A.L. Ueltschi in 1951 founded FlightSafety International, a training service company that designs and manufactures full-motion flight simulators for civil and military aircraft programs and operates the world’s largest fleet of advanced, full flight simulators at more than 40 training locations in the U.S., Canada, France and the U.K. FlightSafety, based at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, trains pilots, aviation mechanics, flight attendants, dispatchers and others each year.
Born on a dairy farm in Kentucky, he was fascinated at the pioneer Charles Lindbergh’s trans-Atlantic flight to France, and knew then that he would become a pilot. He took flying lessons and soloed, next buying a Waco 10, teaching kids to fly and even putting on air shows. He was chief pilot for Queen City Flying Services in Cincinnati in 1943, and was chosen by Juan Trippe, founder and president of Pan American Airways, to be his personal pilot. During those thousands of flight hours transporting Trippe to meetings, Ueltschi learned much about the aviation industry, met some pretty important people, and envisioned the idea of opening a testing and training center for the fast-growing corporate jet aviation industry.
In 1996 Warren Buffett bought FlightSafety as an independent unit of Berkshire Hathaway, and Ueltschi rose to the ranks of the world’s wealthiest. He stayed on as president after the Buffett purchase until 2003, and then served as chairman.
Ueltschi was the recipient of the “Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur Award “ at the 4th Annual “Living Legends of Aviation Awards” in 2006. He was also chairman of ORBIS International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating unnecessary blindness world- wide. Mr. Ueltschi died in October 2012 at the age of 95.
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