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Mother’s advice flies high for airplane washing company

A mother’s advice has led to a promising business and a small fortune for one Ohio State student.
Anthony Pentz, a fourth-year in aviation management, got the idea for his business three summers ago when he was trying to earn some extra money during his time off school.
“(My mom) said, ‘You know, why don’t you go out and wash airplanes?’ (and) that is how it started, just washing airplanes,” Pentz said. “So we sent out fliers to some of the area hangers and within a week and a half, I had like $500 bucks in my pocket and I thought, ‘Wow, there is a market here.'”
So Pentz started Foxtrot Aviation Service, LLC, an aircraft detailing service that caters to all types of aircraft needs. Clients include cargo companies that want to keep up the appearance of the aircraft and charter companies that want the interior and exterior of the airplane serviced. Foxtrot Aviation also does surface work like waxing and polishing various parts of the airplanes.
“Think of it as a detailing business to the exponential degree,” Pentz said. “We do a lot of surface restoration on the outside of aircraft, in terms of restoring a vintage automobile.”
Once Foxtrot Aviation began to pick up business, Pentz decided to ask longtime friend Chris Stump, a fourth-year in history at Walsh University, to become his business partner.
“Anthony comes to me with this business idea saying there was no detailing at the Akron/Canton airport,” Stump said. “So he handed out fliers and he made so much money that summer that Uncle Sam was going to find out about it. He said, ‘Why don’t you go ahead and join me and let’s make something of this.'”
And make something they have.
Since formed, Foxtrot Aviation has grown significantly. Pentz said he and Stump have six employees, four of whom are OSU students. The co-owners plan to hire a manager in the near future so they can focus more on expanding their business. They are also branching out of their Akron/Canton market and are trying to set their feet in the Columbus area.
“We are really starting to make the transition from a micro-business to a small business. By the end of this fiscal year, my target revenue is $60,000,” Pentz said. “I’m making the projection that our goal is going to be $250,000 next year. It has been nothing but good news.”
Stump added that Foxtrot Aviation is even trying to expand out of the state.
“We are going to try and expand to all of Ohio and maybe in the tri-state region to try and solicit more business,” Stump said. “See where that goes, try to invade the Pennsylvania market, West Virginia, Indiana.”
With strong support, Foxtrot Aviation is starting to reach a larger market than when the business first started in the Akron/Canton area.
“It really grew out from there and it has become what it is today,” Pentz said. “It has been a fun ride.”

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