In addition to providing excellent aviation service, and treating our customers like royalty, we believe that family values and hard work are the core ethics for successful businesses that provide top notch customer care. The proof is in our history as owner Jerry Mamuzich, and his sons, can attest.
Jerry Mamuzich, Owner and CEOof Minuteman Aviation, Inc. started his career at the age of 12 as ground support for his father, John Mamuzich. Starting off as a flagman for his father, who was the owner of Pondera Flying Services, Jerry learned about aviation from the ground up, shaping his future. Little did he know, at the time, that these small beginnings would lead him to developing Montana’s most state-of-the-art aviation service, Minuteman Aviation.
It all started with Jerry's father, John Mamuzich, flying a biplane in the early part of the 20th Century. Traveling throughout the state of Montana, he took any job that needed his plane. As WW2 approached, Mamuzich set his sights on Hemet, California. There he acquired a flight instructor position at Ryan Aircraft teaching US Army Air Corps recruits how to fly the, now famous, Ryan PT-22 trainer.
For a more in depth read on the Mamuzich family's aviation legacy, check out this article from Vertical Mag.
As the Second World War closed, Mamuzich returned home to Conrad to begin a crop-dusting service called Pondera Flying Service. It didn’t take long for his son Jerry to catch the flying bug. Jerry helped his dad with a variety of ground support functions from the time he was 12 years old, until he was old enough to fly at age 17.
Once he received his pilot's license, Jerry went after incredible opportunities, and seized them without hesitation. If there was a project that required a type of aircraft he didn't own, he researched available operators and made it happen. Such as the venture with the U.S. National Park Service in Glacier National Park that laid the foundation for Minuteman Aviation in the 1960's. The Park was looking for aircraft operators to assist in removing snow berms for crews hired to clear Going to the Sun Road. In need of helicopters for this project, Mamuzich hired a Brantly B-2 operator. It was from this moment that he was hooked on helicopters and, in 1961, attended Brantly to receive his license for flying them.
From there, doors opened for Mamuzich's aviation endeavor. As the Cold War unfolded, Mamuzich took on a contract in Great Falls, Montana to help contractors travel between sites for intercontinental ballistic missiles. Initially Jerry used Brantly helicopters for these projects. But, as they expanded and work for ICBM's picked up in Minot and Grand Forks, North Dakota then Cheyenne, Wyoming, Jerry graduated from Brantly's to Bell Helicopters.
As business expanded from the ICBM projects, Jerry made home base in Conrad, Montana picking up where his father had left off. As opportunities grew, he decided to move further west to Missoula, Montana. Today, Jerry enjoys the success of his hard work, determination and making family an integral part of his business success. He runs Minuteman Aviation with his two sons, Mike and Mark, and has had many family members contribute a helping hand in the operations. Aside from his sons, many of Jerry's employees have been with Minuteman for decades and enjoy being the friendly welcome for all of their patrons.