Central Flying Service acquired by investment capital firm


*Arkansas’ oldest aviation firm has been acquired by capital investment company, Tricoastal Ventures

*The financial terms of the deal were not disclose, Central has been in the hands of the Holbert family since its founding 82 years ago

*Central will now offer services alongside Tricoastal companies, American Kodiak and Volare Air.


Central Flying Service (CFS) of Little Rock, is under new management. Central Flying Service and Tricoastal Ventures a capital investment firm dedicated to commercial aviation, announced today that they have concluded the acquisition from the Holbert family, the founders and owners for the past 82 years. Tricoastal acquired 100% of the stock in the company, however other terms were not disclosed. Central provides flight training, aircraft sales, heavy maintenance for propeller-driven and jet aircraft including aircraft painting, interior refurbishment, and avionics upgrades and repairs out of several hangars on the west side of Adams Field.

Departing CEO Richard Holbert is pleased with the new ownership team, including their experience and their approach. “We are proud to know that Central is in the right hands, and that the unique and lasting brand we created will continue to serve our great people and this community for decades to come,” he added.

The company will be led by commercial aviation professionals Phil Jordan as Chief Executive Officer and Herb Knight as Chief Operating Officer, both of whom are Partners at Tricoastal. Central intends to capitalize on their existing capabilities, expanding to additional locations and adjacent markets. “We have big plans for the company, and we have the right team to maintain a culture of quality and excellence while extending our reach,” said Phil Jordan.

As sister companies under Tricoastal ownership, American Kodiak (offering the Kodiak 100) and Volare Air (offering Tecnam aircraft) will engage Central to provide full-service, authorised maintenance for the growing family of Kodiak and Tecnam aircraft owners. In addition to aircraft sales and maintenance, Central will continue to provide Flight Training and Aircraft Management and Charter services in Little Rock.

Aerospace and Defense industry veteran Brian Raduenz has been named Chairman of the Board at Central. While not involved in day-to-day operations, he will provide strategic guidance and business advice. “We are honoured to be entrusted with the legacy established by the Holbert family and maintained by the loyal employees in Little Rock,” Raduenz said. “Our focus right now is excellence in commercial aviation and sales, and in the future, I could see this platform getting more involved in defense work as well.”