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|Hubs||Marshfield, Central Wisconsin Airport|
|Headquarters||Stevens Point, Wisconsin|
|Key people||Roy P. Shwery (President), Bryce Appleton (CEO 1983-1993)|
It was founded by Roy P. Shwery in 1964 and provided air service out of Marshfield, Wisconsin (home to Marshfield Clinic), and Central Wisconsin Airport (CWA). The airline originally operated a fleet of Beechcraft Model 18 aircraft, and later, four Beech 99's. The airline originally flew from Marshfield, to Wisconsin Rapids, to Milwaukee, and onto Chicago. (Central Wisconsin Airport serves the communities of Stevens Point, Wausau, Marshfield, and Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, and the smaller suburbs—Mosinee, Plover, and Rosholt—with long runways that accommodated large jet aircraft).
By the early 1970s, Midstate also was serving Hayward and Ashland, Wisconsin from the Central Wisconsin Airport and Ashland from the Minneapolis - St. Paul International Airport. One of its most fondly-remembered features was the 6:00 PM "Champagne Flight" out of O'Hare, destined for Ashland via Milwaukee, the CWA, and Hayward. Shortly after takeoff from Milwaukee, the passengers were invited to open a cooler put on board in Milwaukee and prepared by Midstate's President's wife. Typically, in the cooler were a few soft drinks, beers, Wisconsin cheese, Pringle's Newfangled Potato Chips, plastic cups and . . . one or two bottles of champagne. Somehow, this ice-breaker generated an informality and good feeling for nearly everyone on board.
In 1977 Midstate switched to 19-passenger Swearingen Metroliners.
On January 15, 1979, a Metroliner landed in Wisconsin Rapids, hydroplaned, swerved, and collided with a snowbank, resulting in 11 injuries (2 pilots, 9 passengers). Damage to the aircraft was substantial. Correction: snow storm with low visiability and no injuries.
In its heyday, Midstate operated a fleet of 19 Metroliners and added six Fokker F27 50-passenger turboprop aircraft in 1984 (which required a flight attendant and a certificate modification under FAA part 121 rules), and flew to 15 cities in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Chicago O'Hare airport.
Appleton led the company from 1983 to 1989.Correction: Appleton was hired in 1980. In a time of airline consolidation, code-sharing, and identical livery agreements between commuter/regional aircraft and their major airline counterparts, Midstate remarkably remained independent, while its popularity and passenger load factors declined rapidly by 1987.
In 1986, Midstate subleased Fokker F27 aircraft to Chicago Air, a start-up carrier operated a regional service out of Chicago Midway International Airport. Midstate provided maintenance services to Chicago Air out of Central Wisconsin. However, Chicago Air went into bankruptcy the same year, and Appleton purchased what remained of the Midstate's assets from Sentry Insurance. The Chicago O'Hare takeoff and landing slots were sold off and Appleton continued to operate the Swearingen Metroliners, establishing a hub in Milwaukee. However, the airline continued to cut back service, providing charter, ceasing operations in 1989.
- Roy Shwery biography/http://www.aviationhalloffamewisconsin.com/inductees/shwery.htm
- Bryce Appleton biography/http://www.zoominfo.com/Search/PersonDetail.aspx?PersonID=84830050
- Flight schedules/http://www.timetableimages.com/ttimages/iu.htm
- Timetable and route map/http://routemapsonline.com