Eagle Creek in the News

Eagle Creek Aviation: A Quarter-Century at the Top

Eagle Creek Aviation: A Quarter-Century at the Top as Featured in the Latest Version of Twin Commander’s FlightLevels Publication

In the 25 years that Eagle Creek Aviation Services has been owned and operated by Matt Hagans, it has evolved from a dormant Twin Commander service center to the most active facility in Twin Commander’s worldwide network of authorized service centers. Eagle Creek is the undisputed leader in Twin Commander sales, service, and upgrade activity, including Grand Renaissance conversions.

Along with being the top Commander sales organization, Eagle Creek offers complete Twin Commander inspection, maintenance, repair, and modification services, and maintains an extensive inventory of Commander parts. As an FBO it is ideally located close to downtown Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Hagans got his start in aircraft sales in 1978, working for Cessna Aircraft in Indianapolis, his hometown, and in Wichita, Atlanta, and Nashville. After being Cessna’s top mover of piston singles and twins, Hagans launched his own used aircraft sales organization. Three years later he moved back to Indy and set up Indiana Aircraft Sales at Eagle Creek Airpark (KEYE) northwest of downtown.

As the business grew, Hagans found it increasingly difficult to get on-field maintenance. He took care of that problem by buying the FBO, Eagle Creek Aviation Services. At the time it was an inactive Gulfstream Aerospace Twin Commander service center, but Hagans recognized an opportunity.

He bought a 690A from an operator, installed a new wing spar; fresh engines; new avionics, fuel cells, and windows; and performed an extensive cosmetic upgrade. It sold to the first caller, and prompted a flood of interested inquiries. “It showed me there was a market for more than just used aircraft,” Hagans says.

Eagle Creek offers complete Commander technical servicesThat led to a fundamental shift in business strategy. Instead of focusing on sales and servicing of used Cessna piston models, Eagle Creek reenergized its Commander affiliation and began to buy, sell, and upgrade Twin Commanders.

Eagle Creek’s aggressive campaign to upgrade the aircraft was based on the simple objective of boosting the overall market value of Twin Commanders. If potential buyers perceived a lack of factory or service center support or the airplanes failed to meet contemporary standards for performance, avionics, comfort, and cosmetics, prices would inexorably decline. That would attract a different type of buyer, one less interested in maintaining the aircraft at the high level practiced at authorized service centers such as Eagle Creek. The inevitable effect would be further downward pressure on prices. It was essential to reverse that decline.

Eagle Creek launched a major refurbishment program for Twin Commanders that eventually resulted in Twin Commander Aircraft’s Grand Renaissance program. Eagle Creek has performed more Grand Renaissance conversions than any other service center, including delivering two to the Colombian Army in 2011.

Eagle Creek also worked with Twin Commander Aircraft to develop and certify the Honeywell TPE331-10T engine upgrade for Dash 5-powered Twin Commanders. Today, the majority of the Dash 5-powered fleet has been converted to Dash 10T power.

Eagle Creek was instrumental in developing the Meggitt Magic electronic panel upgrade for Twin Commanders, and now owns the STC.

Over the years Eagle Creek has expanded several times over, including the construction in 2001 of a large maintenance hangar and attached FBO and office complex that Hagans designed himself. In 2007 Eagle Creek purchased Naples Jet Center at the Naples, Florida, Municipal Airport (KAPF), and transformed it into an active authorized Twin Commander sales and service center.

Today Eagle Creek Aviation Services is a multi-service company. Along with operating the two Twin Commander service centers, Eagle Creek owns First Wing, an aircraft charter, management, and fractional ownership company that, among other turboprops and jets, operates a Commander 900 for charter out of Naples.

Eagle Creek is a family operation. Hagans’ wife Cathy oversees the financial side, and daughters Jennifer and Amanda also work in the business full-time–Jennifer in the charter department and Amanda in customer service. (Aviation for Women magazine profiled Cathy, Jennifer, and Amanda Hagans in its March/April 2012 issue. See www.WAI.org.) Jennifer’s husband, Richard Branch, is vice president and is heavily involved in aircraft sales.

“Our goal is to continue to be the best, to offer consistent, high-quality support to owners and operators,” Hagans says. “We’ve been doing it for 25 years, and we have no plans to stop.”

For more information call Eagle Creek at 800-487-3331