Dynamic Aviation in Bridgewater Turns 50

Sep 19, 2017

Last Saturday, Dynamic Aviation hosted a 50th anniversary party open to the public at their company headquarters near Bridgewater.  WMRA’s Dillon Broadwell was there to get a glimpse of the little airfield, and what Dynamic Aviation does.

If you missed the public event on Saturday, you missed a lot of fun.  But here’s a small taste…

[chatter on plane, engine noise]

One treat was a flight aboard a pioneering plane in commercial aviation – a Douglas DC3, which revolutionized air transport in the 1930s and 40s.  You’ve probably seen it in movies – it was even featured during an air chase scene in the 2008 James Bond film, “Quantum of Solace.”  Before the much smoother flight Michael Stolzfus, the president and CEO of Dynamic Aviation, gave his passengers a little speech about the importance of the plane they were about to ride on.

MICHAEL STOLTZFUS: So the DC3 -- Very very special plane for Dynamic Aviation.  About 16,000 of them built.  Very central to the allied forces winning the war and it’s the airplane that allowed commercial aviation to be commercially viable.

[sound of airplane and pilot chatter]

Micheal Stoltzfus’ father Karl founded Dynamic Aviation in 1967. The company then and now focuses on providing aircraft on a lease basis to a wide range of clients who, according to Joel Shank, The Vice President of Human Resources at Dynamic, have a wide range of needs.  

JOEL SHANK: But we do everything from Department of Defense, flying over in hostile areas, to spraying for mosquitoes, to helping fight forest fires, to doing really sophisticated surveillance work or work that looks for where is a certain mineral in the earth for say mine companies or research organizations. So, It’s a wide range of the things that we do. If you look at the airlines and big buses in the sky taking people from point A to point B, we are the completely other side of the aviation industry.   

Also on display Saturday – a relic of presidential history, the first plane to be called Air Force One, stored away in a hanger.

PHIL DOUGLAS: This was not the first presidential airplane. This was the third presidential airplane. Because Truman had one called the Sacred Cow and Roosevelt had the independence. This was the third presidential airplane

The plane Phil Douglas, the director of engineering at the company, is talking about was President Eisenhower’s plane from 1952 to 1954. But, how did it come to be called “Air Force One”? According to Douglas, another plane that had the same call sign as the president’s was on the same flight path and luckily, someone found out before an in-air collision.   The “One” designation has since avoided any sort of potentially disastrous situations.

The company history was on display as well. According to Avis Foster, Dynamic Aviation’s project scheduler and communication specialist, the company goal was to not only celebrate their longevity but also to inform the public about what exactly they do.

FOSTER: I think a lot of things have been like “oh Dynamic Aviation is secret squirrel” so nobody knows what we are doing. But this will be a good opportunity for us to explain our history and what  is itwe actually do so that they can connect with us a little bit more.

For many of the youngest guests, the main attraction was obvious:

DILLON: What’s your favorite thing you’ve seen?
YOUND ATTENDEE: There was this big airplane that kept on going. It went right and then there was this little yellow one I thought they were going to crash but they didn’t and they went right and turned to pick up more people.
The celebration, though, was turbulence free.