Our management team represents over 70 years of aviation operations, management, business and finance experience. Our experience covers the entire spectrum of aircraft operated (single engine to business class turbines) and type of operation (private usage to leasing to charter).
Tom Cargin has over 30 years of experience in financial and business management, including over 18 in the commercial aviation industry. After earning his accounting degree from Missouri Southern State College, Mr. Cargin served in various public and private accounting positions. During this time he developed extensive financial and business management skills serving growing private and public companies. His financial management experience includes securing financing for acquisitions and growing working capital needs, to public offerings, private equity offerings, international contracts and financing, and financial reporting.
A pilot since age 16, Mr. Cargin used the opportunity to purchase the assets of Air Associates of Kansas, Inc. in 2002 to pursue his passion for aviation and formed Air Associates of Kansas which under his leadership has become a full service fixed base operator on Johnson County Executive Airport (OJC) in Olathe, KS. Air Associate provides aircraft management, charter, maintenance, storage, aircraft rental and instruction services. Air Associates is a Cessna Pilot Center (utilizing the latest in Cessna training aircraft and training techniques) and a Cessna Service Center providing warranty and maintenance services on Cessna Single Engine aircraft.
Over time, Mr. Cargin has developed strong relationships with the financial, insurance, and legal communities. His strong operational background, combined with his business, sales and marketing experience, provide him with a distinct perspective and understanding of business aviation.
Jay’s roots run deep in the Kansas City community and he is a native of Liberty Missouri, where he attended William Jewell College earning his Bachelor of Science, Business Administration. He acquired his pilot ratings while attending college full time on an academic scholarship, and working full time as a lineman with Executive Beechcraft at the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport (MKC) in Kansas City.
His talent as a pilot and aptitude for business and mechanics gained him recognition with Puritan Bennett in 1987 where he served as Captain for their Rockwell Sabreliner and Diamond Jet flight operations in Europe,Canada and the Continental U.S. He also served as Maintenance Director during his 7 ½ years at Puritan Bennett.
In January of 1995, Jay returned to Executive Beechcraft Inc. where he served as the Director of Aircraft Sales and Management for nearly 14 years. Jay’s responsibilities included the management of 15 aircraft and 28 pilots, as well as Executive’s Charter department. During his tenure he amassed aircraft sales of over $150,000,000 and took the aircraft management business from 2 to 15 aircraft.
Jay’s final step on his path to MKC Aviation was to serve as the Director of Flight Operations for the Kansas City based Cerner Corporation. He started Cerner’s flight department in 2006, setting up a base at MKC, establishing procedures, hiring and managing a team of pilots, a maintenance director and scheduler. He also assisted in the sale of one of the Cerner aircraft and managed the purchase of 3 additional aircraft.
Jay offers over three decades of experience and accomplishments in the general aviation industry, including acceptance and delivery of over 25 new aircraft. Throughout his career, he has had the opportunity to establish a strong network of prominent company principals in the greater Kansas Cityarea making him one of the most respected and recognized names in Kansas City Corporate Aviation. Jay is currently type rated in the following aircraft and has a total of over 11,000 flight hours.
Jay’s commitment to Aviation Safety has resulted in him attending Flight Safety International over 50 times in his career.