Tulare, California – Long-time Air Tractor dealer Valley Air Crafts has acquired Johnston Aircraft Service, both located at Mefford Field Airport (TLR) in Tulare, California.
“Valley Air Crafts and Johnston Aircraft Service have served our respective customers right here at Mefford Field. Now that both companies are under the same management, we are retaining the same personnel, same parts availability, and shop capabilities,” reports Michael Schoenau, owner and president of Valley Air Crafts. “As these two companies consolidate their resources, I believe we can provide even better sales, service and parts for our customers here in Tulare, California as well as those throughout the Northwest U.S.”
Since 1984 Valley Air Crafts has been a well-known resource for California’s Central Valley aerial applicators. In 1996 it became an Air Tractor authorized service center. In 2005 it became an Air Tractor dealer. In 2019, the company expanded its Air Tractor territory beyond California to include Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.
“Expert service, aircraft sales, and responsive parts support has built our reputation. Now, we are pleased to combine our expertise with Johnston Aircraft Service customers and to earn their trust and business,” says Schoenau.
Johnston Aircraft Service has served ag aviators and general aviation flyers since 1947,” adds Schoenau. “Dave Johnston has been a strong presence in California’s ag aviation community for generations,” says Schoenau. The company began by modifying post-war surplus Stearman biplanes for aerial application. Business steadily grew through the 1960’s and 1970’s as Johnston Aircraft Service became a dealer/distributor for several ag aircraft manufacturers. “We are grateful that we’ve found an opportunity to carry on this business and Dave’s legacy,” Schoenau added.
Schoenau will oversee the current operations of Johnston Aircraft Service. Dave Johnston will also remain a presence at the company for a time, helping with a smooth transition and ensuring continuity in service and operational efficiency.
“I’ll stay for awhile to assist and advise Michael,” says Johnston. “He’s going to gain some good employees with this deal. But Johnston adds that he’s ready for a change of pace. “There are places my wife and I want to go and see. We want to visit our children. I was a hot rodder in my earlier years, and who knows? I may do a little of that again.”
Johnston believes that Valley Air Crafts is in a good position. “There’s a good future in the ag aviation business. There really is. It looks to me like Air Tractor is going to own the future as far as ag aviation goes. So, for Michael, this all should work out well.”
As Valley Air Crafts and Johnston Aircraft Service join forces, aviators in the skies above Tulare and the Central Valley of California can expect stronger service and aviation support that supports the local economy and sets the stage for continued growth and innovation.
For more information, visit the Valley Air Crafts website: thevalleyaircrafts.com.