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Founded 1968
Operating bases
Fleet size 170
Headquarters Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Key people Andrew Lotter (President)

Ameriflight LLC is an American cargo airline with its headquarters at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. It is the largest United States FAA Part 135 cargo carrier, operating scheduled and contract cargo services to destinations in 35 US states, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Ameriflight serves major financial institutions, freight forwarders, laboratories and overnight couriers in the USA and provides feeder services for overnight express carriers nationwide and internationally.[1] Ameriflight has about 600 employees.[citation needed]


Ameriflight was established in 1968 as California Air Charter. It merged in 1971 with United Couriers (UCI), a wholly owned subsidiary of ATI Systems International (ATIS). In April 1993 the fixed-wing division of Wings Express (which was based at Van Nuys Airport) was purchased, and the outstanding shares of Sports Air Travel were acquired in mid-1997. In March 2007, when Canadian company Garda Security bought ATIS, Ameriflight was sold to a group of investors including the company's president, Gary Richards.

In May 2014 the airline announced it was moving its headquarters to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Maintenance operations and flight operations are scheduled to move to DFW.[2]

In late 2014 Ameriflight reached agreement to acquire Wiggins Airways (48 aircraft and 100 employees), which would result in Ameriflight becoming the largest regional air cargo carrier in the world with 218 aircraft in its fleet.[3][4]

Flight services[edit]

An Ameriflight Beechcraft Model 99 upon take-off from Mojave Air and Space Port (2009).

The majority of Ameriflight's operations consists of air feeder service for major package express integrators such as UPS, FedEx, and DHL. On schedules set by the customers, cargo is received in the early morning from large jet freighters at hub airports and distributed by Ameriflight airplanes to smaller communities whose traffic (or airports) would not support the big airplanes. In the evening, the Ameriflight aircraft fly back to the hubs, in order to feed them with cargo from the smaller communities, which is carried onwards to the integrators' distribution centers for sorting and redistribution to the ultimate destinations.

Although demand is decreasing as use of digital imaging and electronic data transfer increases, Ameriflight also transports high priority intercity financial documents. Pharmaceuticals, film for development, medical laboratory samples, and other miscellaneous cargo are also carried.

Ameriflight is one of the few Part 135 cargo carriers in the U.S. with a special Department of Transportation permit to carry high Transport Index radioactive cargo, an important element in the company's time-critical radioactive medical raw materials business, which transports radioactive "generator" materials between points of manufacture and cities where it is used to produce materials used in diagnostics and cancer therapy.[citation needed]

In addition to scheduled flying (with contract schedules set by customers) all Ameriflight bases can respond to unscheduled on-demand cargo flights to destinations in Alaska, Canada, throughout the contiguous U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, and into South America. A single King Air 200 is used for on-demand passenger charter flights.

Main bases and hubs[edit]

As of early 2015, Ameriflight's headquarters are at Dallas' Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, with large operations centers at the following bases:

United States
Puerto Rico


(As of early 2013; all aircraft are "straight freighters" except as noted)
Piper PA-31 Chieftain - 29
Beech 99 - 57
Beech 1900 - 25
Beech King Air 200 - 1 (passenger configuration)
Fairchild Metro III and Expediter—46
Embraer EMB-120ER Brasilia - 8
Fleet total - 166

An Ameriflight Learjet 35 at Bob Hope Airport (2007).

In previous times, the airline operated the following aircraft types:[5] Cessna 402, Cessna 208 Caravan, Dassault Falcon 20, de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter, Learjet 35A, Mitsubishi MU-2, Piper PA-32R, Piper PA-32, Piper PA-28, Piper PA-23 and Piper PA-31T Cheyenne.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On November 16, 1994, at 02:40 local time, an Ameriflight Beechcraft Model 99 (registered N63995) on a cargo flight from Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport to Oakland International Airport descended steeply into the ground from cruise altitude near Avenal and the pilot was killed in the crash. The probable cause could not be determined.[6]
  • On August 13, 1997, Flight 262 from Portland to Seattle, which was operated using a Beechcraft 1900 (registered N3172A) was damaged in a crash, landing at Seattle–Tacoma International Airport and destroyed in a fire that had erupted from spilled fuel. Investigation into the accident determined that the airpane had been overloaded and that the pilot had been misinformed by staff members of the company that contracted for the flight about the cargo weight and center of gravity, which led to a stall situation.[7] during the landing flareout.
  • On February 12, 1999, at around 10:30 local time, Beechcraft C99 (registered N205RA) crashed into a canyon of the White Mountains, while en route a positioning flight from Tonopah Airport to Bishop Airport. The wreckage was finally discovered two days later. According to relatives and witnesses, the pilot (who was killed in the crash) had been trying to take aerial pictures of the local scenery when he lost control of the aircraft.[8]
  • On November 29, 2003, at 08:01 local time, Flight 1966 from Boeing Field crashed into trees in bad visibility conditions while approaching its destination Felts Field, by which the pilot was killed. The aircraft involved, a Fairchild Metro III registered N439AF, had one of its two ILS receivers deferred due to intermittent flag activity at the time of the accident. The pilot had initiated his final descent late and then descended through the glide slope.[9]
  • On March 18, 2006, Flight 2591, a Beechcraft Model 99 (registered N54RP) crashed during a flight from Helena to Butte in Montana about 8.1 miles South West of its destination, killing the two pilots on board. The plane impacted trees and mountainous terrain, where the wreckage could only be located on March 20. The cause of the crash was determined to be the pilot's failure to follow the proper instrument approach procedure.[10][11]
  • On December 17, 2007, the Beechcraft Model 99 (registered N206AV) that was operating as Flight 4844 landed short of the runway at Vernal Regional Airport in low visibility conditions, during which the aircraft was considerably damaged.[12]
  • On September 22, 2009, an Ameriflight Fairchild Merlin IV-C sustained substantial damage to its nose and forward pressure bulkhead at Eppley Airfield, when another company's Cessna 402 collided with the parked plane.[13]
  • On November 4, 2009, at 07:50 local time, a Beechcraft Model 99 (registered N330AV) suffered a bird strike when approaching Show Low Regional Airport following a cargo flight from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. A Western Grebe impacted and penetrated the left pilot side of the flight deck windscreen, striking and injuring the single pilot. The impact left an 11 inch by 8 inch hole in the windscreen. The pilot was able to continue the approach and land without further incident.[14][15]
  • On January 6, 2010, at 07:41 local time, a Beechcraft Model 99 (registered N206AV) was damaged in a hard landing at Kearney Regional Airport following a cargo flight from Omaha. The aircraft may have behaved unexpectedly because of icing that may have been present on the wings.[16]
  • On March 10, 2011, Flight 1951, a Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner, slid off the runway and onto the grass at Boeing Field in Seattle when completing a flight from Nez Perce County Airport. Preliminary reports indicated a landing gear problem, but there were also difficult wind shear conditions at the time of the accident. The single pilot of the airplane was uninjured.[17][18][19]


  1. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-03-27. p. 75. 
  2. ^ Murray, Lance and Nicholas Sakelaris. "Cargo carrier Ameriflight to relocate HQ, operations to D/FW Airport." Dallas Business Journal. May 15, 2014. Retrieved on May 16, 2014.
  3. ^ Airliner World: 15. January 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "Wiggins Acquisition Goes Ahead". Airliner World: 14. December 2014. 
  5. ^ Airline Pilot Central
  6. ^ Ameriflight 1994 crash at the Aviation Safety Network
  7. ^ 1997 accident at the Aviation Safety Network
  8. ^ 1999 crash at the Aviation Safety Network
  9. ^ 2003 accident at the Aviation Safety Network
  10. ^ "Accident Description, Ameriflight 2591." Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on June 12, 2011.
  11. ^ "NTSB Report SEA06FA068 - 03/18/2009." National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved on June 12, 2011.
  12. ^ 2007 incident at the Aviation Safety Network
  13. ^ "NTSB Report CEN09CA600 - 09/22/2009." National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved on June 12, 2011.
  14. ^ "NTSB Report WPR10IA045 - 11/04/2009." National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved on June 12, 2011.
  15. ^ Plane lands near Show Low after bird strike." The Arizona Republic. Retrieved on June 12, 2011.
  16. ^ 2010 Incident at the Aviation Safety Network
  17. ^ "Cargo plane slides off runway at Boeing Field." Seattle Times. Retrieved on June 12, 2011.
  18. ^ "AMF1951 Flight History 03/11/2011." Retrieved on June 12, 2011.
  19. ^ "NTSB Report WPR11FA159 - 03/10/2011." National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved on June 12, 2011.

External links[edit]