Mark Schmaltz and Kurt Kohler met in 1978 while flying for Wings West Airlines (Ask them if they've ever flown to Mammoth Lakes!!)  Between flights, they'd often discuss plans for their futures and the possibility of someday starting their own aviation company.  In late 1982, suddenly unemployed, they decided the time was right to do just that.   

Spirit Aviation 1980sIn February 1983, their new company, Spirit Aviation, flew its first charter.  Spirit started with one plane and one pilot.  At that time Spirit operated from a small office and hangar  at Van Nuys Airport - off of Woodley Avenue.  

Before too long they had acquired several more King Air turboprops and had hired a team of talented young pilots.  By the end of the 1980's they had gained the reputation of being the "go to" guys for turboprop charter.