New Ownership at Thrush Aircraft Promises a Bright Future

After Chapter 11 filing, new leadership is poised to move Thrush forward.

A Thrush 510P at work, flying low.Gary Blockley for Thrush Aircraft

Albany, Georgia-based Thrush Aircraft announced recently that a new ownership group closed on an asset purchase agreement September 5th after a Chapter 11 filing that will allow new leadership to conduct a reorganization of the company, known worldwide for making a popular line of agriculture, forestry and firefighting aircraft.

Industry veteran Mark McDonald is the new CEO of Thrush, and he and his team of seasoned professionals are already moving forward with plans to increase the company’s capabilities and capacity. “The past few years have been hard for Thrush and for all of our stakeholders,” said McDonald. “The issues Thrush has had to overcome had little to do with the quality of our product, and nothing to do with the quality of our people. As we begin a new chapter in this legendary company’s history, I can tell you that, from the factory floor to the flight line, all of us are genuinely excited about the future of this great brand.”

An example of Thrush’s product line is their 510P, a popular aircraft powered by a 750-SHP Pratt & Whitney PT6A-34AG turboprop engine. The 510P is part of a fleet of more than 2,400 Thrush aircraft operating in some 80 countries around the world, and is the choice of many operators due to its 510-gallon fiberglass hopper, MVP-50T glass panel display and 29,000-hour wing spar life. Flying editor-at-large Pia Bergqvist flew the 510G in a We Fly report in early 2019.

Eric Rojek, vice president of Thrush, added, “We’ll have much more to talk about in the weeks ahead and we look forward to seeing everyone at the National Agricultural Aviation Association’s 2019 Ag Aviation Expo this week [November 18 to 21] in Orlando where we’ll be introducing our new leadership team and sharing our latest product news. In the meantime, our customers around the world can continue to count on sales, deliveries, training and support to continue at their best–and for each of our services to improve even more.”

Regarding the company’s new leadership and reorganization plan, Rojek added that “Reorganization is often a fact of life in the aircraft industry, and today we are the better for it, as Thrush is now highly stable, and very well-positioned for growth and long-term success. We deeply appreciate the opportunity to move this legendary company forward and carry on our tradition of building, delivering and supporting the best agricultural airplanes in the world.”