Former Cessna Executive Will Also Oversee Day-to-Day Operations of Kansas Aviation, Inc.
Wichita, KS—Yingling Aviation has named long-time Cessna Aircraft Company executive John Donatelli to the position of Regional Sales Manager as the Wichita Mid-continent Airport-based firm continues to expand its sales and marketing efforts of both new and used aircraft. With more than 30+ years in aviation, including the last 28 with Cessna, Donatelli brings an extremely broad background in customer training, fleet contract management, customer relations, deliveries and sales to his new post. He will also assume day-to-day oversight of the flight training activities of Kansas Aviation, Inc., as well.
“We are extremely pleased to add such a highly-regarded and familiar member of the aviation community to the Yingling team,” said Jerry Pickett, Yingling’s Vice President of Customer Programs. “J.D. brings not only an encyclopedic knowledge of the Cessna product line with him but a vast knowledge of the entire general aviation marketplace that is continually informed and shaped by his attentiveness and sensitivity to the many customers and friends with whom he maintains strong relationships. He will be an asset to Yingling in virtually every aspect of our business, including assisting with Skycatcher deliveries and our pre-owned turboprop and jet prospects—if for no other reason than because he has extensive experience in those arenas over the course of his career.”
A native of Arizona, Donatelli earned an Aviation Associate’s degree from Cochise College in Douglas, Arizona with an emphasis in Professional Flight and Management prior to majoring in Industrial Technical Education with an emphasis in Aeronautical Technology and Aviation Management at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1978. He subsequently completed the Executive MBA program at Wichita State University.
Beginning his aviation career as a co-pilot and then pilot in a government-contracted fire-fighting operation in Whiteriver, Arizona in 1972, he was hired by SportAir Aviation, Inc. in Tucson in 1973. Over the next four years, he was promoted to the position of Chief Flight Instructor and then assisted in establishing the firm’s FAA Part 135 Charter and aircraft sales operation. He was eventually named General Manager.
Joining Cessna initially in January of 1979, he developed marketing training programs and presented Cessna Pilot Center training seminars over the course of the next seven years before spending three years at the Boeing Military Airplane Company in Wichita as Manager and Facilitator of Total Quality Concepts. He returned to Cessna in August of 1989 to manage Sales Scheduling and Customer Relations in Propjet Marketing before moving into Citation Special Mission and Fleet Sales in 1994. He was promoted to Manager of Customer Account Administration in the Citation Marketing Division in February of 1999 and then to Director of Contract Administration for the Caravan four years later. In that role he negotiated, administered and executed contracts and all associated issues from agreement development through customer presentation and financial closing, both domestic and international for fleet sales as well as individual transactions.
An experienced pilot, Donatelli holds commercial, instrument, single and multi-engine, glider, certified flight instructor, advanced ground instructor ratings and is type rated in the Citation CE-500. He has logged more than 4,200 hours.
Since 1999 when Yingling was acquired by its current Chief Executive Officer Lynn Nichols, it has enhanced its relationship with Cessna by working closely with the company to create business opportunities such as the installation of Oasis interiors in Cessna Caravan turboprops, collaborated on the development of specific maintenance programs for piston and turboprop models and become the most prolific supplier of Cessna parts in the world. In addition, the Wichita-based operation has expanded its facilities to accommodate assembly, flight testing and delivery of Cessna’s light sport aircraft, the Skycatcher, which is manufactured in Shenyang, China. The company also offers flight training through its Kansas Aviation Cessna Pilot Center and an exceptional selection of equipment, specialty items and gifts at its Aviator’s Attic store. Yingling employs more than 140 people at its sites in Wichita and Independence, Kansas. Yingling Aviation can be reached by calling (316) 943-3246 or on the web at yinglingaviation.com.