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News >  Business

Sandpoint’s Quest Aircraft taps aviation veteran to lead company

Jan. 25, 2017 Updated Wed., Jan. 25, 2017 at 7:35 a.m.

Robert H. Wells
Robert H. Wells

Quest Aircraft Company in Sandpoint has named aviation veteran Robert H. Wells its new CEO. Quest makes the Kodiak turboprop airplane, which seats up to 10 people.

Wells, who has more than 40 years of aviation experience, succeeds Quest CEO Sam Hill, who recently retired. Hill will continue as an adviser to the company and a member of its board of directors.

“I look forward to being part of the team at Quest,” Wells said in a statement released Wednesday. “The Kodiak is a remarkably successful aircraft and the company has come a long way in the last few years. I am excited to be part of Quest’s next chapter.”

Wells spent 15 years with TAG Aviation, a Switzerland-based company that manages aircraft and provides charter services. He rose to CEO of the holding company and retired in 2015.

Wells assumed his new role with Quest on Jan. 15.

Since 2012, Kodiak deliveries have risen steadily and the aircraft has received 23 certifications covering 33 countries.

The company completed the first phase of an expansion last June, adding 27,000 square feet to bring the plant to 110,000 square feet. A 5,000-square-foot research and development hangar also was finished. Further expansion is planned.

“I am very pleased that an individual of Rob’s caliber and talent will be leading Quest moving forward,” Hill said in a statement Wednesday. “Rob’s tenure with TAG Aviation’s family of companies and his broad aviation management experience will be a true asset as Quest continues its worldwide growth.”

Wells began his business aviation career with Beech Aircraft Corporation and later joined Piedmont Hawthorne, which became Landmark Aviation, as an aircraft salesman. He joined TAG Aviation in 1999.

Earlier in his career he gained experience as a flight instructor and air taxi pilot, including a period flying in Southeast Alaska.

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