Augusta Aviation, Inc. was founded in 1940 by W.M. Boshears, known affectionately to the aviation community as "Buster". Operations were begun in North Augusta on a small grass field named Schultz Hill. Augusta School of Aviation, as it was then called, trained pilots for the duration of WWII under the Civil Pilot Training Program. Forrest Boshears, Buster’s brother, joined the company at this time as chief pilot.
Augusta Aviation, Inc.
"A Historical Perspective on the Oldest FBO in the Southeast"
In 1947, the company incorporated and bought a bankrupt business in Augusta where Daniel Field is today. Buster came to operate flight schools in three locations - North Augusta, Daniel Field and Statesboro.
Besides flight training, services offered at these three locations included fuel sales, and both major and minor engine repairs.
After 1949, government intervention severely limited flight schools, but Augusta School of Aviation became the only surviving Fixed Base Operation (FBO) in the region. The operation went through several contracts for aerial advertising, power line patrol, and aerial spraying (Our pilots sprayed Clarks Hill Lake once for mosquito control.) Operations were eventually limited to Daniel Field only.
1951 brought hardships to the company when the FAA control tower, the Weather Bureau, Eastern and Delta Airlines, and the airport manager all moved to Bush Field, which resulted in City Council officially abandoning Daniel Field as an airport. Buster saved the airport and began building a business after four years of litigation that went all the way to the Georgia Supreme Court.
By 1961, Augusta School of Aviation was doing more charter flights than any FBO in the Southeast. Because of the variety of services rendered, it was decided to change the name of the company to Augusta Aviation, Inc. With the influx of traffic on Masters Week, Augusta Aviation’s reputation grew nationally.
Seemingly impossible goals were accomplished by Buster, and fortunately, he lived to see his dreams realized before his death on July 1, 1981. The company you see today owes its roots to this man.
Leaders of the Legacy
FORREST BOSHEARS – Buster’s brother, Forrest, came to work for Augusta Aviation, Inc. at about the same time the company was founded. He had been a glider pilot instructor during WWII. He remained chief pilot and flight instructor until he retired. His loyalty and devotion to aviation were his uppermost goals as he continued to serve as Vice President until his death in July 1991 in a tragic plane crash. He had accumulated over 30,000 hours of flight time with Augusta Aviation, Inc.
WILLIS M. BOSHEARS, JR – "Little Buster" began flying at the age of six at Augusta Aviation, Inc. He worked his way through ratings and became an instructor and charter pilot. After college, he joined the Air Force and flew two years of combat during Vietnam. After a distinguished military career, Colonel Buster Boshears, Jr. came home to run the family business. Under his expertise and conservative business practices, Augusta Aviation, Inc. was financially strong. He remains much of a living legend in the area, flying everything from F-16s to J3 Cubs. He retired early in March of 1990 and sold the company to Steven Gay - a valued employee.
BETTY HOLMES – "Miss Betty" began work for Augusta Aviation, Inc. with Buster, Sr. Over the years, she was the sole manager of our paperwork. Miss Betty was the wheel on which this company rolled over the years. She went home to be with her Lord and Savior in 2004; however, she will be forever present in the hearts of all that knew her here at Augusta Aviation, Inc.
STEVEN GAY – Steve was hired on April 28, 1981, as an A&P mechanic. At the age of 21 he began working his way up in the company. His ability and responsibility were evident in the fact that he became an untitled assistant to Buster, Jr. After proving his management ability in the maintenance shop, Buster offered the company to him in 1990. Since Buster’s retirement, Steve has demonstrated his skills as a proprietor and knowledge of the aviation industry so the next 50 years look as exciting as the last.
TONY GAY – Steve’s brother, Tony, is his business partner and best friend. Their work ethics and Christian beliefs complement each other. He serves as Corporate Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer of Augusta Aviation, Inc. Tony has 41 years experience in corporate aviation maintenance service. He received his A&P Mechanic certifications from South Georgia Technical College. Tony is also a Private Pilot. Even though Tony contributes from behind the scenes, his advice and guidance are invaluable.