experience one of the many advanced flight simulators first hand.

    We met women and men from all corners of the Aviation industry and strolled throughout the exhibitor booths of 150 companies offering information about their product, airline or services.  Hong Kong started a WAI Chapter and we met the ladies from Delta who are working to expand this international network of aviation professionals. We also met with some of the members of the local Ypsilanti WAI Chapter who attending the conference.  The “Yankee Ladies” Chapter holds several meetings a year here at Willow Run Airport.

     The meetings are over at the current Yankee Air Museum building and everyone is welcome to come and join.  There are a lot of activities going on such as the recent “Bomber Buffing” of the B-17 & the B-25 which was a huge success with a big turnout, and included some “Rosie the Riveters” as well.  

     The upcoming Willow Run Air Show with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels August 29-30 will need volunteers, and we found out that if you work a booth the Air Show is free (except for parking).

     You would be surprised that this conference is attended by more men than women as it opens doors and presents advancement and networking opportunities for many individuals in all fields of aviation. There is a huge opportunity for pilots trying to get immediate interviews with some of the major airlines through the “Fast Pass Your Career” process (yes, just like Disney Fast Pass).    This was an eye-opening learning experience – one we will never forget and hope to attend again in the future.  We hope to promote this as a great opportunity for other Kalitta OCC personnel to experience in the coming years.                        

    There are opportunities for WAI members to be mentored or mentor others as was evidenced in the closing banquet and many, many scholarships totaling around $600,000.00 given out to such deserving recipients.  If you weren’t inspired, you were definitely humbled by the whole event and the wonderful speakers and gutsy stories of women and men overcoming obstacles in the aviation industry.

     Be sure to check out the WAI official web site and read all about the 2016 conference to be held in Nashville Tennessee and many more special events.  Women in Aviation, International is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing networking, mentoring and scholarship opportunities for women and men who are striving for challenging and fulfilling careers in the aviation and aerospace industries.



Kalitta Air donates over $55,000 in care packages to deployed service members

359th TTSB Soldiers represent Army in care drop

By: Army Capt. Michelle Lunato

Bagram, Afghanistan – A few Soldiers of the 359th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade represented the Army when a team from Kalitta Air delivered over 125,000 pounds of care packages that came solely from their company.

The Michigan-based company that makes regular overseas military deliveries held a “Support the Troops” donation drive and was overwhelmed at the response, said Cindy Goodboo, special project mail coordinator. Company employees donated time, sundries and money to make the drive successful. And to assist his team in supporting deployed service members, Conrad Kalitta, company owner, matched every dollar his employees put in. In total, the company collected over $55,000 to support the troops, said Jennifer Radtke, Kalitta Air quality control records analyst.

“It was a shocker, and shopping for all that stuff was so much fun.” In addition to the variety of snacks and hygiene items, the care packages included letters and drawings from local schools, iTunes gift cards, and Kalitta Air paraphernalia. “We just wanted to put a smile on all your faces with heartfelt thanks,” said Radtke. The company definitely reached that goal, said Sgt. Maj. John Schiffli, plans and operations sergeant major, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 359th TTSB. “These packages will mean the world to those service members who don’t get a lot of mail from people.”

The giving may have been just as rewarding as the receiving in this case though, said Schiffli as he recalled some of the Kalitta Air personnel were almost in tears when they were greeted on the flight line by thankful Soldiers and Marines. “There is nothing more comforting than to see all these service members,” said Goodboo.

The company runs over 20 monthly overseas trips of “need it now” supplies that range from combat vehicles to pallets of food, but the crew does not normally get to see a lot of troops, said Mike Miller, Kalitta Air captain. So, when they walked out of the plane to cheers and smiling faces from service members ranking from privates to lieutenant colonels, they were deeply touched, said Miller “It makes you feel great that they came out to meet us.” Getting to meet a few of the people who went out of their way to make service members a little more at home and happy was the real honor, though, said Spc. Courtesia Wilson, generator mechanic, HHC, 359th TTSB. “We are appreciated more than we think, and that means a lot.” And considering the vast amount of care packages and the personal delivery when the economy is so tight, “it is a major sacrifice on their part, and we need to be mindful of that,” said Wilson.

The Kalitta Air employees and volunteers, many of whom are former service members themselves, did not consider their efforts to be a sacrifice, but rather one way to show the troops that we care about them, said Goodboo. “They knew what this would mean to the troops overseas and wanted to show their support.”

“After seeing all the sundries come off that plane, I was duly impressed at how much effort and care must have gone into this project,” said Sgt. 1st Class Dan Wallen, plans and operations noncommissioned officer in charge, HHC, 359th TTSB. “It was refreshing to know that so many people still care about us Soldiers.



Boeing 747-400 BCF Press Release

Kalitta Air Buys Boeing 747-400 BCF

Ypsilanti, MI, Dec. 3, 2007

Kalitta Air, L.L.C. announced today that it has agreed to purchase a Boeing 747-400 BCF (Boeing converted freighter), the first of several such aircraft that it plans to add to its fleet in coming years. The international all-cargo airline based at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Michigan, has agreed to purchase the 747-400 BCF, equipped with four (4) General Electric CF6-80 C2B1F engines, from Japan Airlines/JALUX, Inc. The aircraft is to be delivered in May 2009. Kalitta Air’s CEO, Connie Kalitta, expressed his enthusiasm for the new acquisition: “This is an exciting time for us. The technological advances of the 747-400 BCF include significantly greater range and fuel efficiency over earlier model Boeing freighters, making it an ideal aircraft for our global network. This purchase marks a milestone for Kalitta Air, which is completing another year of record revenues and is solidly positioned for future growth.” Mr. Kalitta said that the company is negotiating for a second 747-400 aircraft for 2009 delivery, adding that the company’s goal is to add eight additional 747-400 freighter aircraft to its fleet over the next few years. Kalitta Air operates a scheduled all-cargo route network that extends from Hong Kong to the US and on to Europe and the Middle East. It also provides aircraft on an ACMI basis to major international airlines, operates commercial freight charters worldwide and provides 747 freighter lift to the US Department of Defense. The company began service in November 2000 with three Boeing 747- 200 freighters. Kalitta Air’s fleet now totals 19 Boeing 747 freighter aircraft. Kalitta Air also operates a FAR Part 145 Repair Station in Oscoda, Michigan with more than 700 employees. This facility performs the heavy/line maintenance on the Kalitta fleet, as well as fleet maintenance, repair and service to other aircraft operators. An additional wide body hangar is under construction with a completion date of January 2008. According to Mr. Kalitta, “This additional hangar will enable our company to better maintain our fleet of aircraft, as well as accommodate maintenance services for other airlines.” 



Kalitta to the rescue - Giving back for Hurricane Katrina

Kalitta Air is dedicated to serving those in need. Kalitta Air ships freight worldwide and is proud to help in the relief effort. Water is a human necessity and Kalitta Air is pitching in to support those struggling in hurricane Katrina's deadly path.

Bottled water is being loaded onto Kalitta's cargo planes for fast shipment to those suffering in Katrina's aftermath. Then, the water is being loaded onto US military trucks and taken where it will help the most. Kalitta Air feels for those who are struggling through this disaster, we hope our involvement will boost morale and sustain those who receive these shipments.