Aircraft Firm Finds New Home in Bartlesville

Micco: New Arrival BARTLESVILLE -- Micco Aircraft Co. is finding a new lease on life here, relocating to Frank Phillips Field where work is under way to begin manufacturing aerobatic sport planes next year.

Micco Aircraft, formerly a project of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, specializes in the SP26 -- a two-seat, cross-country airplane.

Officials said the company, which has four people on the payroll now, plans to have 60 workers within a year.

Micco, with the motto, "Putting serious fun back into flying," also will be assembling and selling Italian Tecnam aircraft.

"No one else makes the SP26 -- it's a niche market airplane," said Decki Beckett, marketing director at Micco. "We did show the airplane at the Tulsa Regional Fly-In and had a lot of interest."

The city of Bartlesville is providing the company with airport hangars rent-free for six months, and the Bartlesville Development Corp. has an additional incentive package to bring before City Council as work progresses on the project, said Jim Fram, Bartlesville Area Chamber of Commerce president.

With the move from Florida to Oklahoma, Micco is retaining many faces familiar with its operations.

James Billie, former chairman of the Seminole Tribe, is now CEO of Micco. Dewitt Beckett, who served as Micco president in Fort Pierce, Fla., is again filling that title. The company's marketing director said some additional personnel also will be from the original crew.

The first task for the workers is moving equipment and parts out of storage to take an inventory of what else is needed to manufacture the SP26, Beckett said.

Micco plans to turn out its first new plane manufactured in Bartlesville by April. Beckett said the goal is to produce 24 of the aircraft each year.

Micco already has ordered 30 Tecnam planes for assembly. In addition to building the Tecnam, Beckett said, Micco will offer rental and instruction services for the aircraft, which is a light sport plane that requires half the pilot training time of some other craft.

The Tecnam "gives people an introduction into flying without spending a ton of money, and for some people that's all they want to do," Beckett said. "You can buy one for under $100,000 brand new, whereas our other aircraft is in the $300,000 range."

Micco offices in Bartlesville also will offer a Rotax service center and a Federal Aviation Administration repair station.

The newly organized Micco crew is hoping to bring a sense of hospitality to the aviation industry in the Bartlesville area by providing a place where pilots can drink coffee and swap stories during the week and offering fly-in barbecues on some weekends.

"It's going to be kind of a gathering spot for the pilots," Beckett said. "We want to turn it back into that social aspect of flying."

More information about the company and its products is available at .