Aircraft Maintenance About Us

History of Blackhawk Aircraft Maintenance
by Nick Quint, Vice President


BTC Class of 1960July 1960 ~ I, Nick Quint, received my A&P Certificates from Janesville Vocational School (currently Blackhawk Technical College).

April 1961 ~ I started working as an aircraft mechanic for Roy True of True Aviation located at Janesville’s Rock County Airport.

At the same time, Parker Pen Company of Janesville, WI sold their Beech 18 and  purchased an Executive DC-3. One year later, they purchased a Douglas A-26 On-Mark conversion. Parker Pen was one of Roy’s customers and they would look to True Aviation to assist when an inspection was due. I was the mechanic Roy chose for the job. This is when I met Dick Wixom, a pilot/mechanic for Parker Pen Company.

Mid 1965 ~ Parker Pen dropped their aviation department. Dick Wixom and several other business men from Janesville decided to start their own freight company called Midwest Aviation, Inc. Their first plane was a Beech D18S equipped with a cargo door.
Aircraft Mainenance WI

January 1966 ~ Dick Wixom called me and asked if I would like to work for Midwest Aviation and I accepted. They had already expanded and purchased another D-18S. By 1968, Midwest had acquired fifteen Beech 18s, six DC-3s and three DC-4s – all for freight.

February 1970 ~ Due to the economy, Midwest Aviation had to close their doors.

March 1970 ~ The late Cal Kramer and I started our first company called Aircraft Maintenance Specialists, Inc. Dick Wixom and his wife Joan started Blackhawk Airways, Inc. and purchased the first Beech D-18S they had started with. The Beech 18, at that time, was the popular choice for the freight industry. We, Aircraft Maintenance Specialists, started purchasing Executive E18S and converting them into cargo liners.  At the same time, the Beech was having issues with its spars.

1975 ~ All flying Beech 18’s need a reinforcement strap installed. Our company, Aircraft Maintenance Specialists, was one of the Midwest area shops approved by the STC Holders for installation of their products.

1976 ~ Blackhawk Airways had eight Beech 18s and we, Aircraft Maintenance Specialists, were their preferred shop. We assisted them with their inspections and converted each Beech they were purchasing. I then suggested to Dick that we should combine the two companies – and we did. Blackhawk Airways bought Aircraft Maintenance Specialists, Inc. and changed the name to Aircraft Maintenance Service, Inc. We built several new hangars throughout the upcoming years and made the decision to start restoration work.

1985 ~ My oldest son, Michael, graduated from Blackhawk Technical College with his A&P certificates. After graduation, Michael started to work for United Airlines.

Nick Quint receives the Charles Taylor Award1990 ~ My youngest son, Joesph, graduated from Blackhawk Technical College with his A&P certificates. After graduation, Joe started working for me and has been ever since.

Mid 1996 ~ We decided to sell Aircraft Maintenance Service, Inc. to Gail Force Freight Company who had turbine aircraft to add to our fleet. 

Winter 1999 ~ I decided that Gail Force was going in a different direction than I was interested in. I asked my son Joe if he’d like to start his own business. I felt I was just too old to start another one. Unfortunately, we had to drop a lot of old customers due to Gail Forces maintenance program.

January 1, 2000 ~ Joe and I conferred with Dick Wixom on using the name “Blackhawk” in our title. Dick, “Chief Blackhawk” told us he’d be glad if we would. So, we decided on Blackhawk Aircraft Maintenance, Inc. and we also purchased Blackhawk Airways original hanger. My son Joe is the President, I’m the VP and my wife Jeane is the Secretary Treasurer.

“Chief Blackhawk”, Dick Wixom – now in his 80’s still flys his Staggerwing we restored for him and still ferrys Beech 18’s for us.

Twin Beech Merit Award Fifty Years of Service 2010 Twin Beech Merit Award
Aviaton Mechanic Safety Award 1971 Best Wildcat 2004 Saftey Award
Grumman Golden Wrench 1994 T 28B Silver Wrench 1989 P 40 Golden Wrench 1992