About Us

AAC team pic closeup black shirts

Our Story

Started in 2004, Atlanta Air Charter set out to be different. We wanted to be distinctive in our approach to customer service. Our goal is to provide the safest and most cost-effective transportation for a variety of needs while providing personalized customer service that goes above and beyond your expectations.

Our Mission

Atlanta Air Charter is a faith-based company dedicated to providing custom-tailored, professional aviation services, including air charter, aircraft maintenance, aircraft management, aircraft storage, as well as sales and acquisition, and professional pilot services – all by employing only the most passionate, knowledgeable, and experienced team members. AAC has the goal of exceeding our client’s expectations by placing our morals and ethics at the core of every decision.

Our Team

James L. Cook – President / Director of Operations

As president of Atlanta Air Charter, Mr. Cook is responsible for the day-to-day oversight of the company. Mr. Cook’s previous aviation experience includes 26 years of service with Delta Airlines. At Delta, Mr. Cook served as a Captain on a 737-NG aircraft and ten years in the training department as a flight instructor. Mr. Cook has also served in varying capacities with the United States Navy, including Commanding Officer of Patrol Squadron 60 located at the Glenview Naval Air Station, Illinois. Mr. Cook started soloing at the age of sixteen and continues an aviation career that spans the globe and forty years.

Chip Kaczynski – Chief Business Officer / Acquisitions

Chip Kaczynski is an aviation veteran with over twenty-five years of experience and 10,000 accident-free flight hours. He has extensive general aviation, Air Force, scheduled airline and FAA Part 125 and 135 charter expertise. He earned his Commercial, Instrument, and Multi-engine ratings at the Florida Institute of Technology, where he graduated with a B.S. in Aviation Management/Flight Technology.  After graduation, Captain Kaczynski obtained his Turbojet Flight Engineer rating and became an instructor, then he was accepted into U.S. Air Force pilot training program.  He served in Operation Desert Storm, in Saudi Arabia as well as several other conflicts including Bosnia, Panama, and Haiti flying AC-130 Gunships and C-130s. While serving in the reserves, Captain Kaczynski acquired his Airline Transport Rating then was hired by AirTran Airways, where he flew as a Captain on the DC-9. He left AirTran for US Airways where he flew the B-727, B-737, and A-319/320/321. After the events of 911, Captain Kaczynski began flying VIP DC-9s for various high-profile sports and racing teams, and subsequently started his own consulting company; managing commercial property and aircraft.  Captain Kaczynski, holding 10 Type Ratings then joined Atlanta Air Charter in 2006 to share his vast knowledge and expertise.  In 2012, he earned his Executive MBA from Wichita State University's Barton School of Business while instructing at FlightSafety International's Hawker/Beech Learning Center and currently serves on the Board of Directors at Atlanta Air Charter, Inc., The Town Center Community Alliance, and the Cobb County Airport Advisory Board.

 

Jennifer Korey - Chief Financial Officer / Human Resources

Bio - Coming Soon

Mike Noah – General Manager / Treasurer

As the General Manager of Atlanta Air, Mr. Noah manages all aspects of daily operations and responsible for long-term strategic planning with his business partners.  Mr. Noah has over 25 years of management experience at the retail, corporate and executive levels, including veteran of the United States Army (Infantry), Krispy Kreme (General Manager and Corporate Trainer) and over ten years of aviation management experience. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing (BSN) from Kennesaw State University and is passionate about efficient business processes.

Hardy Hay – Chief Pilot

Bio Coming Soon

Jim Caliendo – Secretary

Captain Caliendo brings over 24 years of general aviation and flight instructor experience to Atlanta Air Charter. Jim is a self-starter with the diverse resume from engineering to technical operations to editing flight manuals. Jim worked for many years as a certified fight instructor and has obtained his CFI, CFII and MEI ratings. Jim also has also flown for the airlines in a Canadair Regional Jet CRJ-200, CRJ-700/900, and Boeing 737. His duties include VP of technical operation and the company’s liaison to the FAA.

Our History

James Dell was a Navy NFO (Naval Flight Officer). He was not a professional pilot, but as a crew member, he always wanted to be in the pilot seat. Allen Poulos was an Army tank commander with a similar desire to learn to fly. Alton Hall was a C-130 flight engineer with over 25 years of aircrew experience and just a private pilot license. These three individuals met while taking flying lessons at the base flying club. James was working his way through law school and assumed the legal position of President. Allen had previously earned a master degree in finance and assumed the position as treasurer of the company, and Alton with his maintenance background became the company's flight mechanic.

The three men rented a single 400 square foot office at the McCollum Field (now Cobb County International Airport) from which to operate and purchased a 1964 Cessna 310 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cessna_310. Mr. Dell wrote all the legal documents and submitted all the paperwork to the FAA for their approval. On January 29, 2002, the FAA granted Air Transportation Services their Air Carrier Certificate. The company operated with one pilot and one aircraft for the next three years until Ray Foster entered the picture. Ray was a retired airline pilot, and he was flying a King Air B200 for a construction firm in Atlanta. Mr. Dell met Mr. Foster and asked him if he would like to earn his company some money by chartering the King Air. When the company approved of this venture, Mr. Foster found another retired airline pilot to fly with him in the King Air, and his name was James Cook. As Air Transportation Services began to grow from a (piston powered) single pilot operation to a turbine powered, multi-pilot operation, they had to put the right players in place so the FAA would approve their operation.  Ray Foster became the Director of Operations, and James Cook became the Chief Pilot. Marketing dictated that a name change was needed, so Mr. Foster suggested changing the name to Atlanta Air Charter. With a new name came added challenges.  The most important one was the ability to grow and profit.  

In 2006, James Dell, Allen Poulos, and James Cook met Charles “Chip” Kaczynski at Briscoe Field in Gwinnett County, GA. https://www.gwinnettcounty.com/web/gwinnett/Departments/Transportation/Aviation

Chip was managing a corporate flight department for a venture capital firm, and he was representing the sale of a hangar facility there.  The new Atlanta Air Charter team was looking for opportunities to grow their company, and a large hangar might be the place in which to grow.  Weeks later, Mr. Foster left the company, so Mr. Cook assumed the role of DO, and Atlanta Air Charter was then in need of a new Chief Pilot.  Jim contacted Mr. Kaczynski and sold him on the concept of growth and stock ownership instead of immediate compensation.

Shortly after Mr. Kaczynski assumed the position of Chief Pilot, James Dell sold his company stock and moved to California, leaving James Cook and Allen Poulos at the helm of the organization.  James assumed the position of President while Allen was deployed to Afghanistan with the U.S. Army Guard and subsequently hired his daughter Cassy and wife Bridget to assist in charter coordination and office management.  After several weeks, Jim Caliendo was hired to fly a Baron 58 for the company.  The Baron turned out to be the lifeblood of the company for the next couple of years.  During that time, Jim and Cassy got married and started their family.

In 2007, Atlanta Air Charter broke ground on their very own hangar facility at their home base at McCollum Field, in metro-Atlanta, and hired Mike Noah as Charter Coordinator.  In 2008, the company purchased their first King Air 200, with the financial backing of Messrs. Kaczynski and Cook.  Jim Caliendo and Chip Kaczynski were the inaugural pilots to fly the new King Air, supplemented by James Cook.  As timing would have it, the economy collapsed just months after this capital investment and the company operated on a shoestring budget for the next several years.  In 2009, all salaries suspended as the charter market took a nose dive.  Every effort was made to retain customers, pay bills, and weather the economic storm. 

In 2010, Mike Noah enrolled at Kennesaw State University to earn a degree in nursing, James Cook began working as a part-time instructor with Delta Air Lines, Jim got a job with a commuter airline, and Chip went back to grad school to earn his EMBA.  During this time, each member of the Atlanta Air Charter team continued to participate in keeping the company afloat, each without taking a salary. 

In 2013, Chip re-introduced the company’s FLY RIGHT® Executive Travel Program which provides discounted charter rates to loyal customers.  He marketed the program and enrolled a dozen new customers.  Also, Chip pursued a contract with the Government Services Administration https://www.gsa.gov, and after seven months won a GSA award https://gsa.federalschedules.com/gsa-schedule/gsa-schedule-faq/

In 2014, business was picking up, and the company decided they needed an additional aircraft. Chip located an off-market aircraft within budget and negotiated the purchase of N383JP, the company’s second King Air 200. 

In 2015, a loyal charter customer decided that he would rather own than rent a King Air, so he asked Chip to find him one to purchase.  After several months of searching, and with the concurrence of the purchaser, the decision that the “perfect” aircraft was in Europe, so Chip headed to Southern Germany in February 2015 to close the deal and to fly this third King Air back to the USA across the North Atlantic.  This trip began in Zweibrucken, where Co-pilots Buddy McLaughlin and Chip Kaczynski began their 24 hours trek back home.  The first fuel stop was in Prestwick Scotland, then up to Iceland for a quick overnight.  The next day, they flew to Narsarsuaq Greenland, Goose Bay Canada, and finally to Bangor Maine for import documentation.

Now, with a fleet of 3 King Airs, the company’s Board of Directors focused on internal growth, improving processes, upgrading the record keeping programs and building independent “verticals” to enhance revenue opportunities.  Jennifer Korey, the newest member of the Board, was elected.  Her experience in accounting and HR brought a vital force to the company.  With daily “cash-flash” reports provided by Jennifer, the leadership would be assured of the very latest financial data to make informed business and investment decisions.  The time had come to begin growing and broadening administration, maintenance, and other support duties within the company.      

Jim Caliendo was instrumental in the creation of the company’s FAA-approved Part 141 pilot training school, Atlanta Air Academy, a subsidiary of Atlanta Air Charter, Inc.  Working with James Cook and Bill Hall, the operation’s chief instructor, Atlanta Air Academy successfully trained the required cadre of 10 pilots in its second year of operation.  The next focus vertical had been aircraft maintenance.  In 2013, Atlanta Air Charter purchased an established maintenance operation from Northside Aviation, and by 2015, the operation finally started to become financially feasible.  Within the responsibilities of Atlanta, Air Maintenance would be aircraft cleaning and detailing.  This function finally became profitable in 2018 with investments in staff training and local marketing.

Atlanta Air Charter ventured into the charter jet market in 2016 when a charter customer approached the company with an aspiration to purchase and own an aircraft.  Once again, Chip Kaczynski located a perfect candidate aircraft, and with the assistance of Mark Nelson, the company’s contract VP of Technical Operations, the team successfully conducted a thorough pre-buy inspection, and eventually closed the sale.  Pilots Fred Schultz and Rich Ullman were the initial trainees on the new G-100/Astra Jet https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulfstream_G100.  Messrs. Cook and Nelson worked with Don Glasser, the Director of Maintenance, and the Federal Aviation Administration https://www.faa.gov/, building an acceptable “proving run” package as required by the Federal Aviation Administration. http://fsims.faa.gov/wdocs/8900.1/v03%20tech%20admin/chapter%2029/03_029_007.htm.  Proving runs are a demonstration of competency required of air charter companies whenever they upgrade their charter qualifications from propeller operations to jet operations. 

In 2017, another friend of the company stepped up and offered to purchase an aircraft to be leased back for company.  N700NA would replace N70JJ which sold just months earlier.  With the success of N700NA, a second King Air was purchased by the same customer who would make N332CA the fourth King Air in Atlanta Air Charter’s fleet.  With redundancy in the fleet, the company was now capable of fulfilling numerous charter trips for a diverse cadre of customers.  Chip Kaczynski was successful in winning the contract to provide air charter support for the State of Georgia Aviation Authority.  In 2018, Chip answered an RFQ for an organ transplant foundation and was successful in winning yet another rewarding contract.  Mike Noah and Vicky Staats now find themselves answering numerous charter requests all day and night. 

Recently, James Cook (Director of Operations), Hardy Hay (Chief Pilot), and Joe Lawrence (pilot) assembled an acquisition team to help relieve Kaczynski from some of his duties so he can focus more on customer relations and contracts.  The new team includes members from Ogara jets https://www.ogarajets.com/, and they will assist future customers in the purchase, management, and sale of aircraft.

With four King Airs, Atlanta Air Charter is experiencing stability and profitability.  The company is enthusiastically searching for additional aircraft and growth opportunities to complement their maintenance, flight training, and charter operations.